PubMed: The Relationship Between Cannabis Use and Self-Reported Trait Anger in Treatment-Seeking Young People

PubMed: The Relationship Between Cannabis Use and Self-Reported Trait Anger in Treatment-Seeking Young People

Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Jul 12. doi: 10.1089/can.2021.0239. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Trait anger has been shown to be predictive of emotion-focused coping and alcohol use. Yet, the connection between cannabis use and trait anger remains poorly characterized. The present study sought to investigate the relationship between cannabis use and self-reported trait anger in youth seeking substance use treatment. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on youth (n=168) aged 14-26 presenting for an initial evaluation at an outpatient substance use treatment program. Patients self-reported trait anger score (TAS) and lifetime, recent, and Diagnostic and Statistics Manual-5th Edition diagnostic status of cannabis use were assessed. Clinician-coded psychiatric and substance use patterns were collected, along with urine carboxy delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration levels. Additional measures of anxiety, depression, and demographic variables were assessed. Results: Higher self-reported TAS were associated with cannabis use, cannabis use disorder (CUD), and more recent and frequent cannabis use. The presence of a CUD was independently associated with TAS after controlling for the presence of other substance use disorders and co-occurring depression and anxiety disorders. Higher urine THC concentration levels were associated with higher TAS. Conclusions: Findings support an association between heavy, chronic cannabis use and elevated self-reported trait anger at intake. There may be important neurological consequences of heavy, chronic cannabis use that impact anger regulation. It is also plausible that trait anger maybe a predisposing factor for elevated cannabis use. Better controlled prospective research is needed to help determine directionality. Treatment programs should target both cannabis use and anger regulation in youth.

PMID:35833834 | DOI:10.1089/can.2021.0239

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