Neurophysiological and subjective profile of marijuana with varying concentrations of cannabinoids.Behav Pharmacol 2005; 16(5-6):487-96BP
This study investigated the contribution of different cannabinoids to the subjective, behavioral and neurophysiological effects of smoked marijuana. Healthy marijuana users (12 men, 11 women) participated in four sessions. They were randomly assigned to a low or a high delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol group (THC; 1.8% versus 3.6%). In the four sessions under blinded conditions subjects smoked marijuana cigarettes containing placebo (no active cannabinoids), or cigarettes containing THC with low or high levels of cannabichromene (CBC; 0.1% versus 0.5%) and low or high levels of cannabidiol (CBD; 0.2% versus 1.0%). Dependent measures included subjective reports, measures of cognitive task performance and neurophysiological measures [electroencephalographic (EEG) and event-related potential (ERP)]. Compared to placebo, active THC cigarettes produced expected effects on mood, behavior and brain activity. A decrease in performance, reduction in EEG power and attenuation of ERP components reflecting attentional processes were observed during tests of working memory and episodic memory. Most of these effects were not dose-dependent. Varying the concentrations of CBC and CBD did not change subjects' responses on any of the outcome measures. These findings are consistent with previous studies indicating that THC and its metabolites are the primary active constituents of marijuana. They also suggest that neurophysiological EEG and ERP measures are useful biomarkers of the effects of THC.