Degree Level



Biological Science

First Advisor

Boies, Lori

Second Advisor

Langston, Camille

LCSH subject

Marijuana; Cannabis; Recreational marijuana use; Depression, Mental; Mental health services


Depression is a widespread mental health condition affecting millions worldwide, with young adults being particularly vulnerable. The concurrent use of marijuana has become an increasingly relevant factor in treating depression, especially in this population. However, recent literature reviews have highlighted a significant gap in knowledge regarding treatment outcomes in adolescents who utilize both mental health treatments, including antidepressants (AD), and marijuana. This research seeks to better understand the relationship between mental health treatment utilization and marijuana together by exploring the association between depression, marijuana use, and mental health care utilization. Our findings suggest that depression and marijuana use tend to co-occur, and mental health treatment does not reduce this association. Moreover, mental health services may increase the association of marijuana use with depression significantly in adults aged 18 – 25 years old. Our study highlights the potential negative impact of marijuana use on mental health, specifically the increased odds of experiencing a major depressive episode (MDE) in individuals who use marijuana regardless of whether they are utilizing mental health treatment. These results have important implications for public health interventions and substance use prevention efforts, particularly among young adults, who have the highest prevalence of marijuana use and major depressive episodes.

Publication Date

Spring 5-8-2023

Document Type


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License