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Sensory, perceptual, motor and cognitive functioning and subjective reports following oral administration ofΔ 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

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Abstract

Three dose levels, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 mg/kg, ofΔ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a placebo were orally administered to 10 frequent and 10 occasional marijuana users. Following ingestion of each dose and the placebo, objective tests selected from a battery of sensory and perceptual motor tests routinely used to evaluate cerebral dysfunction in hospitalized patients were administered. The influence ofΔ 9-THC on proficiency and variability of performance was minimal. However, when individual test scores and variabilities were combined and converted to standard scores, allowing for analysis of overall performance, THC had a small but consistent detrimental effect on both proficiency and variability of performance. In contrast, THC exerted profound effects on the subjective experiences of the volunteers as assessed by the Subjective Drug Effects Questionnaire. Subjective changes in mood, feeling, perception and somatic sensations were reported by all subjects but were more pronounced in the occasional user group. It was proposed that the small impairment noted in objective test performance after ingestion ofΔ 9-THC as contrasted to the large effects on subjective responses suggests that the principal effects of marijuana are on the autonomic nervous system rather than on higher cortical functions.

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Veterans Administration approved Research Project 0864-03. Also supported by U.S. Public Health Service Research Grant No. DA000.56 from the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Peters, B.A., Lewis, E.G., Dustman, R.E. et al. Sensory, perceptual, motor and cognitive functioning and subjective reports following oral administration ofΔ 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. Psychopharmacology 47, 141–148 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00735812

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