Interaction between marihuana and ethanol: effects on psychomotor performance.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

This is a report of the results of a placebo-controlled study in which the effects of the interaction between ethanol and marihuana on drug plasma concentrations, subjective ratings of intoxication, heart rate acceleration, and psychomotor performance were investigated. Six healthy, male, paid volunteers, moderate users of ethanol and marihuana, participated in the study. Ethanol (0.42 g/kg, 0.85 g/kg, or placebo) was administered over a 30-min interval. Fifteen minutes later the subjects smoked, in their customary manner, NIDA cigarettes containing 2.4% or 0.0004% (placebo) delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Each subject was tested in a single-blind, latin-square crossover design with the following six conditions: placebo ethanol/placebo marihuana; low dose ethanol/placebo marihuana; high dose ethanol/placebo marihuana; placebo ethanol/marihuana; low dose ethanol/marihuana; and high dose ethanol/marihuana. The variables measured in the study were: (a) subjective rating of ethanol and/or marihuana intoxication; (b) heart rate; (c) accuracy and latency of response in the Simulator Evaluation of Drug Impairment (SEDI) task; (d) blood ethanol concentration by gas chromatography; and (e) plasma concentration of THC by radioimmunoassay. The results indicate that the decrements due to ethanol in performance of skills necessary to drive an automobile were significantly enhanced by marihuana in an additive and perhaps synergistic manner. The administration of ethanol prior to marihuana smoking did not produce significant effects on the subjective rating of "high," heart rate acceleration, or THC plasma concentration.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Perez-Reyes, M; Hicks, RE; Bumberry, J; Jeffcoat, AR; Cook, CE

Published Date

  • April 1, 1988

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 268 - 276

PubMed ID

  • 2837105

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0145-6008

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1988.tb00193.x


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England