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Marijuana and Clinical Depression


Shanet Clark
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New Study: Marijuana Users Less Depressed

Largest-Ever Study of Marijuana, Depression Finds Fewer Depressive Symptoms, Better Mood

ALBANY, NEW YORK—In the largest-ever study of marijuana and depression, to be published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, daily or weekly marijuana users had fewer symptoms of depression than non-users. Marijuana users were also more likely to report positive moods and fewer somatic complaints such as sleeplessness. Noteworthy differences were also found between those using marijuana for medical purposes and non-medical or "recreational" users.

The new research appears to contradict statements by some government officials suggesting that marijuana is a cause of depression. For example, in a May 3, 2005, press release from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, ONDCP Director John Walters said, "Marijuana use, particularly during the teen years, can lead to depression, thoughts of suicide and schizophrenia."

"Not only does marijuana not cause depression, it looks like it may actually alleviate it," said Mitch Earleywine, co-author of the new study and associate professor of psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Earleywine and co-investigator Thomas F. Denson of the University of Southern California used an Internet questionnaire that allowed them to survey a very large sample of marijuana users and non-users, totaling over 4,400 participants. Use of the Internet also made it possible to include highly depressed or marijuana-involved participants who might be unable or unwilling to participate in in-person or telephone surveys.

Participants were asked to report their use of marijuana and were divided into three categories: daily users, those who used marijuana within the last month but no more than once per week (weekly users) and those who had never used marijuana in their lifetime (non-users). Depression and related issues were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale, a standard tool for researching depression and associated symptoms.

Both daily and weekly marijuana users had significantly lower levels of depression and higher levels of positive mood than non-users. Weekly users also had lower levels of somatic complaints such as sleeplessness. Effects were generally large, with marijuana users approximately 30% less depressed than non-users.

The study is the first to specifically look at depression in medical marijuana users as compared to non-medical users. The most common complaints listed by medical users surveyed were nausea, vomiting, cancer, attention deficit and poor appetite. Medical users generally were more depressed and had more somatic complaints than non-medical users, but still reported fewer such symptoms than non-users.

"Those who use marijuana to battle the symptoms of illness may be depressed because of their illness, not because of marijuana," Earleywine said. "Studies that do not identify medical use might falsely implicate marijuana, rather than sickness, as the cause of depressed feelings."

The new study adds to a growing body of knowledge suggesting that marijuana's active components, called cannabinoids, may be beneficial in certain psychological disorders. In a review published this May in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers form the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in Great Britain noted, "Patient reports and observations, backed by known pharmacology, suggest that the cannabis derivatives delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) may have mood stabilizing properties," including anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects.

"Drug Czar John Walters has tried to frighten Americans about marijuana, using exaggerated and incomplete data cherry-picked to support his ideology," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "Science should be used to inform policy, not manipulated to scare the public."

With more than 18,000 members and 120,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP works to minimize the harm associated with marijuana—both the consumption of marijuana and the laws that are intended to prohibit such use. MPP believes that the greatest harm associated with marijuana is imprisonment. For more information, please visit http://www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.

REFERENCE: Denson, Thomas F. and Earleywine, Mitchell, "Decreased Depression in Marijuana Users," Addictive Behaviors, in press, available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03064603.

(via drugwar.com)

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New Study: Marijuana Users Less Depressed

Largest-Ever Study of Marijuana, Depression Finds Fewer Depressive Symptoms, Better Mood

First good news from across for a long time, really lights up my day and later maybe something else….as you might don’t know beside all the cheese and watches, we became quite famous in Europe for growing high quality hamp, doesn’t mean I’m proud of it but it shows how flexible our farmers are…maybe I shouldn’t have said that but ups I did it again.

:P:D

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Guest Stephen Turner

New Study: Marijuana Users Less Depressed

Largest-Ever Study of Marijuana, Depression Finds Fewer Depressive Symptoms, Better Mood

First good news from across for a long time, really lights up my day and later maybe something else….as you might don’t know beside all the cheese and watches, we became quite famous in Europe for growing high quality hamp, doesn’t mean I’m proud of it but it shows how flexible our farmers are…maybe I shouldn’t have said that but ups I did it again.

:P:D

George, does this mean we can "BANK" on the Swiss for good blow.......

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Guest Stephen Turner

George, does this mean we can "BANK" on the Swiss for good blow.......

Hmm.. hard to say because I only know from hearsay (of course) and I also heard that it makes your riffs smoother…I mean....works for my Gibson.. :P

Hey George, your a fellow Axeman, got a Fender Strat Myself. I had it in mind to buy a Gibson accoustic, until I saw the price!!!!!! Whats your bag musically, I am a Bluesman myself..

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Hey George, your a fellow Axeman, got a Fender Strat Myself. I had it in mind to buy a Gibson accoustic, until I saw the price!!!!!! Whats your bag musically, I am a Bluesman myself..

Had not much time yesterday so

Blues and Blues-rock are my roots as well, when I was about ten a had my first lessons but due to the fact that I was born in the mountains (4600 feet) the teacher was the priest of our village

and therefore my career ended quite soon after arguments about what music stile I’d like to play and his ideas that everything that can’t be played in the church was kind of evil. I was glad I had two older sisters so I could play their records even I was officially not allowed and I was blamed for every scratch of course Elvis, Beatles, Clapton, Hooker, Monkeys, Fats Domino where my favourite, later I added the Stones, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and so on to the collection.

After this first not very satisfying experience I started few years ago again and play whenever I have time, my stile is kind of crossover between rock bluesrock hardrock…so my SG must really feel somtimes like an axe :P

Edited by George Bollschweiler
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Guest Stephen Turner

George the Gibbo I want is over £1,000, Its just a matter of persuading my Wife that its money well spent. My first Giutar was a second hand Spanish Acc, I pestered my Mum for months after seeing the Beatles play Shay Stadium, so cool, so talented' so young, and all the Girls gagging for them, who wouldnt want some of that. The first band I played in was a covers Rock outfit, Lizzy, Zep, Sabbath, The Who you get the picture, but lately I'm only playing Delta Blues Bob Johnson, Sonny House, and Classical, mainly Sergovia, and JS Bach. Keep on rockin, Steve.

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George the Gibbo I want is over £1,000, Its just a matter of persuading my Wife that its money well spent. My first Giutar was a second hand Spanish Acc, I pestered my Mum for months after seeing the Beatles play Shay Stadium, so cool, so talented' so young, and all the Girls gagging for them, who wouldnt want some of that. The first band I played in was a covers Rock outfit, Lizzy, Zep, Sabbath, The Who you get the picture, but lately I'm only playing Delta Blues Bob Johnson, Sonny House, and Classical, mainly Sergovia, and JS Bach. Keep on rockin, Steve.

I find it interesting and curious how many of us JFK assassination "folks" also play music.

Myabe we should start a music thread. I love all of the above. Do keys and vox, better at harmony than lead. Play by ear, first song I ever taught myself (in law school) was Imagine. God seems so long ago now. Didn't really love blues til I discovered how easy it is to jam with others to blues.

"I know it's only rock and roll but I like it".

Other than the Beatles, the BOSS is my absolute favorite rock star. I have never missed a Bruce and the e-street band since discovering them in 75. If you've never seem them live you just cannot imagine.

Dawn

"Keep on rockin in the free world"

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Other than the Beatles, the BOSS is my absolute favorite rock star. I have never missed a Bruce and the e-street band since discovering them in 75. If you've never seem them live you just cannot imagine. (Dawn Meredith)

Right on, Dawn. I saw Springsteen here a couple of years ago on 'The Rising' tour. Amazing show. I also saw him 1986 (around that time) in Sydney on the 'Born In The USA' tour. I wish he would visit Australia more.

'The River', 'Back In Your Arms' and 'City Of Ruins' would have to rank as some of the best songs ever recorded. Just before Lennon passed, I believe he made the comment that 'Hungry Heart' was one of the best songs he ever heard. I will try to find that reference.

James

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)

Right on, Dawn. I saw Springsteen here a couple of years ago on 'The Rising' tour. Amazing show. I also saw him 1986 (around that time) in Sydney on the 'Born In The USA' tour. I wish he would visit Australia more.

'The River', 'Back In Your Arms' and 'City Of Ruins' would have to rank as some of the best songs ever recorded. Just before Lennon passed, I believe he made the comment that 'Hungry Heart' was one of the best songs he ever heard. I will try to find that reference.

James

James,

Found a great new dvd last night: A live "Born To Run" tour. (And cd with it of same).

When the last Bruce and e -street band toured Austin a few years back we had 5th row seats.

That was awesome. Ineffable!

Dawn

Like with the Beatles, I can't really pick a favorite song. I love them all. A new cd "The essential Bruce" has a great sampling of his entire career. Including his cover of the GREAT Jimmy Cliff song "Trapped" (originally recorded on the "We Are The World" lp).

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