McMaster University researchers have found there is no significant association between cannabis use and suicidal behavior in people with psychiatric disorders.
The study findings contrast with pre-existing data that shows the drug is linked to an increased chance of suicidal behavior in the general population.
However, based on a small subset of participants, researchers did note the heaviness of cannabis use increased risk of suicidal behavior in men, suggesting a closer follow-up by medical professionals of those patients.
The study was published online this week in the journal Biology of Sex Differences.
“In what we believe to be a first, this study seeks to understand how cannabis use impacts suicide attempts in men and women with psychiatric disorders who are already at a heightened risk of attempting suicide,” said Zainab Samaan, lead author and an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster.
“We know there is a high rate of cannabis use among this population and wanted to better understand any potential correlation to suicidal behavior.”
Cannabis is the most commonly-used illicit substance worldwide, and its consumption is expected to increase as more jurisdictions, including Canada, legalize its recreational use. [Read More @ Science Daily]