A DAILY DIARY EXAMINATION ON THE RELATIONS OF DEPRESSED MOOD AND COPING MOTIVES WITH CANNABIS USE QUANTITY ACROSS THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE: COMPARING CANNABIS USING FEMALES WITH AND WITHOUT PRE-MENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER
Cannabis is one of the most commonly used drugs in Canada. Though limited, research suggests female, versus male, heavy cannabis users have a higher propensity to develop a cannabis use disorder. Recent research suggests that addictive behaviors, like alcohol use, may change, along with mood states and addictive behavior motives, across the menstrual cycle (MC), particularly during the pre-menstrual and menstrual phases. In this thesis, daily diary methodology was used to examine relations between cannabis use, depressed mood, and coping motives in normally-cycling female cannabis users across the MC. We hypothesized that heightened cannabis use would be associated with depressed mood and coping motives pre-menstrually and menstrually. We also hypothesized that females with a provisional pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) diagnosis would experience stronger relations between cannabis use, depressed mood, and coping motives premenstrually and menstrually versus females without PMDD. A sample of 69 normallycycling female cannabis users (Mage = 29.25, SD = 5.66) were recruited and completed daily assessments on cannabis use quantities, depressed mood, and coping-motivated cannabis use. Results from the primary analyses indicated no relationship between cannabis use and depressed mood or coping-motivated cannabis use across the MC in the overall sample or among those without a PMDD diagnosis (n = 50). However, a provisional PMDD diagnosis (n = 19) appeared to be an individual difference factor affecting cannabis use across the MC, with depressed mood predicting heightened cannabis use menstrually, and coping motives predicting heightened cannabis use premenstrually and menstrually. Additionally, females with PMDD displayed a greater overall cannabis use quantity during the self-monitoring than females without PMDD. These results add to a growing body of literature pointing to the potential importance of female reproductive hormone variations in accounting for addictive behaviors in females. Findings also have important treatment implications for reproductive-aged females with PMDD who misuse cannabis (e.g., beginning a cannabis cessation/reduction attempt during the ovulatory or luteal phases of the menstrual cycle; training in more adaptive skills for managing depressed affect to be employed during the pre-menstrual and menstrual phases).