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Effects of a Range of Naltrexone Doses in Combination With Smoked Marijuana

This study has been completed.
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
New York State Psychiatric Institute Identifier:
First received: November 21, 2006
Last updated: October 25, 2016
Last verified: October 2016
The purpose of this study is to determine if the subjective effects of marijuana will be decreased by low-doses (< 25 mg) of naltrexone and increased by high-doses (> 50 mg) of naltrexone.

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

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Resource links provided by NLM:

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

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • marijuana's subjective effects [ Time Frame: 8 hours ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • marijuana's cardiovascular effects [ Time Frame: 8 hours ]

Other Outcome Measures:
  • marijuana's cognitive effects [ Time Frame: 8 hours ]

Enrollment: 49
Study Start Date: December 2006
Study Completion Date: August 2010
Primary Completion Date: May 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: naltrexone, marijuana
Naltrexone (0, 12, 25, 50, or 100 mg) marijuana (3.27 or 0% THC)
Drug: Naltrexone Drug: Marijuana
Placebo Comparator: placebo, marijuana
marijuana (3.27 or 0% THC)
Drug: Marijuana

Detailed Description:
Laboratory animal studies demonstrate that endogenous cannabinoids and opioids are closely inter-related. We have completed a series of studies in marijuana smokers showing that a clinically-utilized dose of naltrexone (50 mg) enhanced the reinforcing and subjective effects of orally-administered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while a low naltrexone dose (12 mg) blunted the effects of THC. A better understanding of the effects of a range of naltrexone doses in combination with smoked marijuana has important implications for the following reasons: (1) Alcohol- and opioid-dependent patients receive high doses of naltrexone (50-150 mg), which may increase the abuse liability of marijuana, (2) Low-dose naltrexone blunts THC's intoxicating effects, suggesting potential utility as a treatment medication for marijuana dependence. This study will determine if naltrexone (0, 12, 25, 50, 100 mg) administration 45 min prior to marijuana administration (0, 3.9% THC) alters marijuana's subjective, cognitive or physiological effects. Marijuana smokers will spend approximately 5h/day for a total of 10 days in the outpatient laboratory. Participants will visit the outpatient laboratory 2-3 times per week, with a minimum 48-hr interval between sessions to allow for naltrexone clearance. These data will provide important information regarding the clinical use of naltrexone.

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

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Current marijuana use
  • Able to perform study procedures
  • 21-45 years of age
  • Women practicing an effective form of birth control

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current, repeated illicit drug use (other than marijuana)
  • Presence of significant medical illness (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, examination, laboratory hepatitis, clinically significant laboratory abnormalities, tests, 12-lead ECG, Mantoux test LFTs > 3x upper limit of normal)
  • History of heart disease
  • Request for drug treatment
  • Current parole or probation
  • Pregnancy or current lactation
  • Recent history of significant violent behavior
  • Previous adverse reaction to naltrexone
  • Major current Axis I psychopathology Psychiatric interview (e.g., major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, suicide risk, schizophrenia)
  • Current use of any prescription or over-the-counter medication
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00403117

Sponsors and Collaborators
New York State Psychiatric Institute
Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc.
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: NCT00403117     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 5360
Study First Received: November 21, 2006
Last Updated: October 25, 2016

Keywords provided by New York State Psychiatric Institute:
smoked marijuana
marijuana use

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 August 18, 2017