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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1992 Sep;12(5):750-8.

Regional cerebral blood flow after marijuana smoking.

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Cerebral Blood Flow Laboratory, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


Regional CBF was measured with the 133Xe inhalation technique before and thrice after smoking marijuana of two strengths and placebo in 20 physically and mentally healthy male volunteers with a previous history of exposure to marijuana. They were drug-free at the time of the study. Blood pressure, pulse rate, end-tidal carbon dioxide, end-tidal carbon monoxide, and forehead skin perfusion were quantified during the CBF measurements. Blood samples were drawn for quantification of plasma levels of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) before and during the 2 h after smoking marijuana or placebo. Drug-induced intoxication and changes in mood were quantified with rating scales. Marijuana smoking was associated with bilateral CBF increase, which was maximal 30 min later. Greater CBF increases were seen in the frontal region and right hemisphere. No significant CBF changes were seen after placebo. Pulse rate and respiration increased significantly after marijuana but not placebo. Both marijuana and placebo smoking were associated with increased end-tidal carbon monoxide. CBF increase in both hemispheres correlated significantly with degree of intoxication, plasma levels of THC, and pulse rate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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