Researchers at Warwick University found that cannabis use in young adults is linked to future development of hypomania, a state in which people deal with feelings of euphoria, irritability, increased sexuality, and competitiveness-–but less than someone with full-blown mania.
Led by Dr Steven Marwaha, a clinical academic Psychiatrist, the research analysed data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and found that teenage cannabis use at least 2–3 times weekly is directly associated with suffering from symptoms of hypomania in later years.
However, the relationship between cannabis use and hypomania was so direct that any use increased the risk of developing the bipolar symptom, but less powerfully.
The Warwick team is the first to examine the link between cannabis and bipolar symptoms while controlling for other factors such as psychosis.
Cannabis is one of the most commonly used substances of abuse in
western countries. Problematic use in the general population is as high as 9.5% in the United States, while 2.6% of the UK population report having been cannabis dependent in the last year.
The research, Cannabis Use and Hypomania in Young People: A Prospective Analysis, is published by Schizophrenia Bulletin.
The Warwick researchers hope to use this study to encourage interventions for teenagers who are cannabis dependent.