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Single doses of THC and cocaine decrease proficiency of impulse control in heavy cannabis users.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Cannabis is the most popular drug used in the European Union, closely followed by cocaine. Whereas cannabis impairs neurocognitive function in occasional cannabis users, such impairments appear less prominent in heavy users, possibly as a result of tolerance. The present study was designed to assess whether the impairing effects of Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in heavy cannabis users would present in a wide range of neuropsychological functions or selectively affect specific performance domains. We also assessed the acute effects of cocaine on neurocognitive functions of heavy cannabis users.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH

Heavy cannabis users, who had a history of cocaine use (n = 61), participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, three-way crossover study. Subjects received single doses of cocaine HCl (300 mg), cannabis (THC μg·kg(-1) ) and placebo, and completed a number of tests measuring impulse control and psychomotor function.

KEY RESULTS

Single doses of cannabis impaired psychomotor function and increased response errors during impulsivity tasks. Single doses of cocaine improved psychomotor function and decreased response time in impulsivity tasks, but increased errors.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

Heavy cannabis users display impairments in a broad range of neuropsychological domains during THC intoxication. Impairments observed in psychomotor tasks, but not in impulsivity tasks, appeared smaller in magnitude as compared with those previously reported in occasional cannabis users. Heavy cannabis users were sensitive to the stimulating and inhibitory effects of cocaine on psychomotor function and impulsivity respectively. The reduction in proficiency in impulse control may put drug users at increased risk of repeated drug use and addiction.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

    , , , , ,

    Source

    British journal of pharmacology 170:7 2013 Dec pg 1410-20

    MeSH

    Administration, Inhalation
    Administration, Oral
    Adult
    Central Nervous System Stimulants
    Cocaine
    Cocaine-Related Disorders
    Cognition
    Cross-Over Studies
    Double-Blind Method
    Dronabinol
    Female
    Hallucinogens
    Humans
    Impulsive Behavior
    Male
    Marijuana Abuse
    Marijuana Smoking
    Neuropsychological Tests
    Psychomotor Performance
    Reaction Time
    Time Factors
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

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

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    24106872

    Citation

    van Wel, J H P., et al. "Single Doses of THC and Cocaine Decrease Proficiency of Impulse Control in Heavy Cannabis Users." British Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 170, no. 7, 2013, pp. 1410-20.
    van Wel JH, Kuypers KP, Theunissen EL, et al. Single doses of THC and cocaine decrease proficiency of impulse control in heavy cannabis users. Br J Pharmacol. 2013;170(7):1410-20.
    van Wel, J. H., Kuypers, K. P., Theunissen, E. L., Toennes, S. W., Spronk, D. B., Verkes, R. J., & Ramaekers, J. G. (2013). Single doses of THC and cocaine decrease proficiency of impulse control in heavy cannabis users. British Journal of Pharmacology, 170(7), pp. 1410-20. doi:10.1111/bph.12425.
    van Wel JH, et al. Single Doses of THC and Cocaine Decrease Proficiency of Impulse Control in Heavy Cannabis Users. Br J Pharmacol. 2013;170(7):1410-20. PubMed PMID: 24106872.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Single doses of THC and cocaine decrease proficiency of impulse control in heavy cannabis users. AU - van Wel,J H P, AU - Kuypers,K P C, AU - Theunissen,E L, AU - Toennes,S W, AU - Spronk,D B, AU - Verkes,R J, AU - Ramaekers,J G, PY - 2013/02/21/received PY - 2013/08/05/revised PY - 2013/08/13/accepted PY - 2013/10/11/entrez PY - 2013/10/11/pubmed PY - 2014/8/29/medline KW - addiction KW - cannabis KW - cocaine KW - cross-tolerance KW - impulsivity KW - tolerance SP - 1410 EP - 20 JF - British journal of pharmacology JO - Br. J. Pharmacol. VL - 170 IS - 7 N2 - BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Cannabis is the most popular drug used in the European Union, closely followed by cocaine. Whereas cannabis impairs neurocognitive function in occasional cannabis users, such impairments appear less prominent in heavy users, possibly as a result of tolerance. The present study was designed to assess whether the impairing effects of Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in heavy cannabis users would present in a wide range of neuropsychological functions or selectively affect specific performance domains. We also assessed the acute effects of cocaine on neurocognitive functions of heavy cannabis users. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Heavy cannabis users, who had a history of cocaine use (n = 61), participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, three-way crossover study. Subjects received single doses of cocaine HCl (300 mg), cannabis (THC μg·kg(-1) ) and placebo, and completed a number of tests measuring impulse control and psychomotor function. KEY RESULTS: Single doses of cannabis impaired psychomotor function and increased response errors during impulsivity tasks. Single doses of cocaine improved psychomotor function and decreased response time in impulsivity tasks, but increased errors. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Heavy cannabis users display impairments in a broad range of neuropsychological domains during THC intoxication. Impairments observed in psychomotor tasks, but not in impulsivity tasks, appeared smaller in magnitude as compared with those previously reported in occasional cannabis users. Heavy cannabis users were sensitive to the stimulating and inhibitory effects of cocaine on psychomotor function and impulsivity respectively. The reduction in proficiency in impulse control may put drug users at increased risk of repeated drug use and addiction. SN - 1476-5381 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24106872/Single_doses_of_THC_and_cocaine_decrease_proficiency_of_impulse_control_in_heavy_cannabis_users_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.12425 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -