The findings equate to more than 400,000 adolescent cases of depression in the US, 25,000 in Canada and 60,000 in the United Kingdom that could potentially be attributed to cannabis exposure.
Scientists at McGill University analyzed 11 worldwide longitudinal studies involving people aged 18 to 32 who smoked weekly or daily when they were 18 or younger.
Gobbi says there are many more questions to explore, noting the research did not consider alternate modes of consuming cannabis such as vaping or edibles.
Andrea Cipriani, author and research professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford, said in a press release that the findings "are very relevant for clinical practice and public health". They found that the chances of developing depression among cannabis users later in life was 1.37 times higher than for nonusers.
Tens of thousands of cases of depression are likely to be the result of cannabis use among the under-18s and children should be warned of the dangers of the drug, researchers said.
Most provincial laws restrict usage to those 19 and older, but about 27 per cent of Canadians aged 15 to 24 - more than any other age group - used cannabis in the last three months of 2018, according to Statistics Canada.
Animals studies have suggested a link between exposure to cannabinoids, the active component of cannabis, and the onset of depressive symptoms in adulthood.
She says adolescents are particularly vulnerable because their brain does not fully develop until age 25.
"Although the size of the negative effects of cannabis can vary between individual adolescents and it is not possible to predict the exact risk for each teenager, the widespread use of cannabis among the young generations makes it an important public health issue", Cipriani said.
'Regular use during adolescence is associated with lower achievement at school, addiction psychosis and neuropsychological decline, increased risk of motor vehicle crashes, as well as the respiratory problems that are associated with smoking'.
Dr Lindsey Hines, of the University of Bristol, said it was already known that using cannabis coincided with anxiety, depression and self-harm in teenagers.