New Submission: Mood-related functional impairments associated with cannabis use among adults with recent depression

My new paper, Mood-related functional impairments associated with cannabis use among adults with recent depression, was just submitted for publication. This will be the third publication to come out of my PhD dissertation, Contributions to the Epidemiology and Mental Health Consequences of Cannabis Smoking (2014). See my Publications page to download a copy of my dissertation. One of my previous papers related to this topic, Are early-onset cannabis smokers at an increased risk of depression spells? (2012), was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders (also see Publications for copy). Check out the draft abstract below. – Brian

Authors: Brian J. Fairman


Background: Therapeutic benefits of cannabis for the treatment of depression remain unclear. Patients report smoking cannabis to alleviate depressed mood, but observational studies point to an increased risk for later depression. This study assessed the association between cannabis involvement and mood-related functional impairments, an important, but understudied clinical outcome for depression.

Methods: Annual surveys of adults with past 12-month depression (n=15,342) from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2009-2012 assessed total average mood-related functional impairments across four life domains using the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS), and separately, for days of role impairment per annum. Cannabis involvement was measured in terms of past-year frequency, DSM-IV cannabis use disorder (CUD), and the number of cannabis problems.

Results: One-third of adults with depression experienced severe to very severe mood-related functional impairments, and an average of two months of role impairment. After accounting for other factors, weekly cannabis use or having a CUD was linked to an extra 10-15 days of mood-related role impairments. Adults with six or more cannabis problems had an extra month of these impairments. However, severity level of functional impairments did not differ by cannabis involvement after statistical adjustment.

Limitations: Cross-sectional study design prohibited investigating causality and changes in mood-related functional impairments over time.

Conclusions: Adults with depression may suffer from longer periods of role impairment, and experience no less severe mood-related functional impairment when smoking cannabis compared to abstinence. Findings question the likely effectiveness of cannabis smoking in reducing the burden of depression within the population.


Site Progress

Update: I’ve been able to import some older Blogger posts, which is the good news. However, keep in mind that some documents and files referenced in those older posts may not be accessible on the new WordPress site. I am working on getting these documents migrated over.

Greetings! Several pages of the site are up and running, including a short bio, my CV, list of publications, funding, and presentations. In the Bio section you’ll find a short description of myself and contact information. My CV page is where you can view my curriculum vitae or download a copy. Publications lists all of my current publications with easy access to Pubmed abstracts and/or a direct download of the journal article. The Funding page details my current and past research funding support. If you’d like samples of my recent presentations, lectures, or posters, please visit the Presentations page.

The last two sections not currently completed are Research Statement and Teaching Statement. The research statement will be an overview of my past, current, and future research accomplishments, agenda, and direction. The teaching statement will outline my teaching philosophy and goals for educating both undergraduates and graduate students.

Under Construction

Greetings! If you happened to stumble upon my website here, and you are wondering why it looks so dreadful, it is because I’m in the process of putting it together. When finished, what should you expect to find?

  1. My bio
  2. My CV
  3. Research and teaching statements
  4. Links to publications, posters, and conference presentations
  5. Updates on my current research projects
  6. News and thoughts relevant to the drug epidemiology and public health
  7. Funding (meager as it is)
  8. A Youtube page linking video presentations and tutorials
  9. Current book readings and past recommendations

Stay tuned.