Study finds one in 14 cases in under-35s could be avoided if teenagers did not use the drug

Scientists believe they have identified about 60,000 cases of depression in adults under 35 in the UK, and more than 400,000 in the US, that could be avoided if adolescents did not smoke cannabis.

An international team of scientists looked at 11 studies published from the mid-1990s onwards, involving a total of more than 23,000 people, they report in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. They explored the use of cannabis for non-medicinal purposes in under-18s. Participants were then followed into adulthood to see who developed clinical depression, anxiety or suicidal behaviour. No single study looked at all three mental health issues.

Related: Quitting cannabis could lead to better memory and cognition

Related: How dangerous is marijuana for young men's mental health?

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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26 March 2019