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Clinical Trial Summary

Memory deficits are one of the most consistently observed cognitive effects of marijuana use. There is evidence that some decrements attributable to the primary psychoactive ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may be attenuated by cannabidiol (CBD). This study will help us learn more about the relationship between THC and CBD consumption with memory processes. A combination of MRI and neuropsychological tests (which are computer and paper/pencil tasks) will be used to measure the neurocognitive and behavioral impacts of THC and CBD use.

Clinical Trial Description

With increased legalization and medicalization of marijuana (MJ), there is an urgent need to understand the acute effects of use. One of the most consistently observed cognitive outcomes associated with MJ use is memory dysfunction, which may have a substantial impact on daily life in individuals using MJ for recreational or medicinal purposes. Notably, there are numerous preparations of MJ with varying proportions of cannabinoids, which may differ in behavioral and cognitive effects. For instance, there is emerging evidence that acute administration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of MJ, hinders memory and reduces prefrontal and hippocampal functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation, but cannabidiol (CBD) may mitigate some of these impairments. Given the role of glutamate in learning and memory, we suggest that these effects may be subserved, in part, by glutamatergic mechanisms. We will use magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to non-invasively measure glutamate in order to explore the neurochemical underpinnings of memory-related fMRI response changes following acute administration of THC and CBD in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. A total of 9 healthy participants ages 18-40 will be enrolled. Participants will first undergo one screening visit (~4 hours), comprising informed consent, assessment of health history, psychiatric diagnoses, cognitive function, and substance use history, and a structural MRI session. This will be followed by 3 separate MJ dose visits (~4 hours each), at which participants will complete neuroimaging after administration of one of 3 preparations of vaporized MJ in a randomized, counterbalanced, double-blinded fashion: 1) high THC and no CBD (THC), 2) high THC and high CBD (THC+CBD), and 3) no THC and no CBD (placebo MJ). As in our ongoing studies, bulk MJ plant material will be provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. MJ dose visits will comprise MJ administration, blood collection, MRS/fMRI scan, subjective reports, and a brief cognitive assessment. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT04855526
Study type Interventional
Source Hartford Hospital
Contact Chelsea N Meagher, BA
Phone 860-545-7106
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase Early Phase 1
Start date May 1, 2021
Completion date June 30, 2022

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