Association between Cannabis Use Disorder and Self- and Other-Directed Aggression

Cannabis is the most widely used drug worldwide. Data about the association of cannabis use with aggression is heterogeneous. The objective of the current study was to assess the nature of the association between cannabis use disorder (CUD) and self-directed, other-directed, and combined aggression. We used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health across 2008 to -2014, with a pooled sample of 270,227 adult respondents. We used regression models to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) for those having CUD perpetrating each form of aggression compared with no aggression and other-directed compared with self-directed aggression. CUD was associated with significantly increased odds of committing other-directed (adjusted OR [aOR] = 1.42, 95 percent CI = 1.26-1.60) and combined aggression (aOR = 2.11, 95 percent CI = 1.36-3.26) compared with no aggression. CUD was associated with a nonstatistically significant risk of other-directed compared with self-directed aggression (aOR = 1.29, 95 percent CI = .97-1.69). In those 18 to 25 years old, CUD was significantly associated with an increased differential risk of other-directed versus self-directed aggression (aOR = 1.29, 95 percent CI = 1.03-1.62). Cannabis use disorder seems to increase the risk of other-directed aggression compared with self-directed aggression, especially among youths.

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