Race, psychosocial characteristics, and treatment outcomes among individuals undergoing treatment for cannabis use disorder: A latent profile analysis based on preferred method of using cannabis

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2021 Dec;131:108561. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108561. Epub 2021 Jul 7.


Introduction: There are a wide variety of methods for using combustible cannabis which may impact an individual's pattern of use as well as their response to cannabis use disorder (CUD) treatment. Previous research has noted racial/ethnic differences in cannabis users' preferred method of use.

Method: The current study examined data from a randomized placebo-controlled trial of a pharmacological intervention for adults with CUD. Latent profile analysis classified participants (N = 302) based on their primary method of combustible cannabis use.

Results: A four profile solution emerged which identified participants who demonstrated 1) Primarily Joint (n = 50), 2) Primarily Blunt (n = 106), 3) Mixed MoU (n = 30), and 4) Primarily Pipe (i.e., pipe or bong; n = 116) use. Profiles were compared on socio-demographic characteristics and racial differences were found among the four latent profiles as well as differences in their level of use. Cannabis users with a preference for joints were more likely to be White as compared to other racial groups. In contrast, a greater proportion of participants with a preference for blunts were African American. The Primarily Joint profile was found to have the highest cannabis relapse rate at 1-month follow-up (94%) which was significantly greater than the Mixed MoU (74%, x2 = 5.06, p < .05) and Primarily Pipe (78%, x2 = 9.24, p < .01) profiles. Interestingly, there was no difference in 1-Month Follow-up cannabis relapse rates between the Primarily Joint and Blunt profiles (87%, x2 = 9.24, p > .05).

Conclusions: Findings suggest that treatment-seeking individuals who primarily use joints or blunts may face unique challenges that may impact cannabis abstinence. Along with other cannabis-related characteristics, an individual's preferred method of use may represent an important factor to consider in the treatment of CUD.

Keywords: Cannabis; Latent profile; Marijuana; Method of use; Race; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cannabis*
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Abuse* / psychology
  • Marijuana Abuse* / therapy
  • Racial Groups
  • Substance-Related Disorders*
  • Treatment Outcome