Cannabis use problems: who is at risk and why? The identification of markers

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University of New Brunswick


Cannabis is the second most used substance in the world after alcohol but has been researched less extensively than other substances. The aims of the current study were twofold. First, the current study examined the contribution of quantity and frequency of cannabis use on the likelihood of experiencing cannabis-related problems. Second, clusters of cannabis users were formed using polysubstance use, mental health (i.e., externalizing and internalizing symptoms), and cannabis use (including quantity and frequency of use) variables. A total of 372 past-year cannabis users participated in the study online or in person. Overall, cannabis use-related negative consequences were best accounted for by the DSM-5 cannabis use disorder criteria; however, measures of both quantity and frequency contributed to these negative outcomes. Furthermore, three distinct cannabis using clusters emerged: low frequency non-problematic, moderate frequency, and high frequency problematic cannabis users. The current findings have significant implications for prevention and intervention practices. Keywords: cannabis, use-related problems, quantity, frequency, clusters, internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms