Solitary Cannabis Use and Related Consequences Among College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amelia V. Wedel, Aesoon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solitary cannabis use has been associated with greater cannabis problems than social use and may be increasingly prevalent due to pandemic-related isolation. However, little is known about patterns, correlates, and consequences of solitary cannabis use. This study sought to characterize solitary cannabis use since pandemic onset, examine psychosocial risk factors, and examine interactions between solitary and social cannabis use frequency on cannabis consequences. College students (N = 168) who were lifetime cannabis users at a private, northeastern university in the US completed an online cross-sectional survey in fall of 2020. Past-year solitary cannabis use was common among life-time cannabis users (42% past year, 29% monthly or more), especially among past-year regular cannabis users (85% monthly or more). Solitary use frequency was associated with interpersonal sensitivity and pandemic-related stress. Further, solitary use attenuated associations of social use frequency with cannabis consequences, such that social use frequency was associated with greater consequences only among exclusively social users. In contrast, regardless of social use frequency, solitary users reported greater cannabis consequences than exclusively social users. Findings suggest solitary cannabis use is concurrently associated with greater cannabis consequences, and affective risk factors (interpersonal sensitivity, pandemic stress) should be considered for prevention and intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Cannabis
  • college
  • pandemic stress
  • social context
  • solitary use
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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