There are different research studies that have been carried out with the expectation of showing a link between marijuana and mental illness. A number of these studies have shown that indeed there is a likelihood that marijuana use has the potential of increasing one’s risk to mental illnesses such as depression, psychosis or schizophrenia and anxiety. Because it is still not clear to what extent or whether marijuana is the actual cause of these illnesses, this is yet to be determined.
Some of the factors that have been proposed as linking factors between marijuana use and mental illness includes when one started using, the quantity of drug consumed and the hereditary vulnerability of the individual user.
The issue of depression and marijuana use has created a lot of interest for researchers over a long period of time. There are findings that indicate marijuana should be treated as a depressant because more marijuana users have been diagnosed as having depression. This number does not compare with that of non marijuana smokers. A suggestion for this is that since marijuana contains at least 400 psychoactive ingredients that are addictive. However this does not mean that there is a direct link as a result.
One of the strongest reasons where one could link marijuana to mental illness is the case where one is using marijuana while at the same time they have preexisting hereditary or any other predisposition.
Cannabis consumption is said to affect various parts of the brain which includes certain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Some of the neurotransmitters that could link marijuana use with depression include glutamate, dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and gamma aminobutyric acid otherwise known as GABA.
When one consumes marijuana, marijuana actually reduces the amount of the neurotransmitters within the brain. When the chemical amounts are decreased in the brain this is when one is likely to experience depression.