CitationFerguson, Erin & Ennis, Nicole (2018). The association between marijuana use and C-reactive protein: A longitudinal analysis. 2018 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.
AbstractIntroduction: Systemic inflammation is implicated in the development and progression of chronic diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. C-reactive protein is a reliable measure of inflammation in the body. Research suggests that marijuana use, specifically cannabinoid-2 receptor activation, facilitates an anti-inflammatory response. However, few studies have investigated how marijuana use impacts physical measures of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), and results are inconclusive. Therefore, the present study aimed to characterize the longitudinal relationship between smoking marijuana and serum C-reactive protein levels in adulthood. Methods: The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health was utilized, which includes a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7-12 in the 1994-5 school year (Wave I) and five consequent follow-up interviews. This sample is comprised of respondents interviewed at Wave III and Wave IV (N=11,006). Marijuana use during the past 30 days was assessed in Wave III and dichotomized as non-users (0) and users (1). CRP was dichotomized with a cutpoint of 5 mg/L, as prior literature indicates a CRP reading of above 5 mg/L suggests elevated inflammation and increased risk for disease. Weighted logistic regression analyses for complex samples in SPSS were used to examine the association between marijuana use at Wave III and C-reactive protein levels at Wave IV. Results: Approximately 76.5 % and 23.5% of the sample were non-marijuana users and marijuana users respectively. Results indicate that marijuana users had a significantly greater odds of having lower CRP levels (<5 mg/L) in adulthood (AOR=1.18, 95% CI=1.01-1.38) when controlling for exercise, cigarette and alcohol use, and relevant sociodemographic characteristics in Wave 3. Conclusions: Consistent with recent literature, these findings suggest an anti-inflammatory effect of marijuana use. Marijuana use in early adulthood was associated with lower CRP levels in later adulthood, even after controlling for relevant covariates. These results are a first step in examining the effect of marijuana use on systemic inflammation.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book Title2018 Add Health Users Conference