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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1988;94(2):206-12.

Discriminative stimulus and subjective effects of smoked marijuana in humans.

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Department of Psychiatry, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, IL 60637.


The discriminative stimulus (DS) effects of smoked marijuana were studied by training marijuana smokers to discriminate between the effects of marijuana containing 2.7% delta 9-THC (M) and marijuana containing 0.0% delta 9-THC (P). In addition to measures of discrimination responding, subjective effects were assessed with standardized mood questionnaires. The post-smoking increase in expired air carbon monoxide (CO) level was used as an index of smoke inhalation. Relative to P cigarettes, M cigarettes increased heart rate and produced changes on eight mood scales. M cigarettes were rated as harsher and more potent than P cigarettes, and produced lower levels of CO than P cigarettes. The P--M discrimination was readily acquired by most subjects. The DS effects of marijuana showed a rapid onset, appearing within 90 s from the beginning of smoking. The DS effects were dose dependent, with 0.9% delta 9-THC marijuana producing primarily placebo-appropriate discrimination responding, and 1.4% delta 9-THC marijuana producing 100% drug-appropriate responding. This experimental paradigm could be used to determine whether the DS effects of smoked marijuana would generalize to those of other psychoactive drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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