Δ(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produces transient psychomimetic effects in healthy volunteers, constituting a pharmacological model for psychosis. The dopaminergic antagonist haloperidol has previously been shown to reduce these effects. This placebo-controlled, cross-over study in 49 healthy, male, mild cannabis users aimed to further explore this model by examining the effect of a single oral dose of olanzapine (with dopaminergic, serotonergic, adrenergic, muscarinergic and histaminergic properties) or two oral doses of diphenhydramine (histamine antagonist) on the effects of intrapulmonarily administered THC. Transient psychomimetic symptoms were seen after THC administration, as measured on the positive and negative syndrome scale (20.6% increase on positive subscale, p<0.001) and the visual analogue scale for psychedelic effects (increase of 10.7 mm on feeling high). Following the combination of THC and olanzapine, the positive subscale increased by only 13.7% and feeling high by only 8.7 mm. This reduction of THC effects on the positive subscale failed to reach statistical significance (p=0.066). However, one-third of the subjects did not show an increase in psychomimetic symptoms after THC alone. Within responders, olanzapine reduced the effects of THC on the positive subscale (p=0.005). Other outcome measures included pharmacokinetics, eye movements, postural stability, pupil/iris ratio, and serum concentrations of cortisol and prolactin.
"All analyses were performed in SPSS 17.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago). PANSS and SSPS data did not have a normal distribution and were analysed after log transformation as described previously (Kleinloog et al., 2012). In addition, for the PANSS we followed the approach of D'Souza and colleagues, which is to categorise clinically significant psychosis as increases from baseline of ≥3 points (D'Souza et al., 2005): thereafter the difference in the frequency of clinically significant THC-evoked psychotic reactions between the CBD and placebo groups was analysed using Pearson's Chi-square. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Community-based studies suggest that cannabis products that are high in Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) but low in cannabidiol (CBD) are particularly hazardous for mental health. Laboratory-based studies are ideal for clarifying this issue because THC and CBD can be administered in pure form, under controlled conditions. In a between-subjects design, we tested the hypothesis that pre-treatment with CBD inhibited THC-elicited psychosis and cognitive impairment. Healthy participants were randomised to receive oral CBD 600mg (n=22) or placebo (n=26), 210 min ahead of intravenous (IV) THC (1.5 mg). Post-THC, there were lower PANSS positive scores in the CBD group, but this did not reach statistical significance. However, clinically significant positive psychotic symptoms (defined a priori as increases ≥3 points) were less likely in the CBD group compared with the placebo group, odds ratio (OR)=0.22 (χ(2)=4.74, p<0.05). In agreement, post-THC paranoia, as rated with the State Social Paranoia Scale (SSPS), was less in the CBD group compared with the placebo group (t=2.28, p<0.05). Episodic memory, indexed by scores on the Hopkins Verbal Learning Task-revised (HVLT-R), was poorer, relative to baseline, in the placebo pre-treated group (-10.6±18.9%) compared with the CBD group (-0.4%±9.7 %) (t=2.39, p<0.05). These findings support the idea that high-THC/low-CBD cannabis products are associated with increased risks for mental health.
Journal of Psychopharmacology 10/2012; 27(1). DOI:10.1177/0269881112460109 · 3.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modern pupillometry has expanded the study and utility of pupil responses in many new domains, including psychiatry, particularly for understanding aspects of cognitive and emotional information processing. Here, we review the applications of pupillometry in psychiatry for understanding patients' information processing styles, predicting treatment, and augmenting function. In the past year pupillometry has been shown to be useful in specifying cognitive/affective occurrences during experimental tasks and informing clinical diagnoses. Such studies demonstrate the potential of pupillary motility to be used in clinical psychiatry much as it has been in neurology for the past century.
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports 08/2013; 13(8):365. DOI:10.1007/s11910-013-0365-0 · 3.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Marijuana (cannabis) remains a controversial drug in the twenty-first century. This paper considers current research on use of Cannabis sativa and its constituents such as the cannabinoids. Topics reviewed include prevalence of cannabis (pot) use, other drugs consumed with pot, the endocannabinoid system, use of medicinal marijuana, medical adverse effects of cannabis, and psychiatric adverse effects of cannabis use. Treatment of cannabis withdrawal and dependence is difficult and remains mainly based on psychological therapy; current research on pharmacologic management of problems related to cannabis consumption is also considered. The potential role of specific cannabinoids for medical benefit will be revealed as the twenty-first century matures. However, potential dangerous adverse effects from smoking marijuana are well known and should be clearly taught to a public that is often confused by a media-driven, though false message and promise of benign pot consumption.
Frontiers in Public Health 10/2013; 1:42. DOI:10.3389/fpubh.2013.00042
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