Correlates of lifetime cannabis use and cannabis use severity in a Canadian university sample Article

Mader, J, Smith, JM, Afzal, AR et al. (2019). Correlates of lifetime cannabis use and cannabis use severity in a Canadian university sample . 98 10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.06.004

cited authors

  • Mader, J; Smith, JM; Afzal, AR; Szeto, ACH; Winters, KC

fiu authors


  • This study aimed to broaden previous investigations of correlates of lifetime cannabis use and problematic cannabis use among post-secondary students by examining the novel and contemporary issues of medicinal use and deep inhalation practices. The sample included 2212 undergraduate and graduate post-secondary students from Alberta, Canada, who completed the University of Calgary's Campus Experience with Cannabis Survey (average age 23.2, SD = 5.2). Nine variables were entered into the binary logistic regression to examine their differentiation of lifetime users from non-users. A multiple regression model was completed with past six-month users (n = 697), where the continuous dependent variable was cannabis use severity as measured by total scores on the Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test-Revised. Twenty independent variables were entered simultaneously. Varsity athlete status, family mental illness, severity of alcohol use, greater support for legalization and lower perceived risk associated with regular cannabis use, differentiated lifetime users from non-users. Higher rates of religiosity and living with parents or relatives were associated with lower-lifetime rates. Male gender, earlier age of first cannabis use, cannabis use motives (including coping, enhancement and expansion), past six-month medicinal use and increased frequency of deep inhalation during consumption, were found to be significant correlates of severity. Different factors seem to predict lifetime cannabis use versus severity, and these differences may help inform the development and delivery of prevention efforts. Given that medicinal use and male gender were the largest correlates of severity, populations representing these groups may benefit most from targeted education and prevention.

publication date

  • November 1, 2019

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


  • 98