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Comparison Between Marijuana Smoked in Cigarette Paper Versus Cigar Paper

This study has been completed.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
New York State Psychiatric Institute Identifier:
First received: September 7, 2006
Last updated: October 25, 2016
Last verified: October 2016
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether or not marijuana blunts will produce comparable plasma THC levels as marijuana joints and if blunts will produce larger cardiovascular and subjective effects.

Condition Intervention Phase
Marijuana Dependence
Drug: Marijuana
Drug: Naltrexone
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Pharmacokinetics/Dynamics Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Comparison Between Marijuana Smoked in Cigarette Paper (Joints) Versus Cigar Paper (Blunts)

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • plasma THC [ Time Frame: 180 minutes ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • subjective effects [ Time Frame: 180 minutes ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Other Outcome Measures:
  • cardiovascular effects and carbon monoxide levels [ Time Frame: 180 minutes ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 36
Study Start Date: December 2004
Study Completion Date: August 2008
Primary Completion Date: August 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: naltrexone, marijuana
naltrexone (12, 25, 50, and 100 mg ReVia; Dupont Pharma) marijuana cigarette (0 or 3.27% THC; ca. 800 mg)
Drug: Marijuana Drug: Naltrexone
Placebo Comparator: placebo, marijuana
marijuana cigarette (0 or 3.27% THC; ca. 800 mg)
Drug: Marijuana

Detailed Description:
There has been a rapid increase in marijuana use during the 1990s, with the most recent generation often smoking marijuana in the form of 'blunts' as opposed to more traditional routes such as in pipes or in cigarette paper. A blunt is made by removing the tobacco from a cigar and replacing it with marijuana (Golub and Johnson, 1999). The cigar wrapper contains tobacco and nicotine, which may interact with the cardiovascular and subjective effects of the marijuana to produce a different set of effects and risks than cigarette paper. Anecdotally, marijuana smokers report that blunts are more potent than joints, yet there have been no controlled studies addressing whether blunts enhance the subjective-effects and health-related consequences of marijuana use. We are proposing to do a within-subject, placebo-controlled study directly comparing the cardiovascular, subjective and pharmacokinetic effects of marijuana smoked in blunts compared to identical quantities of marijuana smoked in cigarette paper. Research volunteers will be current blunt smokers. Each will participate in six, 4-hour outpatient sessions. After baseline data have been collected (heart rate, blood pressure, mood scales, exhaled carbon monoxide, plasma THC and nicotine levels), participants will take 3 puffs, 5 seconds in duration, from a NIDA marijuana cigarette containing 0.0, 1.8 and 3.6% THC or from a blunt containing an equivalent quantity and strength of marijuana. Participants will be blind to the type of marijuana cigarette smoked. We will measure plasma THC and nicotine, subjective mood ratings, and heart rate and blood pressure repeatedly over the course of 180 minutes following smoking. This study is the first controlled investigation of the consequences of this new method of marijuana smoking; the data obtained may be useful in guiding future development of marijuana pharmacotherapy.

Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Current blunt marijuana use (minimum of twice/week) drug screen
  • 21-45 years of age
  • Practicing an effective form of birth control (condoms, diaphragm, birth control pill, IUD)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current, repeated illicit drug use(excluding marijuana)
  • Heavy cigarette use (> 10 cigarettes/day)
  • Presence of significant medical illness (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension)
  • Laboratory tests outside normal limits that are clinically unacceptable to the study physician (BP > 140/90; hematocrit < 34 for women, < 36 for men)
  • Significant adverse reaction to marijuana
  • Current parole or probation
  • Pregnancy or current lactation
  • History of significant violent behavior
  • Major current Axis I psychopathology(e.g., mood disorder with functional impairment or suicide risk, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia)
  • History of heart disease
  • Current use of any over-the-counter or prescription
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00374127

United States, New York
New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York, New York, United States, 10032
Sponsors and Collaborators
New York State Psychiatric Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Principal Investigator: Margaret Haney, Ph.D. New York State Psychiatric Institute
  More Information

Responsible Party: New York State Psychiatric Institute Identifier: NCT00374127     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 4683 
Study First Received: September 7, 2006
Last Updated: October 25, 2016
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:
Comparison between joints and blunts
Pharmacokinetic effects

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Marijuana Abuse
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Narcotic Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents processed this record on October 27, 2016