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Cannabis And Depression Research

NORML, 18th July 2005

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws reports that adults who use cannabis report suffering from less-severe incidents and/or symptoms of depression than non-users, according to survey data published last month in the journal Addictive Behaviors. 

Researchers at the University of Southern California analyzed survey results from 4,400 adults who had completed The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale ( a numerical, self-report scale designed to assess symptoms of depression in the general population ).  Authors compared “depression scores” among those who consumed cannabis daily, once a week or less, or never in their lives. 

“Despite comparable ranges of scores on all depression subscales, those who used once per week or less had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic ( physical ) complaints than non-users,” the authors wrote. 

“Daily users [also] reported less depressed mood and more positive affect than non-users.  These data suggest that adults apparently do not increase their risk for depression by using marijuana,” researchers concluded.

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