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Acute and chronic effects of cannabinoids on effort-related decision-making and reward learning: an evaluation of the cannabis 'amotivational' hypotheses.
Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2016; 233(19-20):3537-52P

Abstract

RATIONALE

Anecdotally, both acute and chronic cannabis use have been associated with apathy, amotivation, and other reward processing deficits. To date, empirical support for these effects is limited, and no previous studies have assessed both acute effects of Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), as well as associations with cannabis dependence.

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this study were (1) to examine acute effects of cannabis with CBD (Cann + CBD) and without CBD (Cann-CBD) on effort-related decision-making and (2) to examine associations between cannabis dependence, effort-related decision-making and reward learning.

METHODS

In study 1, 17 participants each received three acute vaporized treatments, namely Cann-CBD (8 mg THC), Cann + CBD (8 mg THC + 10 mg CBD) and matched placebo, followed by a 50 % dose top-up 1.5 h later, and completed the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task (EEfRT). In study 2, 20 cannabis-dependent participants were compared with 20 non-dependent, drug-using control participants on the EEfRT and the Probabilistic Reward Task (PRT) in a non-intoxicated state.

RESULTS

Cann-CBD reduced the likelihood of high-effort choices relative to placebo (p = 0.042) and increased sensitivity to expected value compared to both placebo (p = 0.014) and Cann + CBD (p = 0.006). The cannabis-dependent and control groups did not differ on the EEfRT. However, the cannabis-dependent group exhibited a weaker response bias than the control group on the PRT (p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

Cannabis acutely induced a transient amotivational state and CBD influenced the effects of THC on expected value. In contrast, cannabis dependence was associated with preserved motivation alongside impaired reward learning, although confounding factors, including depression, cannot be disregarded. This is the first well powered, fully controlled study to objectively demonstrate the acute amotivational effects of THC.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK. will.lawn.12@ucl.ac.uk.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK. Imanova Ltd, Burlington Danes Building, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London, UK. Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, London, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK. Psychiatric Imaging Group, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK. Division of Psychiatry, University College London, Maple House, London, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK. Psychopharmacology and Addiction Research Centre, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, Division of Experimental Medicine, Imperial College London, Burlington Danes Building, Du Cane Road, London, UK.Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27585792

Citation

Lawn, Will, et al. "Acute and Chronic Effects of Cannabinoids On Effort-related Decision-making and Reward Learning: an Evaluation of the Cannabis 'amotivational' Hypotheses." Psychopharmacology, vol. 233, no. 19-20, 2016, pp. 3537-52.
Lawn W, Freeman TP, Pope RA, et al. Acute and chronic effects of cannabinoids on effort-related decision-making and reward learning: an evaluation of the cannabis 'amotivational' hypotheses. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016;233(19-20):3537-52.
Lawn, W., Freeman, T. P., Pope, R. A., Joye, A., Harvey, L., Hindocha, C., ... Curran, H. V. (2016). Acute and chronic effects of cannabinoids on effort-related decision-making and reward learning: an evaluation of the cannabis 'amotivational' hypotheses. Psychopharmacology, 233(19-20), pp. 3537-52. doi:10.1007/s00213-016-4383-x.
Lawn W, et al. Acute and Chronic Effects of Cannabinoids On Effort-related Decision-making and Reward Learning: an Evaluation of the Cannabis 'amotivational' Hypotheses. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016;233(19-20):3537-52. PubMed PMID: 27585792.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Acute and chronic effects of cannabinoids on effort-related decision-making and reward learning: an evaluation of the cannabis 'amotivational' hypotheses. AU - Lawn,Will, AU - Freeman,Tom P, AU - Pope,Rebecca A, AU - Joye,Alyssa, AU - Harvey,Lisa, AU - Hindocha,Chandni, AU - Mokrysz,Claire, AU - Moss,Abigail, AU - Wall,Matthew B, AU - Bloomfield,Michael Ap, AU - Das,Ravi K, AU - Morgan,Celia Ja, AU - Nutt,David J, AU - Curran,H Valerie, Y1 - 2016/09/02/ PY - 2016/01/28/received PY - 2016/07/16/accepted PY - 2016/9/3/entrez PY - 2016/9/3/pubmed PY - 2017/11/29/medline KW - Addiction KW - Cannabidiol KW - Cannabinoids KW - Cannabis KW - Effort-related decision-making KW - Motivation KW - Reinforcement learning KW - Reward KW - THC SP - 3537 EP - 52 JF - Psychopharmacology JO - Psychopharmacology (Berl.) VL - 233 IS - 19-20 N2 - RATIONALE: Anecdotally, both acute and chronic cannabis use have been associated with apathy, amotivation, and other reward processing deficits. To date, empirical support for these effects is limited, and no previous studies have assessed both acute effects of Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), as well as associations with cannabis dependence. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were (1) to examine acute effects of cannabis with CBD (Cann + CBD) and without CBD (Cann-CBD) on effort-related decision-making and (2) to examine associations between cannabis dependence, effort-related decision-making and reward learning. METHODS: In study 1, 17 participants each received three acute vaporized treatments, namely Cann-CBD (8 mg THC), Cann + CBD (8 mg THC + 10 mg CBD) and matched placebo, followed by a 50 % dose top-up 1.5 h later, and completed the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task (EEfRT). In study 2, 20 cannabis-dependent participants were compared with 20 non-dependent, drug-using control participants on the EEfRT and the Probabilistic Reward Task (PRT) in a non-intoxicated state. RESULTS: Cann-CBD reduced the likelihood of high-effort choices relative to placebo (p = 0.042) and increased sensitivity to expected value compared to both placebo (p = 0.014) and Cann + CBD (p = 0.006). The cannabis-dependent and control groups did not differ on the EEfRT. However, the cannabis-dependent group exhibited a weaker response bias than the control group on the PRT (p = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: Cannabis acutely induced a transient amotivational state and CBD influenced the effects of THC on expected value. In contrast, cannabis dependence was associated with preserved motivation alongside impaired reward learning, although confounding factors, including depression, cannot be disregarded. This is the first well powered, fully controlled study to objectively demonstrate the acute amotivational effects of THC. SN - 1432-2072 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27585792/Acute_and_chronic_effects_of_cannabinoids_on_effort_related_decision_making_and_reward_learning:_an_evaluation_of_the_cannabis_'amotivational'_hypotheses_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-016-4383-x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -