Drug Alcohol Depend. 2021 Jun 26;226:108887. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108887. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Regular cannabis use, even without cannabis use disorder (CUD), is associated with numerous biopsychosocial problems. Biopsychosocial risk factors that precede regular use and CUD might reflect broader pre-existing risk factors rather than the consequence of cannabis use. We aimed to (1) replicate prior work differentiating psychosocial problems associated with regular cannabis use with or without CUD relative to no-use in adulthood, and (2) test if these use groups differed in biopsychosocial functioning in early and middle childhood.
METHODS: Biopsychosocial characteristics of individuals at-risk for substance use problems (n = 402) reporting no-use, regular use without CUD, and regular use with CUD by young adulthood were prospectively compared during early childhood (ages 3-5), middle childhood (ages 9-11) and young adulthood (ages 18-25).
RESULTS: Regular use (vs. no-use) was associated with more health problems (mean d = |0.57|), psychopathology (mean d = |0.72|), social and family environment risk (mean d = |0.88|) in childhood and adulthood and comorbid substance use in adulthood (mean d = |1.25|). Regular use with and without CUD was linked to similar, developmentally-persistent patterns of problems across domains.
CONCLUSIONS: We found that childhood risk factors present many years prior to cannabis initiation (as early as age 3) differentiated patterns of adult cannabis use and CUD status in adulthood. Therefore, biopsychosocial impairments associated with regular cannabis use in adulthood is not solely attributable to cannabis exposure but can be traced back to early and persistent biopsychosocial risk that may benefit from early behavioral intervention, irrespective of CUD diagnosis.
Source: ncbi 2