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Salivary THC following cannabis smoking correlates with subjective intoxication and heart rate


A cannabis smoking trial was conducted using paid volunteers. Subjective intoxication, measured using a visual analogue scale, was compared with heart rate and with salivary delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels at various times after smoking a cigarette containing 11 mg THC. Subjective intoxication and heart rate elevation were significantly correlated with the log of salivary THC. Salivary THC levels are a sensitive index of recent cannabis smoking, and appear more closely linked with the effects of intoxication than do either blood or urine cannabinoid levels.

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Menkes, D.B., Howard, R.C., Spears, G.F.S. et al. Salivary THC following cannabis smoking correlates with subjective intoxication and heart rate. Psychopharmacology 103, 277–279 (1991).

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Key words

  • Human
  • Cannabis
  • THC
  • Saliva
  • Intoxication