Impact of Repeated Cannabis Treatments on Driving Abilities

INVESTIGATOR: Thomas Marcotte, Ph.D.

STUDY LOCATION: University of California, San Diego

PROJECT TITLE: Impact of Repeated Cannabis Treatments on Driving Abilities

PROJECT TYPE: Clinical Study, Sub-Study

STATUS: COMPLETE

RESULTS:

The full results of this study are in preparation. No preliminary results are available at this time.

ABSTRACT:

A significant concern in utilizing cannabis, a known psychoactive drug, in the treatment of medical conditions is the potential for negative cognitive side effects. Driving is a complex activity requiring numerous cognitive abilities, including continuous tracking, sequential movements, judgment, planning, perception, attention and speeded information processing. Previous studies have demonstrated that a single dose of marijuana results in mild driving impairments, the equivalent of a blood alcohol concentration of .03 or greater. The principal aim of the present study is to examine whether routine administration of cannabis in the medical treatment of HIV-related neuropathy and spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis results in significant impairment in driving abilities. In order to achieve this aim, driving simulator assessments will be linked to two studies proposed by UCSD investigators. In Study I (R.J. Ellis, PI), the utility of cannabis as a treatment for neuropathic pain in AIDS patients will be assessed using a double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design. In Study II (J. Corey-Bloom, PI), the effectiveness of cannabis in reducing spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis will also be evaluated using cannabis. Subjects in the present study will follow the protocols outlined in the Study I and II submissions. The protocol and budget for each Study are clearly presented in order to facilitate adjustments should one of the proposed studies not be funded. Subjects will be tested on driving simulations that assess standard deviation of lane position and coherence - measures which have been shown to be sensitive to medication effects. Subjects will be tested at (1) baseline, following one month of abstinence from marijuana use, (2) one hour after the final dose in the initial treatment/placebo phase, (3) three hours following the final dose, (4) 18 hours after the final dose; and then a similar testing schedule following the subsequent treatment/placebo arm (assessments 5, 6, and 7). As a result of these studies, we will improve our knowledge regarding the impact of repeated cannabis administration on driving abilities, both acute and following overnight abstinence. These data will thus provide greater insights regarding the real life impact of using "marijuana as medicine."

PUBLICATIONS:

Type:

Title:

Meeting Abstract Marcotte TD, Rosenthal T, Corey-Bloom J, Roberts E, Lampinen S, Allen W. The Impact of Cognitive Deficits and Spasticity on Driving Simulator Performance in Multiple Sclerosis. Proceedings of the Third International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. 2005.
Meeting Abstract Marcotte TD, Wolfson T, Meyer R, Rosenthal T, Bentley H, Gouaux B, Scott J, Corey-Bloom J. Driving Performance at Clinically Effective Cannabis Doses for the Treatment of MS Spasticity. 43rd Annual Meeting, International Neuropsychological Society. February 4-7, 2015.

Weed Is Everywhere, So Why Is It Still A Medical Mystery?

Seeker, June 23, 2019


Regulators hungry for evidence as FDA weighs allowing CBD in food, dietary supplements

Angelica LaVito, CNBC, May 31, 2019

Food and Drug Administration regulators grilled manufacturers and advocates Friday for evidence that CBD actually does anything they claim it does.

Companies are adding CBD, short for cannabidiol, to just about everything, including makeup, tea, pet treats and soft drinks — even though there's little data to support the many claims of its benefits. FDA regulators trying to learn more about the cannabis compound held the agency's first hearing on it Friday.

More than 100 people testified at the hearing. Speakers pushed the FDA to set up a regulatory framework to legally add CBD to food products and dietary supplements. They praised CBD and the purported benefits — and FDA panelists repeatedly asked for data. Scientists warned of the little research and many potential risks CBD brings.

Read the story here


Three years into legal cannabis and California still doesn’t have a reliable test for driving while high

Brooke Staggs, Orange County Register, May 31, 2019

Nearly three years after California voters approved a cannabis legalization bill that promised, among other things, to clarify the issue of driving while high, researchers and law enforcement have few concrete answers about a potentially deadly problem.

It’s unclear, for example, if marijuana-related arrests or car crashes have increased statewide. It’s up to each county to track that data, and many still don’t distinguish between cannabis and other drugs in their arrest and accident reports.

There also aren’t yet any reliable methods for testing whether drivers were actually impaired by marijuana when they’re behind the wheel. Research in this area is hampered by federal law and left scrambling to catch up with the wave of marijuana legalization that continues to sweep the country.

Read the rest of the article here


More News

Click here to access the CMCR news archives.

Igor Grant, MD

Marijuana as Medicine: Can We See Past the Smoke?
North American Cannabis Summit presentation January 2019 (PDF)


Igor Grant, MD

Introduction/Overview
CMCR Symposium, June 2018


Daniele Piomelli, MD, PhD, PharmD

The health impact of cannabis
CMCR Symposium, June 2018


Ziva Cooper, PhD

Therapeutic potential of cannabis for pain alone and as an adjunct to opioids
CMCR Symposium, June 2018


Iain McGregor, PhD

Medicinal cannabis research down under: Introducing the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics
CMCR Symposium, June 2018


Copyright © 2019 CENTER FOR MEDICINAL CANNABIS RESEARCH. | University of California, San Diego
cmcr@ucsd.edu | HNRP |