Marijuana Use Tied to Higher Odds for Thoughts of Suicide

A new study finds young adults who use marijuana appear to have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide.

Marijuana Use Tied to Higher Odds for Thoughts of Suicide

A new study finds young adults who use marijuana appear to have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide.

TUESDAY, June 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults who use marijuana appear to have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide, according to a new study from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

In fact, the risk that someone between 18 and 34 will think about, plan for or attempt suicide increases with the amount of marijuana they use, according to results published June 22 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Even occasional pot use was associated with a greater risk of suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts compared to no pot use at all,and the risk rises as people use more often, results show.

Risk also increased regardless of whether the cannabis user suffered from depression, although pot smokers with depression had an overall greater risk of suicidality, according to the study.

Also, women were more strongly affected by this link than men.

"Regardless of whether you had a history of depression or not, cannabis significantly increased the risk of suicidal behavior. It wasn't a small effect. It was a large effect," said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIDA. "I expected an association, but it just took me aback."