Marijuana Craving Questionnaire: Development and initial validation of a self-report instrument

S. J. Heishman, E. G. Singleton, A. Liguori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Aims. To develop and validate a multi-dimensional questionnaire on marijuana craving. Design and measurements. Current marijuana smokers (n = 217) not seeking treatment completed a 47-item Marijuana Craving Questionnaire (MCQ) and forms assessing demographics, drug use history, marijuana quit attempts and current mood. Findings. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses indicated that a four-factor solution best described the item structure. Factor subscales derived from the 17 items with significant loadings had respectable internal consistencies and were stable across settings and subgroups. The subscales exhibited low to moderate, positive intercorrelations and were significantly correlated with marijuana use history and a wide range of single-item measures of craving. Conclusions. Findings suggested that four specific constructs characterize craving for marijuana: (1) compulsivity, an inability to control marijuana use; (2) emotionality, use of marijuana in anticipation of relief from withdrawal or negative mood; (3) expectancy, anticipation of positive outcomes from smoking marijuana; and (4) purposefulness, intention and planning to use marijuana for positive outcomes. These data indicate that the MCQ is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing marijuana craving in individuals not seeking drug abuse treatment and that marijuana craving can be measured in the absence of withdrawal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1034
Number of pages12
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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