How does the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) system contribute to the use of cannabis the development of a cannabis use disorder and the relapse to cannabis use? The HPA axis is an important hormonal response system to stress. The actions of this hormone system normally are regulated to ensure that the body can respond quickly to stressful events and return to a normal state. The main determinants of HPA axis activity are genetic background early-life environment and current life stress. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) marijuana use among high schoolers is at an all-time high. In 2018 43.60f 12th graders reported that they have tried marijuana. This percentage appears to be increasing; however the number of young people who believe regular marijuana use is risky is decreasing. As of October 2019 a total of 33 states District of Columbia Guam Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands have approved a comprehensive publicly available medical marijuana programs. However only 2.50f the population uses medical marijuana. Cannabis is widely available in the United States and use is becoming culturally acceptable (123). Additionally THC concentration has increased dramatically over the last 10 years from 8.9 0n 2008 to 17.1 0n 2017 (4). The mean THC:CBD ratio also rose substantially from 23 in 2008 to 104 in 2017.Therefore it is more relevant now than ever before to determine the effects of marijuana on the brain.



Eligible Ages
Between 18 and 70
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • Healthy Volunteers Controls: no drug abuse/dependence diagnoses based on the DSM IV criteria; no alcohol intoxication or illicit drug use (except cannabis) in the last 30 days; no previous history of alcohol drinking to intoxication (3 or more times per week for 6 or more months); no illicit drug use for more than 6 months (except cannabis); and no excessive use of cannabis (3 or more times per week) for the past 4 years.
  • Cannabis Use Disorder volunteers are defined by either (or both) of the following: a) those who meet the criteria for cannabis use disorder (abuse and/or dependence) based on DSM IV criteria OR b) those who meet the criteria for heavy cannabis use based on a score of 8 or greater on the cannabis KMSK scale.
  • BOTH COHORTS any gender 18-70 years of age who is fluent in English sexually active female participants must agree to use effective methods of birth control two weeks prior to hospital admission and two weeks after hospital discharge. Sexually active male participants must agree to use effective methods of birth control for two weeks after hospital dischrage.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Active psychotic disorder (schizophrenia uncontrolled bipolar disease)
  • Current active DSM-IV axis I disorder other than substance use disorder (e.g current major depressive disorder) as determined through clinical interview
  • Pregnancy as determined by testing
  • Acute or uncontrolled chronic medical condition (diabetes mellitus hypertension cardiovascular disease migranes liver or kidney disease chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ect.).
  • HIV positive
  • Hemoglobin <11 g/dl
  • Body weight less than 110 pounds (NYC Blood Bank regulations)
  • Dependence diagnosis for alcohol cocaine heroin other drugs
  • Persons currently nicotine dependent who are unable or unwilling to use nicotine replacement therapy
  • Any medical psychological or social condition that in the opinion of the Investigator would jeopardize the health or well-being of the participant during any study procedures or the integrity of the data
  • Persons taking steroids of any route of administation.

Study Design

early Phase 1
Study Type

More Details

Rockefeller University

Study Contact

Recruitment Office


Study information shown on this site is derived from this institution's local clinical trials team. The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.