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Int J Drug Policy. 2018 Feb;52:45-51. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.11.009. Epub 2017 Dec 9.

Associations between medical cannabis and other drug use among unstably housed women.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA. Electronic address: meredith.meacham@ucsf.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
3
RTI International, San Francisco, CA, USA.
4
Division of HIV, Infectious Disease & Global Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Several studies suggest that U.S. state-level legalization of cannabis for medical purposes may be associated with reductions in opioid use; yet its relationship with stimulant use, particularly in high-risk populations like unstably housed women, has received less attention. The purpose of this study was to estimate independent associations between medical and non-medical use of cannabis and use of stimulants and opioids among unstably housed women.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional data were analyzed from 245 women in the SHADOW study, a community based cohort in San Francisco, CA, in which HIV+ women were oversampled (126 HIV+ and 119 HIV-).

RESULTS:

Compared to no cannabis use in the past 6 months (51%), non-medical cannabis use (28%) was associated with a higher adjusted odds of using stimulants (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR]=4.34, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.17-8.70) and opioids (AOR=3.81, 95% CI: 1.78-8.15). Compared to no cannabis use, medical cannabis use (21%) was not significantly associated with stimulant or opioid use. Compared to non-medical cannabis use, however, medical cannabis use was associated with lower adjusted odds of using stimulants (AOR=0.42, 95% CI: 0.18-0.96). These associations were not modified by HIV status.

CONCLUSIONS:

Associations between use of cannabis and "street drugs" depend on whether the cannabis is obtained through a medical context. Interventions, research, and policy considering the influence of cannabis on the use of other drugs may benefit by distinguishing between medical and non-medical cannabis use.

KEYWORDS:

Cannabis; Medical cannabis; Opioid; Stimulant; Unstably housed; Women

PMID:
29227883
PMCID:
PMC5973881
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.11.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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