Unbound MEDLINE

Cannabis coadministration potentiates the effects of "ecstasy" on heart rate and temperature in humans.

Abstract

This study assessed the acute physiologic effects over time of (co)administration of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC) (the main psychoactive compound of cannabis) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy") in 16 healthy volunteers. Pharmacokinetics and cardiovascular, temperature, and catecholamine responses were assessed over time. Both single-drug conditions robustly increased heart rate, and coadministration showed additive effects. MDMA increased epinephrine and norepinephrine concentrations, whereas THC did not affect the catecholamine response. Coadministration of MDMA and THC attenuated the increase of norepinephrine concentrations relative to administration of MDMA alone. These results show that THC mediates heart rate increase independent of sympathetic (catecholaminergic) activity, probably through direct cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB(1)) agonism in cardiac tissue. Furthermore, THC coadministration did not prevent MDMA-induced temperature increase, but it delayed the onset and prolonged the duration of temperature elevation. These effects may be of particular relevance for the cardiovascular safety of ecstasy users who participate in energetic dancing in nightclubs with high ambient temperature.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Dumont GJ, Kramers C, Sweep FC, Touw DJ, van Hasselt JG, de Kam M, van Gerven JM, Buitelaar JK, Verkes RJ

    Source

    Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics 86:2 2009 Aug pg 160-6

    MeSH

    Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors
    Adult
    Body Temperature
    Cross-Over Studies
    Double-Blind Method
    Dronabinol
    Drug Synergism
    Epinephrine
    Female
    Heart Rate
    Humans
    Male
    N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine
    Norepinephrine
    Psychotropic Drugs

    Pub Type(s)

    Clinical Trial
    Journal Article
    Randomized Controlled Trial
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19440186