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The effect of high-dose dronabinol (oral THC) maintenance on cannabis self-administration.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 06 01; 187:254-260.DA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

There is a clear need for advancing the treatment of cannabis use disorders. Prior research has demonstrated that dronabinol (oral THC) can dose-dependently suppress cannabis withdrawal and reduce the acute effects of smoked cannabis. The present study was conducted to evaluate whether high-dose dronabinol could reduce cannabis self-administration among daily users.

METHODS

Non-treatment seeking daily cannabis users (N = 13) completed a residential within-subjects crossover study and were administered placebo, low-dose dronabinol (120 mg/day; 40 mg tid), or high-dose dronabinol (180-240 mg/day; 60-80 mg tid) for 12 consecutive days (order counterbalanced). During each 12-day dronabinol maintenance phase, participants were allowed to self-administer smoked cannabis containing <1% THC (placebo) or 5.7% THC (active) under forced-choice (drug vs. money) or progressive ratio conditions.

RESULTS

Participants self-administered significantly more active cannabis compared with placebo in all conditions. When active cannabis was available, self-administration was significantly reduced during periods of dronabinol maintenance compared with placebo maintenance. There was no difference in self-administration between the low- and high-dose dronabinol conditions.

CONCLUSIONS

Chronic dronabinol dosing can reduce cannabis self-administration in daily cannabis users and suppress withdrawal symptoms. Cannabinoid agonist medications should continue to be explored for therapeutic utility in the treatment of cannabis use disorders.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA. Electronic address: rvandrey@jhmi.edu.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29689485

Citation

Schlienz, Nicolas J., et al. "The Effect of High-dose Dronabinol (oral THC) Maintenance On Cannabis Self-administration." Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 187, 2018, pp. 254-260.
Schlienz NJ, Lee DC, Stitzer ML, et al. The effect of high-dose dronabinol (oral THC) maintenance on cannabis self-administration. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018;187:254-260.
Schlienz, N. J., Lee, D. C., Stitzer, M. L., & Vandrey, R. (2018). The effect of high-dose dronabinol (oral THC) maintenance on cannabis self-administration. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 187, 254-260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.02.022
Schlienz NJ, et al. The Effect of High-dose Dronabinol (oral THC) Maintenance On Cannabis Self-administration. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 06 1;187:254-260. PubMed PMID: 29689485.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The effect of high-dose dronabinol (oral THC) maintenance on cannabis self-administration. AU - Schlienz,Nicolas J, AU - Lee,Dustin C, AU - Stitzer,Maxine L, AU - Vandrey,Ryan, Y1 - 2018/04/17/ PY - 2017/12/19/received PY - 2018/01/31/revised PY - 2018/02/02/accepted PY - 2018/4/25/pubmed PY - 2018/9/21/medline PY - 2018/4/25/entrez KW - Cannabis KW - Dronabinol KW - Marijuana KW - Pharmacotherapy KW - THC KW - Withdrawal SP - 254 EP - 260 JF - Drug and alcohol dependence JO - Drug Alcohol Depend VL - 187 N2 - BACKGROUND: There is a clear need for advancing the treatment of cannabis use disorders. Prior research has demonstrated that dronabinol (oral THC) can dose-dependently suppress cannabis withdrawal and reduce the acute effects of smoked cannabis. The present study was conducted to evaluate whether high-dose dronabinol could reduce cannabis self-administration among daily users. METHODS: Non-treatment seeking daily cannabis users (N = 13) completed a residential within-subjects crossover study and were administered placebo, low-dose dronabinol (120 mg/day; 40 mg tid), or high-dose dronabinol (180-240 mg/day; 60-80 mg tid) for 12 consecutive days (order counterbalanced). During each 12-day dronabinol maintenance phase, participants were allowed to self-administer smoked cannabis containing <1% THC (placebo) or 5.7% THC (active) under forced-choice (drug vs. money) or progressive ratio conditions. RESULTS: Participants self-administered significantly more active cannabis compared with placebo in all conditions. When active cannabis was available, self-administration was significantly reduced during periods of dronabinol maintenance compared with placebo maintenance. There was no difference in self-administration between the low- and high-dose dronabinol conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic dronabinol dosing can reduce cannabis self-administration in daily cannabis users and suppress withdrawal symptoms. Cannabinoid agonist medications should continue to be explored for therapeutic utility in the treatment of cannabis use disorders. SN - 1879-0046 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29689485/The_effect_of_high_dose_dronabinol__oral_THC__maintenance_on_cannabis_self_administration_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0376-8716(18)30184-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -