Impact of Early-Life Adversity on Cannabis Use: Exploring the Mediating and Moderating Effects of Chronic Pain

James S Hodges, Briana DeAngelis, Jacob Borodovsky, Alan Budney, Mustafa al'Absi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Although research suggests that early-life adversity (ELA) and cannabis use are linked, researchers have not established factors that mediate or modify this relationship. Identifying such factors could help in developing targeted interventions. We explored chronic pain as a potential mediator or moderator of this relationship. Methods: Using an online study, we collected cross-sectional data about ELA, cannabis use, and chronic pain to test whether ELA (adverse childhood experiences total score) is associated with cannabis use, and to examine pain as a potential mediator or moderator. Cannabis use was examined two ways: times used per day, and categorized as non-, some, or regular use. Chronic pain was measured as present/absent and as the number of painful body locations (0-8). Analyses used linear and multinomial regression. Results: ELA, chronic pain, and cannabis use were common among respondents. ELA was strongly associated with both measures of cannabis use. The number of painful body locations modestly mediated the association of ELA with cannabis use, reducing the magnitude of regression coefficients by about 1/7. The number of painful body locations modified the association between ELA and cannabis use (p≤0.006), while chronic pain presence/absence (a less-informative measure) had only a nonsignificant modification effect (p≥0.10). When either ELA or pain was high, the other was not associated with cannabis use; when either ELA or pain was low, more painful locations or higher ELA (respectively) was associated with more intense cannabis use. Conclusion: These exploratory findings suggest the importance of ELA and chronic pain as factors contributing to cannabis use, and of accounting for these factors in developing treatment and prevention strategies addressing cannabis use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCannabis and Cannabinoid Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2024, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

Keywords

  • cannabis
  • chronic pain
  • early-life adversity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of Early-Life Adversity on Cannabis Use: Exploring the Mediating and Moderating Effects of Chronic Pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this