Cannabis use and depression: a longitudinal study of a national cohort of Swedish conscripts

Edison Manrique-Garcia, Stanley Zammit, Christina Dalman, Tomas Hemmingsson, Peter Allebeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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BACKGROUND: While there is increasing evidence on the association between cannabis use and psychotic outcomes, it is still unclear whether this also applies to depression. We aim to assess whether risk of depression and other affective outcomes is increased among cannabis users. METHODS: A cohort study of 45 087 Swedish men with data on cannabis use at ages 18-20. Diagnoses of unipolar disorder, bipolar disorder, affective psychosis and schizoaffective disorder were identified from inpatient care records over a 35-year follow-up period. Cox proportional hazard modeling was used to assess the hazard ratio (HR) of developing these disorders in relation to cannabis exposure. RESULTS: Only subjects with the highest level of cannabis use had an increased crude hazard ratio for depression (HR 1.5, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.0-2.2), but the association disappeared after adjustment for confounders. There was a strong graded association between cannabis use and schizoaffective disorder, even after control for confounders, although the numbers were small (HR 7.4, 95% CI, 1.0-54.3). CONCLUSION: We did not find evidence for an increased risk of depression among those who used cannabis. Our finding of an increased risk of schizoaffective disorder is consistent with previous findings on the relation between cannabis use and psychosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2012

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Cannabis
  • Depression
  • Schizoaffective disorder


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