Scripps Research Logo

The Taffe Laboratory

Cannabis

[ NIDA on Marijuana ] [ Search PubMed ]

 Cannabis is the most popular illicit psychoactive drug used in the US, and it has been legalized for recreational use in eight States as of 2017. Use of cannabis for various medical conditions has been legalized in numerous States as well. Some 70-80 percent of 40-50 year olds in the US have tried cannabis at least once in their lifetime and 18-19% of 18-21 years olds have used cannabis in the past month (Schulenberg et al., 2017). About 5-6% of high school seniors have reported daily use of cannabis over at least the past decade.

Dependence on cannabis is problematic for public health with a scope suggested by evidence ranging from the fact that about 6-7% of 40-50 years olds have ingested cannabis in the past 30 days (Schulenberg et al., 2017) to evidence that there are more people in the US who meet criteria for cannabis dependence than have used cocaine in the past month or ever tried heroin (Schramm-Sapyta et al., 2009).

 

The Taffe laboratory investigates potential health consequences of THC, the most important psychoactive constituent in cannabis, and cannabidiol (CBD). The latter was originally found to be mostly inactive but has recently become of interest due to potential anti-seizure properties, potential anti-anxiety properties and a suggestion it may alter some effects of THC in a beneficial manner.

 

Funding History:

The Scripps Center for Cannabis Addiction Neurobiology (SCCAN):  The Primate Neurobehavioral Laboratory participated under Project #3 (Consequences of chronic exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in monkeys) of the Center, funded Sept 2007 to Jun 2011. The goal of this project was to determine the cognitive effects of actute and chronic exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in smoked cannabis.

Cannabis-related studies were continued under a new R01 project "Cannabinoid Regulation of Cognition" in 2013 with the goal of determining how the marijuana constituent cannabinol may alter the cognitive effects of THC.

The laboratory was funded in 2016 to develop techniques for e-cigarette type vapor inhalation delivery of THC to rats under a subcontract of SBIR Grant R44 DA041967.


Publications

[Review]: Boggs, D.L., Nguyen, J.D., Morgenson, D., Taffe, M.A. and Ranganathan, M.  Clinical and Pre-Clinical Evidence for Functional Interactions of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews, 2018, in press. [ Publisher Site ]

Nguyen, J.D., Aarde, S.M.,  Vandewater, S.A., Grant, Y., Stouffer, D.G., Parsons, L.H., Cole, M. and Taffe, M.A. Inhaled delivery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to rats by e-cigarette vapor technology, Neuropharmacology, 2016, 109:112-120. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Taffe, M.A., Creehan, K.M., Vandewater, S.A. Cannabidiol fails to reverse hypothermia or locomotor suppression induced by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in Sprague-Dawley rats. British Journal of Pharmacology DOI: 10.1111/bph.13024; [Publisher Site; PubMed]

Wright, M.J., Jr., Vandewater, S.A. and Taffe, M.A. Cannabidiol attenuates deficits of visuo-spatial associative memory induced by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Brit J Pharmacol, 2013, 170:1365-1373. [ PubMed ][ Publisher Link ] [Accompanying Commentary by Mechoulam and Parker, 2013, 170:1363-1364.]

Wright, Jr, M.J., Vandewater, S.A., Parsons, L.H. and Taffe, M.A. Δ9tetrahydrocannabinol impairs reversal learning but not extra-dimensional shifts in rhesus macaques. Neurosci, 2013, 235:51-58 [ PubMed ][ Publisher Link ]

Taffe, M.A. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol impairs visuo-spatial associative learning and spatial working memory in rhesus macaques, J Psychopharmacol, 2012, Oct; 26(10):1299-306. Epub 2012 Apr 22[ PubMed Abstract ][ Publisher Link ][ RequestPDF ]

Taffe, M.A. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol attenuates MDMA-induced hyperthermia in rhesus monkeys, Neuroscience, 2012, 201:125-133 Nov 29 2011 [Epub ahead of print] [ PubMed Abstract ] [ Publisher Link ] [ RequestPDF ]

Cannabis research in The Primate Neurobehavioral Laboratory is supported by USPHS Grant R01 DA035482 [previously by P20 DA024194 (Taffe, PI Proj#3; 09/30/07-6/30/11)].