HealthDay News — Individuals with depression are at a higher risk for cannabis use, with use significantly increased since 2005, according to a study published online Aug. 18 in JAMA Network Open.

Lauren R. Gorfinkel, M.P.H., from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues examined the association between depression and past-month cannabis use among U.S. adults in a repeated cross-sectional study using data from 16,216 adults aged 20 to 59 years who were surveyed by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2005 and 2016.

The researchers found that compared with those without depression, individuals with depression had 1.90 times the odds of any past-month cannabis use (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.62 to 2.24) and 2.29 times the odds of daily or near-daily cannabis use (95 percent CI, 1.80 to 2.92). From 2005 to 2016, the association between cannabis use and depression increased significantly. The odds ratio for depression and any past-month cannabis use increased from 1.46 (95 percent CI, 1.07 to 1.99) to 2.30 (95 percent CI, 1.82 to 2.91) from 2005-2006 to 2015-2016; during the same period, the odds ratios for depression and daily or near-daily past-month cannabis use increased from 1.37 (95 percent CI, 0.81 to 2.32) to 3.16 (95 percent CI, 2.23 to 4.48).

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“While further research to understand the mechanisms underlying the increasingly strong association of depression and frequent cannabis use is needed, the study findings highlight a current need for information campaigns around cannabis and depressive disorders,” the authors write.

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