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Evaluate magnitude and duration of subjective and physiologic responses to neutral and marijuana (MJ)-related cues in cannabis dependent volunteers.


33 volunteers (17 male) who met DSM-IV criteria for Cannabis Abuse or Dependence were exposed to neutral (first) then MJ-related visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile cues. Mood, drug craving and physiology were assessed at baseline, post-neutral, post-MJ and 15-min post MJ cue exposure to determine magnitude of cue- responses. For a subset of participants (n=15; 9 male), measures of craving and physiology were collected also at 30-, 90-, and 150-min post-MJ cue to examine duration of cue-effects.


In cue-response magnitude analyses, visual analog scale (VAS) items craving for, urge to use, and desire to smoke MJ, Total and Compulsivity subscale scores of the Marijuana Craving Questionnaire, anxiety ratings, and diastolic blood pressure (BP) were significantly elevated following MJ vs. neutral cue exposure. In cue-response duration analyses, desire and urge to use MJ remained significantly elevated at 30-, 90- and 150-min post MJ-cue exposure, relative to baseline and neutral cues.


Presentation of polysensory MJ cues increased MJ craving, anxiety and diastolic BP relative to baseline and neutral cues. MJ craving remained elevated up to 150-min after MJ cue presentation. This finding confirms that carry-over effects from drug cue presentation must be considered in cue reactivity studies.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.