Cannabis and Emerging Adults

Sex Differences in the Interface between Cannabis Use and Stress Among Emerging Adults

Principal Investigators: Kevin Gray, M.D. and Rachel Tomko, Ph.D.

Among the physiological systems most important to brain development in emerging adulthood is the endocannabinoid system, which among other roles facilitates cognitive and behavioral processing, including the underpinnings of stress management and resiliency. Sex differences in endocannabinoid system development have been identified, and emerging evidence indicates a bidirectional relationship between stress exposure and the endocannabinoid system during emerging adulthood. Thus, the interface between cannabis use and stress is a particularly important focus for sex differences research in emerging adults (age 18 into late 20s). Given the dynamics at play in this critical stage when cannabis use is most prevalent, developmentally informed research is needed to guide tailored clinical interventions. This project is designed to elucidate sex differences in the nexus of cannabis use and stress among emerging adults with cannabis use disorder to guide the development of tailored treatments.