Drinking Less On Cannabis Use Days: The Moderating Role Of Upps-P Impulsive Personality Traits

Jack T. Waddell, Rachel L. Gunn, William R. Corbin, Brian Borsari, Jane Metrik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: Several studies suggest that alcohol and cannabis co-users are heavier drinkers and experience more alcohol-related consequences. However, day-level associations between co-use and drinking levels are mixed. One reason may be that individual characteristics moderate the daily impact of using alcohol alone or in conjunction with cannabis. The theory would suggest that highly impulsive individuals may drink more on co-use days, yet this assertion remains untested. Therefore, the current study tested whether impulsivity moderated the effect of co-use on same-day drinking quantity within veterans, a high-risk sample for substance use and impulsivity. Method: In a longitudinal observational study, co-using veterans(N = 139) completed three semi-annual assessments reporting on their daily drinking quantity and cannabis use via Timeline Followback (Observations = 19,245) and impulsivity via the UPPS-P. Mixed effect modeling was used to test hypotheses that co-use (compared to alcohol-only) days would be associated with heavier drinking for those high (but not low) in positive and negative urgency. Results: Significant interactions were found for positive urgency (PU) and lack of perseverance (LP), such that individuals at mean and low levels of PU and LP drank less on co-use (compared to alcohol-only) days. There were no significant interactions for other UPPS-P impulsivity facets. Conclusion: Findings are consistent with substitution/compensatory effect for individuals at mean and low levels of both UPPS-P facets, and may be a byproduct of frequent cannabis use in veterans. In contrast, findings suggest that co-use and alcoholonly days may be characterized by similarly high levels of drinking for highly impulsive individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-748
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • alcohol
  • cannabis
  • co-use
  • impulsivity
  • urgency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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