Is psychotic disorder associated with increased levels of craving for cannabis? An Experience Sampling study
Although cannabis use among individuals with psychotic disorder is considerable, little is known about patterns of use and factors contributing to continuation of use. Therefore, we investigated craving in relation to cannabis use in patients with psychotic disorder and healthy controls.
The study included 58 patients with non-affective psychotic disorder and 63 healthy controls; all were frequent cannabis users. Craving was assessed with the Obsessive Compulsive Drug Use Scale (OCDUS) for cannabis, as well as in daily life using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM).
Patients scored higher on the OCDUS (B = 1.18, P = 0.022), but did not differ from controls in ESM indices of craving (all P > 0.05). In daily life, ESM craving predicted cannabis use and this was stronger in controls (χ2 = 4.5, P = 0.033; Bcontrols = 0.08, P < 0.001; Bpatients = 0.06, P < 0.001). In both groups ESM craving was predicted by negative affect, paranoia, and hallucinations (Bnegativeaffect = 0.12, P = 0.009; Bparanoia = 0.13, P = 0.013; Bhallucinations = 0.13, P = 0.028), and followed by an increase in negative affect at non-cannabis-using moments (B = 0.03, P = 0.002).
The temporal dynamics of craving as well as craving intensity in daily life appear to be similar in patients and controls. Further research is needed to elucidate the inconsistencies between cross-sectional and daily-life measures of craving in psychosis.