Serious psychological distress and daily cannabis use, 2008 to 2016: Potential implications for mental health?


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Daily cannabis use is increasing in the United States (US). Yet, it is not known whether daily cannabis use is disproportionately common, or whether it has increased differentially over time, by mental health status. This study estimated the prevalence of daily cannabis use among adults in the US with and without past-month serious psychological distress (SPD; measured by the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6)) in 2016 and estimated trends in daily cannabis use by past-30-day SPD status from 2008 to 2016. METHODS: Data were drawn from adults age 18 and older in the 2008-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (combined total analytic sample n = 356,413). Linear time trends of daily cannabis use, stratified by SPD status, were assessed using logistic regression models with continuous year as the predictor. RESULTS: In 2016, past-month daily cannabis use was significantly more common among those with past-month SPD (8.07%), compared to those without past-month SPD (2.66%). Daily cannabis use increased significantly from 2008 to 2016 among those both with and without SPD although use among those with SPD was persistently higher than use among those without SPD over the time period studied. CONCLUSIONS: Daily cannabis use is significantly more common among persons with serious psychological distress and is increasing in this group, as well as among those without. Given this increase and the high prevalence of cannabis use among those with SPD, it may be important to consider potential consequences of this increased use for those with mental health vulnerabilities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Weinberger, AH; Pacek, LR; Sheffer, CE; Budney, AJ; Lee, J; Goodwin, RD

Published Date

  • April 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 197 /

Start / End Page

  • 134 - 140

PubMed ID

  • 30825793

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30825793

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-0046

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.01.010


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Ireland