Single- and cross-commodity discounting among adults who use alcohol and cannabis: Associations with tobacco use and clinical indicators.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.109082


BACKGROUND: Delay discounting assessments typically involve choices between an immediate outcome and a larger amount of the same outcome after a delay. Real-world choices, however, more often involve qualitatively different alternatives. The primary aim of this study was to examine single- and cross-commodity discounting of money, alcohol, and cannabis, along with clinical measures of alcohol and cannabis use among people who use both alcohol and cannabis, yet differ in tobacco cigarette smoking status (i.e., dual- versus tri-use).

METHODS: An online crowdsourced sample (N = 318) of people who reported using alcohol and cannabis in the past week completed single- and cross-commodity discounting assessments across each combination of money, alcohol, and cannabis. We recruited a balanced number of people who did and did not also use tobacco cigarettes and examined associations between discounting, tobacco use, and clinical indicators.

RESULTS: People who reported using tobacco cigarettes in addition to alcohol and cannabis tended to engage in significantly higher rates of harmful alcohol and cannabis use than those who reported using only alcohol and cannabis. Cross-commodity discounting was significantly associated with patterns of harmful alcohol and cannabis use while no associations emerged for single-commodity discounting.

CONCLUSIONS: Cross-commodity discounting provides a nuanced account of intertemporal choice by incorporating relative commodity valuation and appears to characterize harmful alcohol and cannabis use more clearly than single-commodity arrangements. Further cross-commodity research is needed to better understand the interplay between temporal location and relative commodity value among people who use multiple substances.

Journal Title

Drug and alcohol dependence




Pt B

First Page


Last Page



Alcohol; Cannabis; Cross-commodity discounting; Delay discounting; Substance use disorders; Tobacco

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