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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1991 Nov;40(3):651-6.

Effects of varying marijuana smoking profile on deposition of tar and absorption of CO and delta-9-THC.

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Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine.


We investigated the effects of previously observed differences in smoking technique for marijuana (M) versus tobacco (T) on the amount of inhaled tar, the percentage retention of inhaled tar in the lung, the pre- to postcigarette boost in blood carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) and in serum delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC concentrations), and psychophysiologic responses to THC (increased heart rate and subjective "high"). Ten healthy, habitual smokers of M were studied on 6 separate days. On each day, subjects smoked a single M cigarette (approximately 900 mg, 1.24% delta-9-THC) using one of 6 different smoking profiles typical for marijuana [puff volume (PV) approximately 70 ml; breathholding time, (BHT) 14-16 s] or tobacco (PV approximately 45 ml; BHT 4-5 s) or a combination of the two techniques (PV approximately 70 ml and BHT 4-5 s; or PV approximately 45 ml and BHT 14-16 s). Inhaled volume (1.5 liters), interpuff interval (30 s) and number of puffs (6) were all fixed, except that for the approximately 45-ml PV condition, the number of puffs was increased to 10 in 2 additional sessions to standardize the total amount of cigarette consumed to that of the approximately 70-ml PV condition. The longer BHT significantly increased both percent retention of tar in the lung and the pre- to postsmoking rise in blood COHb, serum THC and heart rate, independent of puff volume and number. In contrast, the larger PV had no significant influence on these variables for the same amount of cigarette consumed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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