Marijuana use and depression

J Health Soc Behav. 2000 Mar;41(1):40-9.


The primary goal of this study is to examine the association between marijuana use and adult depressive symptomatology. The key independent variables examined are age of marijuana initiation, frequency of current marijuana use, the use of other licit and illicit drugs, and whether marijuana was used to cope with problems. The relationships among these variables are assessed using data from the Young Men and Drugs Survey (n = 1,941), a nationally representative sample of men from the 1944-1954 birth cohort. Results show that early marijuana initiation appears to be weakly associated with increased depression in adulthood. This effect, however, is mediated by educational attainment, employment status, marital status, and other drug use, notably alcohol and tobacco use. Adult frequency of marijuana use is not significantly associated with increased depression in adulthood. Finally, marijuana users who use the drug to cope with problems are more depressed than those who do not use to cope with problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Depression / complications*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking / adverse effects*