10.11.2023 | Original Article
Cannabis Coping Motives Might Mediate the Association Between PTSD Symptom Severity and Trauma Cue–Elicited Cannabis Craving
International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
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Conditioned cannabis craving to trauma cues, arising through coping-motivated cannabis use, may contribute to PTSD—cannabis use disorder comorbidity. However, prior work unexpectedly failed to support negative affect–specific coping motives as a mediator of the PTSD symptom severity–trauma cue–elicited cannabis craving association. We re-examined this mediation after combining negative affect–specific with PTSD symptom–specific coping motives. Fifty trauma-exposed cannabis users completed measures of PTSD symptoms, both types of cannabis coping motives, and a standardized interview about their most severe trauma as a cue-reactivity paradigm. Following the interview, participants completed a measure of trauma cue–elicited cannabis craving. The composite cannabis coping motive measure, but neither cannabis coping motive measure alone, mediated association between PTSD symptom severity and trauma cue–elicited craving. Thus, those with more severe PTSD symptoms may be at heightened risk of trauma cue–elicited cannabis craving via their greater tendency to use cannabis to cope with various aversive internal experiences.