Teenagers who struggle with depression are up to 50 percent more likely to use cannabis later in life, according to a new study from UW Medicine.
“The findings suggest that if we can prevent or reduce chronic depression during early adolescence, we may reduce the prevalence of cannabis use disorder,” said lead author Isaac Rhew, research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Researchers interviewed 521 students from Seattle middle schools when they were between ages 12 and 15, then again at age 18.
Over the last 10 years, cannabis use by teens has passed tobacco use, according to a UW Medicine news release, and cannabis use is high like alcohol use among young adults.
Researchers said it was unclear what effect the looser marijuana laws in Washington had on youth usage, but discussed the possibility of conducting a similar study in a state with stricter laws.