Cannabis involvement and demand in frequent concentrate users versus predominantly flower users


Objectives:

Cannabis concentrate products contain more of the intoxicating cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabidiol, than flower products, and thus, may produce greater harm. Indeed, concentrate use is associated with greater cannabis dependence and problems (e.g., anxiety) than flower use. Given this, continued examination of concentrate versus flower use differences on associations with various cannabis measures may be useful, including behavioral economic demand for cannabis (i.e., its subjective reinforcing value), use frequency, and dependence.


Method:

The present study compared frequent concentrate users (N=176) to predominantly flower users (N=304) on the relationship of two latent drug demand metrics assessed by the Marijuana Purchase Task to cannabis use frequency (i.e., days of cannabis use) and cannabis dependence (i.e., Marijuana Dependence Scale scores).


Results:

Two previously observed latent factors emerged based on confirmatory factor analysis: Amplitude, reflecting maximum consumption, and Persistence, reflecting cost insensitivity. Group comparisons showed that Amplitude was greater among the concentrate versus flower group, but no difference was found for Persistence. Further, using structural path invariance testing, the factors were differentially associated with cannabis use frequency across groups. Amplitude was positively associated with frequency for both groups while Persistence was negatively associated with frequency for the flower group. Neither factor was associated with dependence for either group.


Conclusion:

Findings continue to indicate that the demand metrics, while distinct, can be parsimoniously condensed into two factors. Additionally, method of administration (i.e., concentrate versus flower use) may impact how demand for cannabis relates to frequency of use. Associations were notably stronger with frequency relative to dependence.


Keywords:

cannabis dependence; cannabis use; concentrate use; drug demand; flower use; purchase task.

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