J Trauma Stress. 2021 Jul 19. doi: 10.1002/jts.22715. Online ahead of print.
Cannabis use is common among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although its use can ultimately worsen PTSD outcomes. Cannabis-use coping motives may help explain the PTSD-cannabis relationship. Frequent pairing of trauma cues with substance use to cope with negative affect can lead to conditioned substance craving. For the present cue-reactivity study, we examined if PTSD symptoms were associated with cannabis craving elicited by a personalized trauma cue and explored whether coping motives mediated this hypothesized relationship; enhancement motives were included as a comparison mediator. Participants (N = 51) were trauma-exposed cannabis users who completed validated assessments on PTSD symptom severity and cannabis use motives. They were then exposed to a personalized audiovisual cue based on their own traumatic experience after which they responded to questions on a standardized measure regarding their cannabis craving. The results demonstrated that PTSD symptoms were associated with increased cannabis craving following trauma cue exposure, B = 0.43, p = .004, 95% CI [0.14, 0.72]. However, the results did not support our hypothesis of an indirect effect through general coping motives, indirect effect = .03, SE = .08, 95% CI [-.10, .21]. We found an independent main effect of general coping motives on trauma cue-elicited cannabis craving, B = 1.86, p = .002, 95% CI [0.72, 3.01]. These findings have important clinical implications suggesting that clinicians should target both PTSD symptoms and general coping motives to prevent the development of conditioned cannabis craving to trauma reminders in trauma-exposed cannabis users.
Source: ncbi 2