Acute and residual effects of alcohol and marijuana, alone and in combination, on mood and performance

Abstract

The duration of behavioral impairment after marijuana smoking remains a matter of some debate. Alcohol and marijuana are frequently used together, but there has been little study of the effects of this drug combination on mood and behavior the day after use. The present study was designed to address these issues. Fourteen male and female subjects were each studied under four conditions: alcohol alone, marijuana alone, alcohol and marijuana in combination, and no active treatment. Mood and performance assessments were made during acute intoxication and twice the following day (morning and mid-afternoon). Acutely, each drug alone produced moderate levels of subjective intoxication and some degree of behavioral impairment. The drug combination produced the greatest level of impairment on most tasks and “strong” overall subjective ratings. There were few significant interactions between the two drugs, indicating that their effects tended to be additive. Only weak evidence was obtained for subjective or behavioral effects the day after active drug treatments, although consistent time-of-day effects (morning versus afternoon) were observed on several subjective and behavioral measures. In sum, this study provided little evidence that moderate doses of alcohol and marijuana, consumed either alone or in combination, produce behavioral or subjective impairment the following day.

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Correspondence to L. D. Chait.

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Chait, L.D., Perry, J.L. Acute and residual effects of alcohol and marijuana, alone and in combination, on mood and performance. Psychopharmacology 115, 340–349 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02245075

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Key words

  • Human
  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol
  • Drug interaction
  • Residual effects
  • Psychomotor effects
  • Cognitive effects
  • Subjective effects