Demographic, Cannabis Use, and Depressive Correlates of Cannabis Use Consequences in Regular Cannabis Users

Am J Addict. 2019 Jul;28(4):295-302. doi: 10.1111/ajad.12889. Epub 2019 Apr 23.


Background and objectives: Regular cannabis users experience cannabis-related consequences across many domains of functioning. The present study examined demographic, cannabis use, and depressive correlates of cannabis consequences. We hypothesized that (1) earlier onset of use would predict greater psychological and functional consequences; and (2) women would endorse more psychological and withdrawal consequences.

Methods: Data were collected from an urban sample of 184 adults who reported regular cannabis use. Seventeen items from a cannabis consequence checklist were grouped into three domains: Psychological Consequences, Cannabis Withdrawal, and Functional Consequences. Three multiple regressions were performed to explore demographic and cannabis use correlates of each domain. Correlations between domains and depressive symptoms were assessed using Pearson's r.

Results: Greater endorsement on the Psychological Consequence subgroup was predicted by female sex, lower educational attainment, and treatment-seeking history for cannabis abuse/dependence. Individuals with greater number of quit attempts or treatment-seeking history endorsed more items in the Cannabis Withdrawal domain. Although the model failed to reach significance for Functional Consequences, age at onset of regular and daily cannabis use were negatively associated with this domain. Correlational analyses demonstrated higher Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition scores were related to greater endorsement of Psychological Consequence and Cannabis Withdrawal items.

Discussion and conclusions: Regular cannabis users report consequences of use, which can be grouped into content-specific subgroups. Individual characteristics are differentially associated with these subgroups.

Scientific significance: Understanding which individual characteristics are related to cannabis use sequelae could help identify those at risk for greater consequences, thus leading to improved assessment and treatment interventions. (Am J Addict 2019;28:295-302).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology*
  • Marijuana Use / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology