Sex differences in the relationship between cannabis use motives and cannabis craving in daily life in emerging adults

Psychol Addict Behav. 2023 Jul 20. doi: 10.1037/adb0000945. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Cannabis use motives and craving are associated with increased risk for cannabis-related problems and are ideal targets for prevention and early intervention. Patterns of motives and craving reactivity to cannabis cues differ by sex; however, few studies closely examine the relationship between motives and craving and how it may differ by valence (±) across men and women.

METHOD: The present study used Cue Reactivity Ecological Momentary Assessment to assess reward (+) and relief (-) craving four semirandom times per day for 2 weeks in a sample of 63 emerging adults (age 18-21; 54% cisgender women; 85.7% White) who frequently use cannabis (≥ 3 times per week). We assessed craving before and after exposure to brief neutral or cannabis image cues and examined within- and between-participant effects of cue type, motives, sex/gender, and their interactions, on postcue cannabis craving.

RESULTS: Regardless of cue type, women with high coping motives (-) reported less postcue relief (-) craving, and men with high enhancement motives (+) reported more postcue reward (+) craving. High enhancement motives (+), regardless of sex/gender, were associated with elevated relief (-) craving reactivity to cannabis cues, and women with high coping motives (-) reported elevated reward (+) craving reactivity to cannabis cues.

CONCLUSIONS: Sex/gender differences in the relationships between cannabis motives and craving reactivity indicate the value of a more targeted examination of valence (±) of craving experiences in addition to motives for use. Higher levels of precision may better inform interventions for emerging adults at risk for experiencing cannabis-related problems. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:37471012 | DOI:10.1037/adb0000945