Sex-related differences in subjective, but not neural, cue-elicited craving response in heavy cannabis users.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Feb 19;209:107931
Authors: Prashad S, Hammonds RP, Wiese AL, Milligan AL, Filbey FM
BACKGROUND: Studies indicate that female cannabis users progress through the milestones of cannabis use disorder (CUD) more quickly than male users, likely due to greater subjective craving response in women relative to men. While studies have reported sex-related differences in subjective craving, differences in neural response and the relative contributions of neural and behavioral response remain unclear.
METHODS: We examined sex-related differences in neural and behavioral response to cannabis cues and cannabis use measures in 112 heavy cannabis users (54 females). We used principal component analysis to determine the relative contributions of neural and behavioral response and cannabis use measures.
RESULTS: We found that principal component (PC) 1, which accounts for the most variance in the dataset, was correlated with neural response to cannabis cues with no differences between male and female users (p = 0.21). PC2, which accounts for the second-most variance, was correlated with subjective craving such that female users exhibited greater subjective craving relative to male users (p = 0.003). We also found that CUD symptoms correlated with both PC1 and PC2, corroborating the relationship between craving and CUD severity.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that neural activity primarily underlies response to cannabis cues and that a complex relationship characterizes a convergent neural response and a divergent subjective craving response that differs between the sexes. Accounting for these differences will increase efficacy of treatments through personalized approaches.
PMID: 32113057 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Source: ncbi 2