Treatment Implications Associated With Cannabis and Tobacco Co-use

Erin A. McClure, Rachel A. Rabin, Dustin C. Lee, Chandni Hindocha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The goal of this article is to summarize the treatment-focused literature on cannabis and tobacco co-use and the treatment implications of co-use. This review will focus on the following: (1) the impact of co-use on cessation outcomes, (2) compensatory use/substitution of the non-treated substance among co-users, and (3) treatment interventions to address co-use. This article will highlight the limitations to co-use captured in the literature and offer considerations and directives for co-use research and treatment moving forward. Recent Findings: The degree to which co-use affects cessation for a single, targeted substance remains in question, as the literature is largely mixed. Cannabis treatment trials are better equipped to answer these questions given that they do not typically exclude tobacco users. While the relationship between tobacco use and poorer cannabis outcomes appears to have some evidence, the reverse relationship (cannabis use affecting tobacco outcomes) is not consistently supported. Summary: The co-use of cannabis and tobacco and its impact on single substance cessation and/or compensatory substance use during cessation is generally overlooked in treatment trials, while interventions to address both substances are rare. Capturing co-use adds burden for researchers, clinicians, and participants, but is warranted given the prevalence of co-use and a rapidly changing cannabis and tobacco regulatory environment, which may further complicate co-occurring substance use. Co-users are a heterogeneous population; trials focused on co-users, in addition to better data capture and consistent terminology, will aid in an understanding of nuanced patterns of co-use critical to inform treatment interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-544
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannabis
  • Cessation
  • Co-use
  • Poly-substance use
  • Substitution
  • Tobacco
  • Treatment


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