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Terminal elimination plasma half-life of Δ1-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ1-THC) in heavy users of marijuana

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The terminal elimination half-life of Δ1-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ1-THC) was investigated in eight men who were heavy users of marijuana. A stable isotope assay, following smoking deuteriumlabeled Δ1-THC, was used to determine plasma concentrations. In two additional users plasma levels were followed after administration of unlabeled Δ1-THC. The subjects were asked to smoke a “loading dose” of 56 mg Δ1-THC during two days and then abstain from all marijuana use for 4 weeks.

The pharmacokinetic behavior was consistent with a multicompartment model with a mean plasma elimination half-life of Δ1-THC of 4.3 days when concentrations were followed for 10–15 days after smoking. In the two subjects with detectable plasma levels during 4 weeks, half-lives of 9.6 and 12.6 days was obtained.

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Johansson, E., Halldin, M.M., Agurell, S. et al. Terminal elimination plasma half-life of Δ1-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ1-THC) in heavy users of marijuana. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 37, 273–277 (1989).

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