Suicidal Ideation is a side effect of cannabis

Can Marijuana Use Lead to Suicidal Ideation in Some Adolescents? * Johnny’s Ambassadors

By Laura Stack The evidence-based negative effects of cannabis on adolescents are many and varied, especially for young people, and we’ve covered them numerous times in previous blogs. But today, I want to discuss openly a very sensitive topic: THC as it relates to adolescent suicidal ideation and suicide.

Marijuana # 1 Substance found in Teen Suicides in Colorado

The above graph is a screen shot from the Colorado Public Health and Environment report available at this website: Colorado Violent Death Reporting System. To find the above graph, go to the below Colorado website and click on the box that lists “methods, circumstances and toxicology” and then click on the box for 15-19 years olds. The marijuana data will appear.

The US suicide rate is up 33% since 1999

New research finds that the nationwide rate of suicide in 2017 was 33% higher than in 1999 — its highest level since WWII. Those who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native had the highest increase.

Important Research on Cannabis and Suicide

The impact of adolescent cannabis use, mood disorder and lack of education on attempted suicide in young adulthood–World Psychiatry. Oct 2014

“Hierarchical logistic regression models showed that adolescent mood disorder and adolescent cannabis use, young adult mood and anxiety disorders, and a low level of education were the most strongly predictive factors for making a suicide attempt…” Click here for full report on cannabis and suicide    

Young adult sequelae of adolescent cannabis use: an integrative analysis–Lancet Psychiatry. Sept 2014

“We recorded clear and consistent associations and dose-response relations between the frequency of adolescent cannabis use and all adverse young adult outcomes….substantially increased odds of later cannabis dependence, use of other illicit drugs, and suicide attempt.” Click here for study abstract on adolescent cannabis use.    

Major depressive disorder, suicidal thoughts and behaviours, and cannabis involvement in discordant twins: a retrospective cohort study–Lancet Psychiatry Sept 2017

“Early and frequent cannabis use are associated with an increased likelihood of major depressive disorder (MDD) as well as suicidal thoughts and behaviours. We identify associations between aspects of cannabis use, MDD, and suicidal thoughts and behaviours and examine whether such associations persist…” See abstract of this depression and suicide study.    

Mortality following treatment for cannabis use disorders: Predictors and causes–Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2013

“The aim of the study was to determine excess mortality associated with cannabis use disorders. Individuals entering treatment for cannabis use disorders were followed by use of Danish registers and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) estimated. Predictors of different causes of death were determined.” Read more about the study on cannabis use disorders and death.