Which biological and self-report measures of cannabis use predict cannabis dependency and acute psychotic-like effects?

Journal article


Curran, H. Valerie, Hindocha, Chandni, Morgan, Celia J. A., Shaban, Natacha, Das, Ravi K. and Freeman, Tom P.. (2019) Which biological and self-report measures of cannabis use predict cannabis dependency and acute psychotic-like effects? Psychological Medicine. 49(9), pp. 1574-1580. https://doi.org/10.1017/S003329171800226X
AuthorsCurran, H. Valerie, Hindocha, Chandni, Morgan, Celia J. A., Shaban, Natacha, Das, Ravi K. and Freeman, Tom P.
Abstract

Background
Changes in cannabis regulation globally make it increasingly important to determine what predicts an individual's risk of experiencing adverse drug effects. Relevant studies have used diverse self-report measures of cannabis use, and few include multiple biological measures. Here we aimed to determine which biological and self-report measures of cannabis use predict cannabis dependency and acute psychotic-like symptoms.

Method
In a naturalistic study, 410 young cannabis users were assessed once when intoxicated with their own cannabis and once when drug-free in counterbalanced order. Biological measures of cannabinoids [(Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN) and their metabolites)] were derived from three samples: each participant's own cannabis (THC, CBD), a sample of their hair (THC, THC-OH, THC-COOH, CBN, CBD) and their urine (THC-COOH/creatinine). Comprehensive self-report measures were also obtained. Self-reported and clinician-rated assessments were taken for cannabis dependency [Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS), DSM-IV-TR] and acute psychotic-like symptoms [Psychotomimetic State Inventory (PSI) and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)].

Results
Cannabis dependency was positively associated with days per month of cannabis use on both measures, and with urinary THC-COOH/creatinine for the SDS. Acute psychotic-like symptoms were positively associated with age of first cannabis use and negatively with urinary THC-COOH/creatinine; no predictors emerged for BPRS.

Conclusions
Levels of THC exposure are positively associated with both cannabis dependency and tolerance to the acute psychotic-like effects of cannabis. Combining urinary and self-report assessments (use frequency; age first used) enhances the measurement of cannabis use and its association with adverse outcomes.

Keywordsbiological markers; cannabinoids; cannabis; predictors of dependence; predictors of psychotic-like; self-report measures
Year2019
JournalPsychological Medicine
Journal citation49 (9), pp. 1574-1580
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN0033-2917
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S003329171800226X
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85052929061
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1574-1580
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online04 Sep 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted02 Aug 2018
Deposited09 Jun 2021
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