Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Researchers from McGill University and the University of Oxford carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of the best existing evidence and analysed 23,317 individuals (from 11 international studies) to see whether use of cannabis in young people is associated with depression, anxiety and suicidality in early adulthood.

They found that cannabis use among adolescents is associated with a significant increased risk of depression and suicidality in adulthood (not anxiety). While the individual-level risk was found to be modest, the widespread use of the drug by young people makes the scale of the risk much more serious.

Professor Andrea Cipriani, NIHR Research Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, said: "Our findings about depression and suicidality are very relevant for clinical practice and public health. Although the size of the negative effects of cannabis can vary between individual adolescents and it is not possible to predict the exact risk for each teenager, the widespread use of cannabis among the young generations makes it an important public health issue." 

To view the full press release

Regular use during adolescence is associated with lower achievement at school, addiction, psychosis and neuropsychological decline, increased risk of motor vehicle crashes, as well as the respiratory problems that are associated with smoking.
- Professor Andrea Cipriani

Similar stories

New Analysis Challenges Guidelines on Treating Anorexia Nervosa

Research Highlights

A new analysis, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, has shown a lack of strong evidence to support current guidance on psychological therapies for treating anorexia nervosa over expert treatment as usual.

Capturing immune cells that colonise the brain to prevent disease progression in multiple sclerosis

Research Highlights

Researchers have revealed a disease-causing population of immune cells, which travel to the brain in patients with multiple sclerosis. They demonstrate how to trap these cells in the blood, which means they can be targeted to prevent disease progression.

How the brain reorganises old memories when new ones are made

Research Highlights

Researchers have discovered that the arrangement of existing memories in the brain is altered when we embed new memories

Improving Experiences of People with Serious Mental Health Problems

Research Highlights

A project led by Professor Kam Bhui and Dr Roisin Mooney, University of Oxford, will focus on reducing the number of people admitted or readmitted to compulsory care under the Mental Health Act. This is one of four new research projects funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) with the aim to improve patient experiences and outcomes under the Mental Health Act.

Potential New Target to Prevent or Delay Dementia

Research Highlights

New study shows targeting arterial stiffening earlier in a person’s lifespan could provide cognitive benefits in older age and may help to delay the onset of dementia.

Investigating New Treatment for Schizophrenia

Research Highlights Strategic Developments

A partnership between University of Oxford, the Earlham Institute, and the global pharmaceutical companies Biogen Inc and Boehringer Ingelheim has been announced to investigate a new drug target for the treatment of schizophrenia.