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Transdermal nicotine alters some of marihuana’s effects in male and female volunteers

Affiliation

  • 1 Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA. [email protected]
  • PMID: 16002030
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2005.01.008

Transdermal nicotine alters some of marihuana’s effects in male and female volunteers

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Authors

Affiliation

  • 1 Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA. [email protected]
  • PMID: 16002030
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2005.01.008

Abstract

Despite the fact that tobacco and marihuana are often used together, relatively little is known about the effects of this combination. In order to investigate the effects of the principal psychoactive component in tobacco smoke, nicotine, on marihuana-induced intoxication, we conducted a double blind, cross-over experiment using nicotine transdermal patches. Ten male and 10 female participants received either placebo or a 21 mg transdermal nicotine patch 4 h before smoking one of two marihuana cigarettes (1.99 or 3.51% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9) THC) content). Measurements of physiological activity (heart rate, blood pressure, and skin temperature) and subjective effects (self-reports of drug effects on visual analog scales (VAS) and the Addiction Research Center Inventory (ARCI)) were made periodically before and for 3h after smoking. Nicotine pre-treatment enhanced several responses to marihuana, in particular, heart rate, reports of “stimulated” on the visual analog scales, and scores on the Amphetamine scale of the ARCI. Male participants reported a more pronounced effect of marihuana that persisted longer than that of the female participants. Compared to the male participants, female participants experienced an attenuated response to marihuana and were less affected by the drug combination. The results of this study show that nicotine can have an important influence on the subjective and physiological effects of smoked marihuana. These effects have implications for the safety and efficacy of marihuana smokers who are self-medicating with the nicotine transdermal patch to manage their tobacco dependence.

Despite the fact that tobacco and marihuana are often used together, relatively little is known about the effects of this combination. In order to investigate the effects of the principal psychoactive component in tobacco smoke, nicotine, on marihuana-induced intoxication, we conducted a double blin …

Nicotine patch for cannabis withdrawal symptom relief: a randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Rationale

Given that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and nicotine have similar effects on negative affect (NA), we hypothesized that a 7-mg nicotine patch (NP) would reduce NA-related cannabis (CAN) withdrawal symptoms in cannabis-dependent (CD) individuals who were not nicotine dependent.

Objective

We sought to determine whether NP reduces NA across 15 days of CAN abstinence in two groups: non-tobacco smokers (NTS) and light tobacco smokers (LTS).

Methods

CD participants (N = 127; aged 18–35) who used CAN at least 5 times/week for the past 12 + months were randomized to (1) NP or (2) a placebo patch (PP) and received $300 for sustained biochemically verified CAN abstinence. Of those randomly assigned, 52 of 63 NP, and 56 of 64 PP maintained biochemically verified CAN abstinence and 51 NP and 50 PP participants complied with all aspects of the study. Affect and other withdrawal symptoms were measured every 48 h across 15 days of CAN abstinence.

Results

After controlling for age, tobacco use, baseline THC concentration, and baseline measurements of the dependent variable, NP reduced NA symptoms across the 15-day treatment relative to PP. Differences in NA and CAN withdrawal symptoms were not moderated by tobacco user status.

Conclusions

The findings provide the first evidence that NP may be able to attenuate NA-related withdrawal symptoms in individuals with cannabis use disorder who are not heavy users of tobacco or nicotine.

Clinical trials registry

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Given that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and nicotine have similar effects on negative affect (NA), we hypothesized that a 7-mg nicotine patch (NP) would redu