Cannabis use trajectories over time in relation to minority stress and gender among sexual and gender minority people

Annesa Flentje, Gowri Sunder, Alexis Ceja, Nadra E. Lisha, Torsten B. Neilands, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Micah E. Lubensky, Matthew R. Capriotti, Zubin Dastur, Mitchell R. Lunn, Juno Obedin-Maliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Substance use disparities among sexual and gender minority (SGM) people are attributed to minority stress, but few studies have examined minority stress and cannabis use over time or investigated differences in cannabis use trajectories by less-studied gender subgroups. We examined if longitudinal cannabis use trajectories are related to baseline minority stressors and if gender differences persisted after accounting for minority stress. Cannabis use risk was measured annually over four years (2017–2021) within a longitudinal cohort study of SGM adults in the United States (N = 11,813). Discrimination and victimization, internalized stigma, disclosure and concealment, and safety and acceptance comprised minority stress (n = 5,673). Latent class growth curve mixture models identified five cannabis use trajectories: ‘low or no risk’, ‘low moderate risk’, ‘high moderate risk’, ‘steep risk increase’, and ‘highest risk’. Participants who reported past-year discrimination and/or victimization at baseline had greater odds of membership in any cannabis risk category compared to the ‘low risk’ category (odds ratios [OR] 1.17–1.33). Internalized stigma was related to ‘high moderate’ and ‘highest risk’ cannabis use (ORs 1.27–1.38). After accounting for minority stress, compared to cisgender men, gender expansive people and transgender men had higher odds of ‘low moderate risk’ (ORs 1.61, 1.67) or ‘high moderate risk’ (ORs 2.09, 1.99), and transgender men had higher odds of ‘highest risk’ (OR 2.36) cannabis use. This study indicates minority stress is related to prospective cannabis use risk trajectories among SGM people, and transgender men and gender expansive people have greater odds of trajectories reflecting cannabis use risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108079
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Oct 2024


  • Cannabis use
  • Longitudinal
  • Minority stress
  • Sexual and gender minority
  • Substance use risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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