Are COVID-19 health-related and socioeconomic stressors associated with increases in cannabis use in individuals who use cannabis for recreational purposes?

Sharon Sznitman, Dennis Rosenberg, Nehama Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures implemented to mitigate transmission may increase stress, which, in turn, can be associated with changes in cannabis use. This study examined the associations between health-related and socioeconomic stressors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and reported increases in cannabis use. Indirect effects of health-related and socioeconomic stressors on increased cannabis use through cannabis coping motives were also tested. Methods: Cross-sectional survey data, based on responses from a convenience sample of 755 Israeli adults who reported frequent consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes, was analyzed using structural equation models. Results: About 35% of the respondents reported that they agreed to a large/very large extent that their cannabis use had increased since the COVID-19 pandemic had started. Both health and socioeconomic stressors were related to increased cannabis use during the pandemic, and coping motives mediated this relationship. The direct and indirect associations of socioeconomic stressors and increased cannabis use were stronger than the associations of health-related stressors. Conclusions: Cannabis consumption may serve as a means of coping with health and socioeconomic COVID-19 stressors. Particular attention should be placed on socioeconomic stressors as these may be particularly important in understanding coping related cannabis use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalSubstance Abuse
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Cannabis use
  • coping motives
  • mediation
  • stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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