Frances R. Levin1,2, John J. Mariani1,2, Daniel J. Brooks1, Martina Pavlicova3, Wendy Cheng1,2, and Edward Nunes1,2
1New York State Psychiatric Institute, Division of Substance Abuse, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA
3Department of Biostatistics, Columbia University, 722 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA
Cannabis dependence is a substantial public health problem. Behavioral treatments have shown promise, but there are no effective medications for cannabis dependence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of dronabinol, a synthetic form of delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol, a naturally occurring pharmacologically active component of marijuana, in treating cannabis dependence. 156 cannabis-dependent adults were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 12-week trial. After a 1-week placebo lead-in phase, participants were randomized to receive dronabinol 20 mg twice a day or placebo. Doses were maintained until the end of week 8 and then tapered off over 2 weeks.
All participants received weekly motivational enhancement and relapse prevention therapy. Marijuana use was assessed using the timeline followback method.
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