Sleep Deficits and Cannabis Use Behaviors: An Analysis of Shared Genetics Using Linkage Disequilibrium Score Regression and Polygenic Risk Prediction. Journal Article uri icon



  • STUDY OBJECTIVES: Estimate the genetic relationship of cannabis use with sleep deficits and eveningness chronotype. METHODS: We used linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC) to analyze genetic correlations between sleep deficits and cannabis use behaviors. Secondly, we generated sleep deficit polygenic risk scores (PRS) and estimated their ability to predict cannabis use behaviors using linear and logistic regression. Summary statistics came from existing genome wide association studies (GWAS) of European ancestry that were focused on sleep duration, insomnia, chronotype, lifetime cannabis use, and cannabis use disorder (CUD). A target sample for PRS prediction consisted of high-risk participants and participants from twin/family community-based studies (European ancestry; n = 760, male = 64%; mean age = 26.78 years). Target data consisted of self-reported sleep (sleep duration, feeling tired, and taking naps) and cannabis use behaviors (lifetime ever use, number of lifetime uses, past 180-day use, age of first use, and lifetime CUD symptoms). RESULTS: Significant genetic correlation between lifetime cannabis use and eveningness chronotype (rG = 0.24, p < 0.001), as well as between CUD and both short sleep duration (<7┬áh) (rG = 0.23, p = 0.017) and insomnia (rG = 0.20, p = 0.020). Insomnia PRS predicted earlier age of first cannabis use (OR = 0.92, p = 0.036) and increased lifetime CUD symptom count (OR = 1.09, p = 0.012). CONCLUSION: Cannabis use is genetically associated with both sleep deficits and an eveningness chronotype, suggesting that there are genes that predispose individuals to both cannabis use and sleep deficits.

publication date

  • September 16, 2020

Full Author List

  • Winiger EA; Ellingson JM; Morrison CL; Corley RP; Pasman JA; Wall TL; Hopfer CJ; Hewitt JK

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