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Gender Differences Among Treatment-Seeking Adults With Cannabis Use Disorder: Clinical Profiles of Women and Men Enrolled in the Achieving Cannabis Cessation-Evaluating N-acetylcysteine Treatment (ACCENT) Study.

American Journal on Addictions 2017;26(2):136-144. [doi: 10.1111/ajad.12503]

Brian J. Sherman, PhD (Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), SC Node), Aimee L. McRae-Clark, PharmD (MUSC, SC Node), Nathaniel L. Baker, MS (MUSC, SC Node), Susan C. Sonne, PharmD (MUSC, SC Node), Therese K. Killeen, PhD (MUSC, SC Node), Kasie Cloud, MSW (CODA, Inc., WS Node), Kevin M. Gray, MD (MUSC, SC Node).

Recent evidence suggests that women may fare worse than men in cannabis trials with pharmacologic interventions. Identifying baseline clinical profiles of treatment-seeking cannabis-dependent adults could inform gender-specific treatment planning and development. The current study compared baseline demographic, cannabis use, and psychiatric factors between women (n=86) and men (n=216) entering the Achieving Cannabis Cessation-Evaluating N-acetylcysteine Treatment (ACCENT) study, a multi-site randomized controlled trial conducted within the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network.

Results found that women reported greater withdrawal intensity (p=.001) and negative impact of withdrawal (p=.001), predominantly due to physiological and mood symptoms. Women were more likely to have lifetime panic disorder (p=.038) and current agoraphobia (p=.022), and reported more days of poor physical health (p=.006) and cannabis-related medical problems (p=.023). Women reporting chronic pain had greater mean pain scores than men with chronic pain (p=.006). Men and women did not differ on any measures of baseline cannabis use.

Conclusions: Cannabis-dependent women may present for treatment with more severe and impairing withdrawal symptoms and psychiatric conditions compared to cannabis-dependent men. This might help explain recent evidence suggesting that women fare worse than men in cannabis treatment trials of pharmacologic interventions. Baseline clinical profiles of treatment-seeking adults can inform gender-specific treatment planning and development. Cannabis-dependent women may benefit from integrated treatment focusing on co-occurring psychiatric disorders and targeted treatment of cannabis withdrawal syndrome. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2017)

Keywords: Gender differences | Marijuana | N-acetylcysteine | Pain management | Women | American Journal on Addictions (journal)

Document No: 1251, PMID: 28152236, PMCID: PMC5323358 (available 3/1/2018)

Submitted by the CTN Dissemination Librarians (2/8/2017).

Baker, Nathaniel L.
Cloud, Kasie mail
Gray, Kevin M. mail
Killeen, Therese K. mail
McRae-Clark, Aimee L. mail
Sherman, Brian J. mail
Sonne, Susan C. mail
NIDA-CTN-0053 www
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