A new study in Canada has found that cannabis is not significantly linked to suicide in psychiatric patients. Researchers from McMaster University released the results of their study earlier this week in the journal Biology of Sex Differences. The researchers’ conclusions note that previous data has suggested a link between cannabis use and suicide in the general population. The study’s authors did note, however, that the heaviness of cannabis use by men did appear to be a factor in suicidal behavior and should be studied further.
“Our findings indicate that there is no association between cannabis use and suicidal behavior in men or women with psychiatric disorders unlike what was reported for the general population, though the heaviness of cannabis use may have an effect in men,” the study conclusion reads.
Zainab Samaan is an associate professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. A lead author of the study, she said it is a new look at the association between suicide and mental illness.
“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,” Samaan said.
Samaan also said that there is good reason to study the group that researchers focused on.