Cannabidiol (CBD) content in vaporized cannabis does not prevent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced impairment of driving and cognition

Thomas R Arkell, Nicholas Lintzeris, Richard C Kevin, Johannes G Ramaekers, Ryan Vandrey, Christopher Irwin, Paul S Haber, Iain S McGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The main psychoactive component of cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can impair driving performance. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis component, is thought to mitigate certain adverse effects of THC. It is possible then that cannabis containing equivalent CBD and THC will differentially affect driving and cognition relative to THC-dominant cannabis.

AIMS: The present study investigated and compared the effects of THC-dominant and THC/CBD equivalent cannabis on simulated driving and cognitive performance.

METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind, within-subjects crossover design, healthy volunteers (n = 14) with a history of light cannabis use attended three outpatient experimental test sessions in which simulated driving and cognitive performance were assessed at two timepoints (20-60 min and 200-240 min) following vaporization of 125 mg THC-dominant (11% THC; < 1% CBD), THC/CBD equivalent (11% THC, 11% CBD), or placebo (< 1% THC/CBD) cannabis.

RESULTS/OUTCOMES: Both active cannabis types increased lane weaving during a car-following task but had little effect on other driving performance measures. Active cannabis types impaired performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST), Divided Attention Task (DAT) and Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) with impairment on the latter two tasks worse with THC/CBD equivalent cannabis. Subjective drug effects (e.g., "stoned") and confidence in driving ability did not vary with CBD content. Peak plasma THC concentrations were higher following THC/CBD equivalent cannabis relative to THC-dominant cannabis, suggesting a possible pharmacokinetic interaction.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Cannabis containing equivalent concentrations of CBD and THC appears no less impairing than THC-dominant cannabis, and in some circumstances, CBD may actually exacerbate THC-induced impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2713-2724
Number of pages12
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume236
Issue number9
Early online date1 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Cannabis
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Cannabidiol
  • THC
  • CBD
  • Driving
  • Cognition
  • ORAL DELTA(9)-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL
  • DOUBLE-BLIND
  • DELTA-9-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL
  • ALCOHOL
  • PERFORMANCE
  • MARIJUANA
  • PHARMACOKINETICS
  • EXTRACT
  • INTOXICATION

Cite this

Arkell, Thomas R ; Lintzeris, Nicholas ; Kevin, Richard C ; Ramaekers, Johannes G ; Vandrey, Ryan ; Irwin, Christopher ; Haber, Paul S ; McGregor, Iain S. / Cannabidiol (CBD) content in vaporized cannabis does not prevent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced impairment of driving and cognition. In: Psychopharmacology. 2019 ; Vol. 236, No. 9. pp. 2713-2724.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND: The main psychoactive component of cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can impair driving performance. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis component, is thought to mitigate certain adverse effects of THC. It is possible then that cannabis containing equivalent CBD and THC will differentially affect driving and cognition relative to THC-dominant cannabis.AIMS: The present study investigated and compared the effects of THC-dominant and THC/CBD equivalent cannabis on simulated driving and cognitive performance.METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind, within-subjects crossover design, healthy volunteers (n = 14) with a history of light cannabis use attended three outpatient experimental test sessions in which simulated driving and cognitive performance were assessed at two timepoints (20-60 min and 200-240 min) following vaporization of 125 mg THC-dominant (11{\%} THC; < 1{\%} CBD), THC/CBD equivalent (11{\%} THC, 11{\%} CBD), or placebo (< 1{\%} THC/CBD) cannabis.RESULTS/OUTCOMES: Both active cannabis types increased lane weaving during a car-following task but had little effect on other driving performance measures. Active cannabis types impaired performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST), Divided Attention Task (DAT) and Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) with impairment on the latter two tasks worse with THC/CBD equivalent cannabis. Subjective drug effects (e.g., {"}stoned{"}) and confidence in driving ability did not vary with CBD content. Peak plasma THC concentrations were higher following THC/CBD equivalent cannabis relative to THC-dominant cannabis, suggesting a possible pharmacokinetic interaction.CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Cannabis containing equivalent concentrations of CBD and THC appears no less impairing than THC-dominant cannabis, and in some circumstances, CBD may actually exacerbate THC-induced impairment.",
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Cannabidiol (CBD) content in vaporized cannabis does not prevent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced impairment of driving and cognition. / Arkell, Thomas R; Lintzeris, Nicholas; Kevin, Richard C; Ramaekers, Johannes G; Vandrey, Ryan; Irwin, Christopher; Haber, Paul S; McGregor, Iain S.

In: Psychopharmacology, Vol. 236, No. 9, 09.2019, p. 2713-2724.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cannabidiol (CBD) content in vaporized cannabis does not prevent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-induced impairment of driving and cognition

AU - Arkell, Thomas R

AU - Lintzeris, Nicholas

AU - Kevin, Richard C

AU - Ramaekers, Johannes G

AU - Vandrey, Ryan

AU - Irwin, Christopher

AU - Haber, Paul S

AU - McGregor, Iain S

PY - 2019/9

Y1 - 2019/9

N2 - BACKGROUND: The main psychoactive component of cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can impair driving performance. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis component, is thought to mitigate certain adverse effects of THC. It is possible then that cannabis containing equivalent CBD and THC will differentially affect driving and cognition relative to THC-dominant cannabis.AIMS: The present study investigated and compared the effects of THC-dominant and THC/CBD equivalent cannabis on simulated driving and cognitive performance.METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind, within-subjects crossover design, healthy volunteers (n = 14) with a history of light cannabis use attended three outpatient experimental test sessions in which simulated driving and cognitive performance were assessed at two timepoints (20-60 min and 200-240 min) following vaporization of 125 mg THC-dominant (11% THC; < 1% CBD), THC/CBD equivalent (11% THC, 11% CBD), or placebo (< 1% THC/CBD) cannabis.RESULTS/OUTCOMES: Both active cannabis types increased lane weaving during a car-following task but had little effect on other driving performance measures. Active cannabis types impaired performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST), Divided Attention Task (DAT) and Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) with impairment on the latter two tasks worse with THC/CBD equivalent cannabis. Subjective drug effects (e.g., "stoned") and confidence in driving ability did not vary with CBD content. Peak plasma THC concentrations were higher following THC/CBD equivalent cannabis relative to THC-dominant cannabis, suggesting a possible pharmacokinetic interaction.CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Cannabis containing equivalent concentrations of CBD and THC appears no less impairing than THC-dominant cannabis, and in some circumstances, CBD may actually exacerbate THC-induced impairment.

AB - BACKGROUND: The main psychoactive component of cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can impair driving performance. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis component, is thought to mitigate certain adverse effects of THC. It is possible then that cannabis containing equivalent CBD and THC will differentially affect driving and cognition relative to THC-dominant cannabis.AIMS: The present study investigated and compared the effects of THC-dominant and THC/CBD equivalent cannabis on simulated driving and cognitive performance.METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind, within-subjects crossover design, healthy volunteers (n = 14) with a history of light cannabis use attended three outpatient experimental test sessions in which simulated driving and cognitive performance were assessed at two timepoints (20-60 min and 200-240 min) following vaporization of 125 mg THC-dominant (11% THC; < 1% CBD), THC/CBD equivalent (11% THC, 11% CBD), or placebo (< 1% THC/CBD) cannabis.RESULTS/OUTCOMES: Both active cannabis types increased lane weaving during a car-following task but had little effect on other driving performance measures. Active cannabis types impaired performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Task (DSST), Divided Attention Task (DAT) and Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) with impairment on the latter two tasks worse with THC/CBD equivalent cannabis. Subjective drug effects (e.g., "stoned") and confidence in driving ability did not vary with CBD content. Peak plasma THC concentrations were higher following THC/CBD equivalent cannabis relative to THC-dominant cannabis, suggesting a possible pharmacokinetic interaction.CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Cannabis containing equivalent concentrations of CBD and THC appears no less impairing than THC-dominant cannabis, and in some circumstances, CBD may actually exacerbate THC-induced impairment.

KW - Cannabis

KW - Tetrahydrocannabinol

KW - Cannabidiol

KW - THC

KW - CBD

KW - Driving

KW - Cognition

KW - ORAL DELTA(9)-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL

KW - DOUBLE-BLIND

KW - DELTA-9-TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL

KW - ALCOHOL

KW - PERFORMANCE

KW - MARIJUANA

KW - PHARMACOKINETICS

KW - EXTRACT

KW - INTOXICATION

U2 - 10.1007/s00213-019-05246-8

DO - 10.1007/s00213-019-05246-8

M3 - Article

C2 - 31044290

VL - 236

SP - 2713

EP - 2724

JO - Psychopharmacology

JF - Psychopharmacology

SN - 0033-3158

IS - 9

ER -