Using an optimized marijuana purchase task to examine cannabis demand in relation to cannabis misuse in heavy drinking emerging adults


Objective: Abehavioral economic approach to cannabis misuse emphasizes acrucial role of high drug demand (i.e., reinforcing value), which may bemeasured using amarijuana purchase task (MPT). The multiple indices from this measure have been associated with cannabis misuse, butsomewhat inconsistently, possiblybecause of task variability across studies. Based on recent qualitative research, the currentstudy implemented an optimized MPT to examine the underlying factor structure and the relationship between cannabis demand andboth cannabis misuse and motivation to change. Method: Participants were twoindependentsamples of emerging adults whoreported cannabis use and heavy episodic drinking in the last month, one Canadian (n =396) and the other American (n =275). Both were assessed using an MPT, the Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test (CUDIT), the Marijuana Adverse Consequences Questionnaire (MACQ), and readiness to change items. Results: Principal component analyses of the MPT indices revealed the same two-factor latent structure in both samples, interpreted as Amplitude (intensity, Omax,elasticity) and Persistence (breakpoint, Pmax). Regressions revealed that Amplitude was significantly associated with CUDITand MACQ in bothsamples. In the Canadian sample, Persistence was also significantly associated with CUDIT and MACQ, and both factors were associated with motivation to change. Conclu-sions: The optimized MPT generated atwo-factor latent structure that was parallel across samples, and the Amplitude factor was consistently associated with cannabis misuse.The current findings indicate therobust relevance of behavioraleconomic demand forcannabis in relation to cannabis misuse butsuggest that links to motivation maybesample-specific.

Publication Title

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs