Longitudinal Studies on the Etiology of Cannabis Use Disorder: A Review
- 390 Downloads
Purpose of Review
This review summarizes the literature to date that has capitalized on the longitudinal research study framework in order to elucidate the etiology of cannabis use disorders (CUDs).
The studies are mixed with respect to reliable predictors of CUD development. Of the studies outlined, the most consistently indicated risk factors for CUD development include male sex, past cannabis and other substance use (especially tobacco), and the presence of pre/comorbid psychopathology (especially mood disorders). Social motives and peer involvement may also play a role in this transition. Many of these CUD risk factors appear to be distinct from other factors linked with overall cannabis use.
CUD development is likely the product of interactions between biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors. However, many more well-planned and developmentally sensitive prospective studies are needed to identify specific and reliable risk factors for CUD development.
KeywordsCannabis use Longitudinal studies Etiology of cannabis use disorder CUD
This review was partially supported by the National Institutes of Health Grants 1KL2TR001444 of CTSA funding and T32AA013525 from NIAAA.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Dr. Kelly E. Courtney, Margie Hernandez Mejia, and Dr. Joanna Jacobus declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 3.•• Lopez-Quintero C, Perez de los Cobos J, Hasin DS, Okuda M, Wang S, Grant BF, et al. Probability and predictors of transition from first use to dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine: results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011;115(1–2):120–30. This report provides a recent and broad analysis of the rates and predictors of transitioning from cannabis use to CUD in a large nationally represantative sample. Discrepancies in predictors of nonproblemmatic use and disorder development are highlighted. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 9.• van der Pol P, Liebregts N, de Graaf R, Korf DJ, van den Brink W, van Laar M. Predicting the transition from frequent cannabis use to cannabis dependence: a three-year prospective study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013;133(2):352–9. van der Pol and colleagues (2013) provide a unique perspective on the assessment of risk for CUD development by highlighting the role of psychosocial factors within a large sample of established cannabis users. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 11.Kosty DB, Seeley JR, Farmer RF, Stevens JJ, Lewinsohn PM. Trajectories of cannabis use disorder: risk factors, clinical characteristics and outcomes. Addiction. 2016.Google Scholar
- 16.Kirisci L, Tarter R, Ridenour T, Zhai ZW, Fishbein D, Reynolds M, et al. Age of alcohol and cannabis use onset mediates the association of transmissible risk in childhood and development of alcohol and cannabis disorders: evidence for common liability. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2013;21(1):38–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 18.Tarter RE, Kirisci L, Mezzich A, Ridenour T, Fishbein D, Horner M, et al. Does the “gateway” sequence increase prediction of cannabis use disorder development beyond deviant socialization? Implications for prevention practice and policy. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012;123(Suppl 1):S72–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 21.Tarter RE, Kirisci L, Gavaler JS, Reynolds M, Kirillova G, Clark DB, et al. Prospective study of the association between abandoned dwellings and testosterone level on the development of behaviors leading to cannabis use disorder in boys. Biol Psychiatry. 2009;65(2):116–21.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 31.Wittchen HU, Frohlich C, Behrendt S, Gunther A, Rehm J, Zimmermann P, et al. Cannabis use and cannabis use disorders and their relationship to mental disorders: a 10-year prospective-longitudinal community study in adolescents. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007;88(Suppl 1):S60–70.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 34.Staff J, Schulenberg JE, Maslowsky J, Bachman JG, O'Malley PM, Maggs JL, et al. Substance use changes and social role transitions: proximal developmental effects on ongoing trajectories from late adolescence through early adulthood. Dev Psychopathol. 2010;22(4):917–32.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 37.American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.) Washington, DC 2013.Google Scholar
- 39.Fergusson DM, Boden JM. Cannabis use and later life outcomes. Addiction. 2008;103(6):969–76; discussion 77–8.Google Scholar
- 42.Cerdá M, Moffitt TE, Meier MH, Harrington H, Houts R, Ramrakha S, et al. Persistent cannabis dependence and alcohol dependence represent risks for midlife economic and social problems: a longitudinal cohort study. Clinical Psychological Science. 2016; doi: 10.1177/2167702616630958.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- 45.Cerdá M, Moffitt TE, Meier MH, Harrington H, Houts R, Ramrakha S, et al. Persistent cannabis dependence and alcohol dependence represent risks for midlife economic and social problems: a longitudinal cohort study. Clinical Psychological Science. 2016;Google Scholar
- 52.• Tarter R, Kirisci L, Reynolds M. A new approach to researching the etiology of cannabis use disorder: integrating transmissible and nontransmissible risk within a developmental framework. Subst Abus. 2014;35(4):336–43. This article provides a review of the extensive transmissible risk and cannabis use literature and advances a novel framework for understanding the etiology of CUD. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 54.Ridenour TA, Kirisci L, Tarter RE, Vanyukov MM. Could a continuous measure of individual transmissible risk be useful in clinical assessment of substance use disorder? Findings from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011;119(1–2):10–7.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 56.Hicks BM, Iacono WG, McGue M. Index of the transmissible common liability to addiction: heritability and prospective associations with substance abuse and related outcomes. Drug Alcohol Depend 2012;123 Suppl 1:S18–S23.Google Scholar