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article imageApp helps cannabis users understand their impairment

By Tim Sandle     Apr 28, 2018 in Health
Chicago - A new app has been designed to make cannabis use safer. The app is called 'Am I Stoned?' Here the intention is to help users understand their impairment.
Scientists from the University of Chicago have developed a prototype app- 'Am I Stoned?' - which could, should clinical assessments so demonstrate, help cannabis users to understand how the drug is affecting them through a series of phone-based tasks. While there is a large body of scientific evidence which demonstrates how cannabis use, and its active ingredient active ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), impairs memory, reaction time and attention, this is difficult to assess in the 'natural' setting (as opposed to the laboratory). The app is deigned to allow a user, in a recreational setting, to assess their own level of impairment.
Lead researcher Elisa Pabon explains about the basis of the app: "One of our long-term goals is for the app to improve the safety of cannabis use by making individual users more aware of their impairment."
She goes on to state: "By gathering data from users in the field, the app will also contribute to the overall scientific knowledge in terms of how cannabis affects users."
To test out the app, the researchers ran a double-blind placebo-controlled study using THC or a placebo. The twenty-four subjects completed both iPhone-based and standard computer tests of cognitive speed, reaction time, fine motor ability, and memory. The researchers also asked each person to estimate their own performance impairment. Each subject completed all tasks at both two and three hours after taking a capsule. The results showed that performance was impaired by THC in three of the four computer tasks. With the self-assessments, subjects were in fairly accurate in their awareness of impairments on the tasks.
It is hoped the app will lead to sensitive test that will allow users to objectively evaluate their ability to perform psychomotor or cognitive tasks following cannabis use.
The initial results of the app have recently been presented to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics annual meeting, which took place at the end of April 2018 at 2018 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, U.S.
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