Cannabis and Anxiety: a Biopsychosocial Model

  • Katherine Walukevich-Dienst
  • Kathleen A. Crapanzano
  • Elizabeth M. Lewis
  • Julia D. BucknerEmail author
Cannabis (A McRae-Clark and B Sherman, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Cannabis


Purpose of Review

The current paper presents a biopsychosocial model of cannabis use and anxiety that focuses explicitly on aspects of anxiety that may contribute to cannabis use and use-related problems among individuals with elevated anxiety.

Recent Findings

Elevated anxiety and anxiety disorders are common among individuals who use cannabis and those with cannabis use disorder (CUD). One possible explanation for this co-occurrence may be that symptoms associated with anxiety disorders (i.e., physiological arousal, subjective anxiety, and avoidance) may place anxious individuals at risk of using cannabis to cope with these symptoms.


A review of the literature on the relationships between facets of anxiety and cannabis use and related problems partially supports the utility of this model and informs future directions for research and treatment in this area.


Cannabis Marijuana Anxiety Anxiety disorders Biopsychosocial Review 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine Walukevich-Dienst
    • 1
  • Kathleen A. Crapanzano
    • 2
  • Elizabeth M. Lewis
    • 1
  • Julia D. Buckner
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryLouisiana State University Health Sciences CenterBaton RougeUSA

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