Longitudinal Studies on the Etiology of Cannabis Use Disorder: A Review

Abstract

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).

Recent Findings

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.

Summary

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.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Acknowledgements

This review was partially supported by the National Institutes of Health Grants 1KL2TR001444 of CTSA funding and T32AA013525 from NIAAA.

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Correspondence to Joanna Jacobus.

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Dr. Kelly E. Courtney, Margie Hernandez Mejia, and Dr. Joanna Jacobus declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Cannabis

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Courtney, K.E., Mejia, M.H. & Jacobus, J. Longitudinal Studies on the Etiology of Cannabis Use Disorder: A Review. Curr Addict Rep 4, 43–52 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-017-0133-3

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Keywords

  • Cannabis use
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Etiology of cannabis use disorder
  • CUD