Exploring the Association between Marijuana Use, Depression, and Suicidal Ideation

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The normalization of marijuana and the national increase of its use have been identified as public health issues (Lau et al., 2015; Tilburg, Hodge, & Gourdet, 2019). In addition, depression and mental health in the United States have become an increasingly important issue to address. Current research has indicated a need for further exploration regarding the use of marijuana and the potential mental health issues that could arise from it (Stoner, 2017). The purpose of this study was to explore the association between marijuana use and a major depressive episode (MDE). Additionally, this study explored the potential link between marijuana use and suicidal ideation. Data for this study was obtained from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), and participants were U.S. adults ages 18 and older. A cross-sectional study design was used, and a random sample of 108 participants was selected. The results of this study indicated that there was no significant association between marijuana use and experiencing an MDE (X2 (1) = .037, p = .847), and no association between marijuana use and suicidal ideation (X2 (1) = 5.15, p = .174). Additionally, alcohol use, cocaine use, ethnicity, gender, heroin use, methamphetamine use, and school attendance had no effect and did not modify the relationship between marijuana use and experiencing an MDE (X2 (13) =12.386, p = .496).
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health