Sub-chronic impact of cannabinoids in street cannabis on cognition, psychotic-like symptoms and psychological well-being

C J A Morgan, C Gardener, G Schafer, S Swan, C Demarchi, T P Freeman, P Warrington, I Rupasinghe, A Ramoutar, N Tan, G Wingham, S Lewis, H V Curran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cannabis varies considerably in levels of its two major constituent cannabinoids - (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Recently, we found evidence that those who smoked cannabis containing detectable levels of CBD had fewer psychotic-like symptoms than those whose cannabis had no CBD. The present study aimed, first, to replicate those findings and, second, to determine whether protective effects of CBD may extend to other harms of cannabis, such as memory impairment and reduced psychological well-being.

METHOD: A total of 120 current cannabis smokers, 66 daily users and 54 recreational users were classified into groups according to whether analysis of their hair revealed the presence or absence of CBD and high versus low levels of THC. All were assessed on measures of psychosis-like symptoms, memory (prose recall; source memory) and depression/anxiety.

RESULTS: Lower psychosis-like symptoms were found in those whose hair had CBD compared with those without. However, this was seen only in recreational users, who had higher levels of THC in their hair. Higher THC levels in hair were associated with increased depression and anxiety. Prose recall and source memory were poorer in daily users with high THC levels in hair while recognition memory was better in individuals with CBD present in hair.

CONCLUSIONS: CBD attenuates the psychotic-like effects of cannabis over time in recreational users. Higher THC negatively impacts on memory and psychological well-being. These findings raise concerns for the harms stemming from use of varieties such as 'skunk' (sensimillia), which lack any CBD but currently dominate the supply of cannabis in many countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-400
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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Cannabidiol
Cannabinoids
Cannabis
Cognition
Dronabinol
Psychology
Hair
Psychotic Disorders
Mephitidae
Anxiety
Depression

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety/chemically induced
  • Cannabidiol/analysis
  • Cognition Disorders/chemically induced
  • Depression/chemically induced
  • Dronabinol/adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hair/chemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking/adverse effects
  • Memory/drug effects
  • Psychoses, Substance-Induced/etiology
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder/chemically induced
  • Street Drugs/adverse effects
  • Young Adult

Cite this

Sub-chronic impact of cannabinoids in street cannabis on cognition, psychotic-like symptoms and psychological well-being. / Morgan, C J A; Gardener, C; Schafer, G; Swan, S; Demarchi, C; Freeman, T P; Warrington, P; Rupasinghe, I; Ramoutar, A; Tan, N; Wingham, G; Lewis, S; Curran, H V.

In: Psychological Medicine, Vol. 42, No. 2, 02.2012, p. 391-400.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Morgan, CJA, Gardener, C, Schafer, G, Swan, S, Demarchi, C, Freeman, TP, Warrington, P, Rupasinghe, I, Ramoutar, A, Tan, N, Wingham, G, Lewis, S & Curran, HV 2012, 'Sub-chronic impact of cannabinoids in street cannabis on cognition, psychotic-like symptoms and psychological well-being', Psychological Medicine, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 391-400. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291711001322
Morgan, C J A ; Gardener, C ; Schafer, G ; Swan, S ; Demarchi, C ; Freeman, T P ; Warrington, P ; Rupasinghe, I ; Ramoutar, A ; Tan, N ; Wingham, G ; Lewis, S ; Curran, H V. / Sub-chronic impact of cannabinoids in street cannabis on cognition, psychotic-like symptoms and psychological well-being. In: Psychological Medicine. 2012 ; Vol. 42, No. 2. pp. 391-400.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND: Cannabis varies considerably in levels of its two major constituent cannabinoids - (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Recently, we found evidence that those who smoked cannabis containing detectable levels of CBD had fewer psychotic-like symptoms than those whose cannabis had no CBD. The present study aimed, first, to replicate those findings and, second, to determine whether protective effects of CBD may extend to other harms of cannabis, such as memory impairment and reduced psychological well-being.METHOD: A total of 120 current cannabis smokers, 66 daily users and 54 recreational users were classified into groups according to whether analysis of their hair revealed the presence or absence of CBD and high versus low levels of THC. All were assessed on measures of psychosis-like symptoms, memory (prose recall; source memory) and depression/anxiety.RESULTS: Lower psychosis-like symptoms were found in those whose hair had CBD compared with those without. However, this was seen only in recreational users, who had higher levels of THC in their hair. Higher THC levels in hair were associated with increased depression and anxiety. Prose recall and source memory were poorer in daily users with high THC levels in hair while recognition memory was better in individuals with CBD present in hair.CONCLUSIONS: CBD attenuates the psychotic-like effects of cannabis over time in recreational users. Higher THC negatively impacts on memory and psychological well-being. These findings raise concerns for the harms stemming from use of varieties such as 'skunk' (sensimillia), which lack any CBD but currently dominate the supply of cannabis in many countries.",
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AU - Morgan, C J A

AU - Gardener, C

AU - Schafer, G

AU - Swan, S

AU - Demarchi, C

AU - Freeman, T P

AU - Warrington, P

AU - Rupasinghe, I

AU - Ramoutar, A

AU - Tan, N

AU - Wingham, G

AU - Lewis, S

AU - Curran, H V

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N2 - BACKGROUND: Cannabis varies considerably in levels of its two major constituent cannabinoids - (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Recently, we found evidence that those who smoked cannabis containing detectable levels of CBD had fewer psychotic-like symptoms than those whose cannabis had no CBD. The present study aimed, first, to replicate those findings and, second, to determine whether protective effects of CBD may extend to other harms of cannabis, such as memory impairment and reduced psychological well-being.METHOD: A total of 120 current cannabis smokers, 66 daily users and 54 recreational users were classified into groups according to whether analysis of their hair revealed the presence or absence of CBD and high versus low levels of THC. All were assessed on measures of psychosis-like symptoms, memory (prose recall; source memory) and depression/anxiety.RESULTS: Lower psychosis-like symptoms were found in those whose hair had CBD compared with those without. However, this was seen only in recreational users, who had higher levels of THC in their hair. Higher THC levels in hair were associated with increased depression and anxiety. Prose recall and source memory were poorer in daily users with high THC levels in hair while recognition memory was better in individuals with CBD present in hair.CONCLUSIONS: CBD attenuates the psychotic-like effects of cannabis over time in recreational users. Higher THC negatively impacts on memory and psychological well-being. These findings raise concerns for the harms stemming from use of varieties such as 'skunk' (sensimillia), which lack any CBD but currently dominate the supply of cannabis in many countries.

AB - BACKGROUND: Cannabis varies considerably in levels of its two major constituent cannabinoids - (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Recently, we found evidence that those who smoked cannabis containing detectable levels of CBD had fewer psychotic-like symptoms than those whose cannabis had no CBD. The present study aimed, first, to replicate those findings and, second, to determine whether protective effects of CBD may extend to other harms of cannabis, such as memory impairment and reduced psychological well-being.METHOD: A total of 120 current cannabis smokers, 66 daily users and 54 recreational users were classified into groups according to whether analysis of their hair revealed the presence or absence of CBD and high versus low levels of THC. All were assessed on measures of psychosis-like symptoms, memory (prose recall; source memory) and depression/anxiety.RESULTS: Lower psychosis-like symptoms were found in those whose hair had CBD compared with those without. However, this was seen only in recreational users, who had higher levels of THC in their hair. Higher THC levels in hair were associated with increased depression and anxiety. Prose recall and source memory were poorer in daily users with high THC levels in hair while recognition memory was better in individuals with CBD present in hair.CONCLUSIONS: CBD attenuates the psychotic-like effects of cannabis over time in recreational users. Higher THC negatively impacts on memory and psychological well-being. These findings raise concerns for the harms stemming from use of varieties such as 'skunk' (sensimillia), which lack any CBD but currently dominate the supply of cannabis in many countries.

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KW - Dronabinol/adverse effects

KW - Female

KW - Hair/chemistry

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KW - Male

KW - Marijuana Smoking/adverse effects

KW - Memory/drug effects

KW - Psychoses, Substance-Induced/etiology

KW - Schizotypal Personality Disorder/chemically induced

KW - Street Drugs/adverse effects

KW - Young Adult

U2 - 10.1017/S0033291711001322

DO - 10.1017/S0033291711001322

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 391

EP - 400

JO - Psychological Medicine

JF - Psychological Medicine

SN - 1469-8978

IS - 2

ER -