The legalization of cannabis is increasing across the United States, for both recreational and medical use. This has resulted in a change in public opinion regarding the risks of cannabis use. This is particularly true for the current generation of older adults, which experiences a greater prevalence of cannabis use than previous members of this cohort. Due to decreased perception of risk and medical or emotional issues associated with old age, older adults increasingly use cannabis to cope with their psychiatric and medical symptoms. Current studies provide evidence of an association between using cannabis for medical symptoms and the development of a Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD). However, there is a lack of literature addressing the association between types of symptoms treated with medical marijuana and developing symptoms of CUD. This study developed a survey using the Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test (CUDIT) and measures for motives and symptoms of cannabis use. This was done to evaluate the presence of CUD symptoms in older adults (ages 55+) who used cannabis in the past six months while owning a Medical Marijuana License (MML). Data preparation included an examination of outliers, multicollinearity, and data distributions. The primary analysis regressed cannabis use pathology onto psychiatric motives and physical motives. The results of this study suggest that those utilizing cannabis for anxiety symptoms experience more symptoms of a cannabis use disorder. At the same time, there was a negative association between using cannabis order for medical symptoms and developing cannabis use disorder symptoms. Additionally, there was no correlation between the amount of cannabis used and its use for physical symptoms.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Dvorak, Robert


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program

Psychology, Clinical Track



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date


Included in

Psychology Commons