Separate and combined effects of gabapentin and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in humans discriminating Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol

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22 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to examine a potential mechanism of action of gabapentin to manage cannabisuse disorders by determining the interoceptive effects of gabapentin in cannabis users discriminating Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) using a pharmacologically selective drug-discrimination procedure. Eight cannabis users learned to discriminate 30 mg oral Δ9-THC from placebo and then received gabapentin (600 and 1200 mg), Δ9-THC (5, 15, and 30 mg), and placebo alone and in combination. Self-report, task performance, and physiological measures were also collected. Δ9-THC served as a discriminative stimulus, produced positive subjective effects, elevated heart rate, and impaired psychomotor performance. Both doses of gabapentin substituted for the Δ9-THC discriminative stimulus and engendered subjective and performance-impairing effects that overlapped with those of Δ9-THC when administered alone. When administered concurrently, gabapentin shifted the discriminative-stimulus effects of Δ9-THC leftward/upward, and combinations of Δ9-THC and gabapentin generally produced larger effects on cannabinoid-sensitive outcomes relative to Δ9-THC alone. These results suggest that one mechanism by which gabapentin might facilitate cannabis abstinence is by producing effects that overlap with those of cannabinoids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Cannabis
  • Cardiovascular
  • Digit-symbol-substitution task
  • Drug discrimination
  • Human
  • Marijuana
  • Repeated acquisition task
  • Subjective effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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