Research and Scholarship

Cannabis Use Linked to Mental Health Challenges

Study shows increased risk among older adults

February 20, 2024

KPSOM faculty member Kristina T. Phillips

KPSOM faculty member Kristina T. Phillips

A recent matched cohort study conducted in Hawaii highlighted the relationship between cannabis use and co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders (SUDs) among adults aged 50 and above. Utilizing electronic health record data from 2016 to 2020, the study compared individuals with ICD-10 cannabis codes (cases) to matched controls on depressive and anxiety disorders, as well as SUDs including tobacco, opioid, and alcohol use disorders.

Kristina T. Phillips, PhD, MA, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson of Medicine (KPSOM) Associate Professor of Health Systems Science, coauthored the study, “Psychiatric and substance use disorders among adults over age 50 who use cannabis: A matched cohort study using electronic health record data,” published in Science Direct.

The study showed that adults over 50 with ICD-10 cannabis codes exhibited higher rates of subsequent psychiatric and SUDs over a two-year period compared to controls. Specific anxiety or trauma-related disorders showed increased risk among those with cannabis codes. 

Read the article here .