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Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2019 Jan 19. doi: 10.1007/s00406-019-00978-2. [Epub ahead of print]

A randomised controlled trial of vaporised Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol alone and in combination in frequent and infrequent cannabis users: acute intoxication effects.

Author information

1
School of Psychology and Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia. nadia@uow.edu.au.
2
The Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE), New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia. nadia@uow.edu.au.
3
School of Psychology and Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
4
School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, Australia.
5
School of Medicine and Public Health, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia.
6
Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
7
The Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence (ACRE), New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia.
8
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, London, UK.
9
Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

Access to cannabis and cannabinoid products is increasing worldwide for recreational and medicinal use. Two primary compounds within cannabis plant matter, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), are both psychoactive, but only THC is considered intoxicating. There is significant interest in potential therapeutic properties of these cannabinoids and of CBD in particular. Some research has suggested that CBD may ameliorate adverse effects of THC, but this may be dose dependent as other evidence suggests possible potentiating effects of THC by low doses of CBD. We conducted a randomised placebo controlled trial to examine the acute effects of these compounds alone and in combination when administered by vaporisation to frequent and infrequent cannabis users. Participants (n = 36; 31 male) completed 5 drug conditions spaced one week apart, with the following planned contrasts: placebo vs CBD alone (400 mg); THC alone (8 mg) vs THC combined with low (4 mg) or high (400 mg) doses of CBD. Objective (blind observer ratings) and subjective (self-rated) measures of intoxication were the primary outcomes, with additional indices of intoxication examined. CBD showed some intoxicating properties relative to placebo. Low doses of CBD when combined with THC enhanced, while high doses of CBD reduced the intoxicating effects of THC. The enhancement of intoxication by low-dose CBD was particularly prominent in infrequent cannabis users and was consistent across objective and subjective measures. Most effects were significant at p < .0001. These findings are important to consider in terms of recommended proportions of THC and CBD in cannabis plant matter whether used medicinally or recreationally and have implications for novice or less experienced cannabis users.Trial registration: ISRCTN Registry Identifier: ISRCTN24109245.

KEYWORDS:

Cannabidiol (CBD); Cannabinoids; Cannabis; Intoxication; Synergistic effects; Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

PMID:
30661105
DOI:
10.1007/s00406-019-00978-2

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