Residual Effects of THC via Novel Measures of Brain Perfusion and Metabolism in a Large Group of Chronic Cannabis Users

Francesca M. Filbey, Sina Aslan, Hanzhang Lu, Shin Lei Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Given the known vascular effects of cannabis, this study examined the neurophysiological factors that may affect studies of brain activity in cannabis users. We conducted a systematic evaluation in 72 h abstinent, chronic cannabis users (N=74) and nonusing controls (N=101) to determine the association between prolonged cannabis use and the following neurophysiological indicators: (1) global and regional resting cerebral blood flow (CBF), (2) oxygen extraction fraction (OEF), and (3) cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2). We found that cannabis users had greater global OEF and CMRO2 compared with nonusers. Regionally, we found higher CBF in the right pallidum/putamen of the cannabis users compared with nonusers. Global resting CBF and regional CBF of right superior frontal cortex correlated positively with creatinine-normalized Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels. These findings demonstrate residual effects of cannabis use whereby global and regional brain metabolism are altered in those with prolonged cannabis exposure. These neurophysiological alterations should be considered in both research and clinical applications.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 22 March 2017; doi:10.1038/npp.2017.44.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 22 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this