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J Affect Disord. 2019 Mar 15;247:125-133. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.01.015. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

A longitudinal analysis of cannabis use and mental health symptoms among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in Vancouver, Canada.

Author information

1
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada; Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
2
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada; Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Electronic address: harmstrong@cfenet.ubc.ca.
3
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada.
4
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada; University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.
5
University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States.
6
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada.
7
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.
8
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada; Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.
9
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada; Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cannabis use, anxiety, and depression are common among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) and some report using cannabis to manage mental health symptoms.

METHODS:

Sexually-active gbMSM aged ≥16 years were recruited into a longitudinal cohort through respondent-driven sampling and completed study visits every six months. Data on demographics, drug use, and anxiety and depression symptoms were collected via a self-administered computer-based survey. A study nurse determined previous mental health diagnoses and treatment. Using multivariable generalized linear mixed models, we examined factors associated with regular cannabis use (≥weekly in the previous 3 months) and, among individuals who reported anxiety or depression/bipolar diagnoses, factors associated with moderate/severe anxiety or depression symptoms.

RESULTS:

Of 774 participants (551 HIV-negative, 223 HIV-seropositive), 250 (32.3%) reported regular cannabis use, 200 (26.4%) reported ever being diagnosed with anxiety, and 299 (39.3%) reported ever being diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder at baseline. Regular cannabis use was positively associated with HIV-seropositivity (aOR = 2.23, 95%CI:1.40-3.54) and previous mental health diagnosis (aOR = 1.52, 95%CI: 1.00-2.31, p = 0.05). Among those previously diagnosed with anxiety or depression/bipolar disorder, regular cannabis use was not associated with moderate/severe anxiety (aOR = 1.16, 95%CI:0.69-1.94) or depression symptoms (aOR = 0.96, 95%CI:0.59-1.58), respectively.

LIMITATIONS:

Because of observational study design, we are unable to determine absolute effect.

CONCLUSIONS:

Regular cannabis use was more likely among HIV-positive gbMSM and those previously diagnosed with a mental health disorder. No association was found between regular cannabis use and severity of anxious or depressive symptoms among those diagnosed with these conditions.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Cannabis; Depression; Longitudinal; Men who have sex with men; Mental health

PMID:
30665075
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2019.01.015

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