Author(s): Kim SW, Dodd S, Berk L, Kulkarni J, de Castella A,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of regular cannabis use on long-term remission of mood symptoms in bipolar spectrum disorders. METHODS: The 24-month prospective observational study included patients (n=239) with bipolar I disorder and schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. Participants were classified as regular cannabis users (three times or more per week) or non-users. The primary outcome measure was the achievement of remission on the evaluations during the 24 months. RESULTS: Of the 234 participants for whom data was available, 25 (10.7\%) were regular cannabis users, and the group comprised significantly more males than females. In the total population, cannabis use was significantly associated with decreased likelihood of remission during the 24-month follow-up period. Subgroup analyses showed that cannabis use was significantly associated with lower remission rates on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale in females (n=139) and patients prescribed mood stabilizers alone (n=151), whereas in males (n=95) and patients prescribed olanzapine and/or a mood stabilizer (n=83), cannabis use was significantly associated with lower remission rates on the Young Mania Rating Scale. Remission rates were lowest in the concurrent cannabis and tobacco smoking group (n=22) followed by the tobacco smoking only group (n=97), and the non-smoker group (n=116). The post-hoc analysis revealed that all remission rates were significantly lower in the concurrent cannabis and the tobacco smoking group compared to the non-smoker group. CONCLUSION: Cannabis use negatively affects the long-term clinical outcome in patients with bipolar spectrum disorders. A comprehensive assessment and integrated management of cannabis use are required to achieve better treatment outcomes for bipolar spectrum disorders.
This article was published in Psychiatry Investig
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy