Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Joshua A. Lile

Abstract

Craving is a key element of the cannabis withdrawal syndrome that has been associated with continued use and relapse. Although cue-induced cannabis craving has been established in single laboratory sessions, procedures to sustain craving over multiple sessions are needed. The purpose of the present study was to determine if cue-induced craving responses could be elicited in the same subjects across multiple sessions. It was hypothesized that exposure to cannabis cues would produce more robust craving responses than exposure to neutral cues and that elicited craving responses will be sustained across multiple cue exposures. Five experimental cue exposure sessions (1 neutral and 4 cannabis) were conducted. Craving was assessed with the Marijuana Craving Questionnaire (MCQ) Short Form, Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Subject-Rated Physiological Questionnaire, blood pressure, and heart rate. Results revealed significant effects of initial cannabis cue exposure on VAS craving responses and Subject-Rated Physiological measures relative to the neutral cue exposure condition. No significant differences were found on MCQ composite scores or physiological measures. Craving responses following initial cannabis cue exposure were not maintained across sessions. There is a need for a better understanding of the factors that contribute to continued drug use despite quit attempts.

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