Department of Medicine Publications

Document Type


Publication Date



NeuroImage: Clinical





URL with Digital Object Identifier


In people with mental health issues, approximately 20% have co-occurring substance use, often involving cannabis. Although emotion regulation can be affected both by major depressive disorder (MDD) and by cannabis use, the relationship among all three factors is unknown. In this study, we used fMRI to evaluate the effect that cannabis use and MDD have on brain activation during an emotion regulation task. Differences were assessed in 74 emerging adults aged 16–23 with and without MDD who either used or did not use cannabis. Severity of depressive symptoms, emotion regulation style, and age of cannabis use onset were also measured. Both MDD and cannabis use interacted with the emotion regulation task in the left temporal lobe, however the location of the interaction differed for each factor. Specifically, MDD showed an interaction with emotion regulation in the middle temporal gyrus, whereas cannabis use showed an interaction in the superior temporal gyrus. Emotion regulation style predicted activity in the right superior frontal gyrus, however, this did not interact with MDD or cannabis use. Severity of depressive symptoms interacted with the emotion regulation task in the left middle temporal gyrus. The results highlight the influence of cannabis use and MDD on emotion regulation processing, suggesting that both may have a broader impact on the brain than previously thought.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.