Adolescent cannabis use increases mental illness risk

ok well first of all there are some words in this article that im not very familiar with such as: urbanicity and cannabinoid systems.

but hey its interesting stuff.........

Frequent cannabis used during adolescence and early adulthood increases the subsequent risk of developing mental illness symptoms, say investigators who note that the effect is much stronger among those with a predisposition to mental illness.

Cecile Henquet (Maastricht University, The Netherlands) and colleagues were able to rule out the possibility that mentally ill patients were simply self-medicating with cannabis after finding that a predisposition for mental illness did not significantly predict cannabis use 4 years later.

For their study, the researchers interviewed 2437 people aged between 14 and 24 years about substance use, predisposition for mental illness, and related symptoms.

At baseline, 320 (13.1%) of the participants admitted to using cannabis five or more times, and at 4-year follow-up this figure had increased slightly to 361 (14.8%).

During the study, the lifetime incidence of at least one mental illness symptom was 424 (17.4%), with 174 (7.1%) individuals reporting two or more symptoms.

After adjusting for age, gender, socioeconomic status, urbanicity, and the use of other drugs, including tobacco and alcohol, cannabis use was associated with a 1.67-times greater risk of symptoms.

The researchers note that the risk of developing mental illness was much stronger among cannabis users if they had a predisposition to it, at 23%, compared with a 5.6% risk for those with no predisposition.

Moreover, there was a dose-response relationship between mental illness risk and cannabis use. The adjusted odds ratio of developing symptoms was 0.99 for people who used cannabis less than once a month compared with 2.44 for those using the drug 3 to 4 times a week.

Reporting in an early online edition of the British Medical Journal, the researchers comment: “Repeated exposure to cannabis may cause initial increases in synaptic dopamine and then lead to more prolonged changes the endogenous cannabinoid systems.

“These changes might be most profound after exposure to cannabis during adolescence and in individuals with a pre-existing vulnerability to dysregulation of the cannabinoid system and related neurotransmission systems.”

Posted by bbeard on 12/08 at 01:36 AM in Blogging

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