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 Cannabis is the most popular illicit psychoactive drug used in the US, and it has been legalized for recreational use in nineteen States and the District of Columbia as of 2021. Use of cannabis for various medical conditions has been legalized in numerous States as well. Some 70-80 percent of 40-50 year olds in the US have tried cannabis at least once in their lifetime and 18-19% of 18-21 years olds have used cannabis in the past month (Schulenberg et al., 2017). About 5-6% of high school seniors have reported daily use of cannabis over at least the past decade.

Dependence on cannabis is problematic for public health with a scope suggested by evidence ranging from the fact that about 6-7% of 40-50 years olds have ingested cannabis in the past 30 days (Schulenberg et al., 2017) to evidence that there are more people in the US who meet criteria for cannabis dependence than have used cocaine in the past month or ever tried heroin (Schramm-Sapyta et al., 2009).

 The Taffe laboratory investigates potential health consequences of THC, the most important psychoactive constituent in cannabis, and cannabidiol (CBD). The latter was originally found to be mostly inactive but has recently become of interest due to potential anti-seizure properties, potential anti-anxiety properties and a suggestion it may alter some effects of THC in a beneficial manner. Our recent work includes examination of the lasting consequences of repeated adolescent exposure to THC via vapor inhalation and the putative opioid-sparing effects of THC in opioid addiction. 



Gutierrez, A., Creehan, K.M.,  Grant, Y., and Taffe, M.A.  Adult consequences of repeated nicotine and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vapor inhalation in adolescent rats. Psychopharmacology, 2024, in press

Gutierrez, A., Creehan, K.M.,  Turner, M., Tran, R.N., Kerr, T.M., Nguyen, J.D., and Taffe, M.A. Vapor exposure to  Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) slows locomotion of the Maine Lobster (Homarus americanus). , 2021, Pharmacol Biochem Behav,  Jun 28;173222. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2021.173222.  [Publisher Site][PubMed]

Gutierrez, A., Creehan, K.M., Javadi-Paydar, M., Grant, Y. and Taffe, M.A. Effects of combined THC and heroin vapor inhalation in rats. Psychopharmacology, 2021, Jun 23:1-15.  doi: 10.1007/s00213-021-05904-w. [PublisherSite][PubMed][AuthorAccessLink(free)]

Iemolo, A., Montilla-Perez, P., Nguyen, J., Risbrough, V.B., Taffe, M.A., and Telese, F. Reelin deficiency contributes to long-term behavioral abnormalities induced by chronic adolescent exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in mice. Neuropharmacology, 2021, Apr 1;187:108495. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2021.108495. Epub 2021 Feb 11. [ PublisherSite

Moore, C.F., Davis, C.M., Harvey, E.L., Taffe, M.A., and Weerts, E.M. Appetitive, antinociceptive, and hypothermic effects of vaped and injected Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in rats: exposure and dose-effect comparisons by strain and sexPharmacol Biochem Behav, 2021 Jan 22; 202:173116. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Nguyen, J.D., Creehan, K.M., Grant, Y., Vandewater, S.A., Kerr, T.M. and Taffe, M.A. Explication of CB1 receptor contributions to the hypothermic effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) when delivered by vapor inhalation or parenteral injection in rats. Drug Alcohol Depend, 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108166 [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Taffe, M.A., Creehan, K.M., Vandewater, S.A., Kerr, T.M. and Cole, M. Effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vapor inhalation in Sprague-Dawley and Wistar rats. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol., 2020, (Apr 16, 2020). DOI:10.1037/pha0000373 . [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Nguyen, J.D., Creehan, K.M., Kerr, T.M. and Taffe, M.A. Lasting effects of repeated Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) vapor inhalation during adolescence in male and female rats. Brit J Pharmacol, 2020, Jan, 177(1):188-203. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed

Javadi-Paydar, M., Creehan, K.M., Kerr, T.M. and Taffe, M.A. Vapor inhalation of cannabidiol (CBD) in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 2019 Jul 20:172741. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2019.172741. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Nguyen, J.D., Grant, Y., Creehan, K.M., Hwang, C.S., Vandewater, S.A., Janda, K.D., Cole, M. and Taffe, M.A. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol Attenuates Oxycodone Self-Administration Under Extended Access Conditions, Neuropharmacology, 2019, 151:127-135. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Javadi-Paydar, M., Kerr, T.M., Harvey, E.L., Cole, M., and Taffe, M.A. Effects of Nicotine and THC Vapor Inhalation Administered By An Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) In Male Rats. Drug Alcohol Depend, 2019 May, 198:54-62. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Nguyen, J.D., Grant, Y., Kerr, T.M., Gutierrez, A., Cole, M., and Taffe, M.A. Tolerance to the Hypothermic and Antinoceptive effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Vapor Inhalation In Rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 2018 Sept, 172:33-38. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Javadi-Paydar, M., Nguyen, J.D., Kerr, T.M., Grant, Y., Vandewater, S.A., Cole, M., and Taffe, M.A. Effects Of Δ9-THC And Cannabidiol Vapor Inhalation In Male And Female Rats. Psychopharmacology, 2018 Jun 16, 235:2541-2557. [ Publisher Link ][ Free Viewable Link ][ PubMed ]

[Review]: Boggs, D.L., Nguyen, J.D., Morgenson, D., Taffe, M.A. and Ranganathan, M.  Clinical and Pre-Clinical Evidence for Functional Interactions of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews, , 2018 Jan, 43(1):142-154. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed

Nguyen, J.D., Aarde, S.M.,  Vandewater, S.A., Grant, Y., Stouffer, D.G., Parsons, L.H., Cole, M. and Taffe, M.A. Inhaled delivery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to rats by e-cigarette vapor technology, Neuropharmacology, 2016, 109:112-120. [ Publisher Site ][ PubMed ]

Taffe, M.A., Creehan, K.M., Vandewater, S.A. Cannabidiol fails to reverse hypothermia or locomotor suppression induced by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in Sprague-Dawley rats. British Journal of Pharmacology DOI: 10.1111/bph.13024; [Publisher Site; PubMed]

Wright, M.J., Jr., Vandewater, S.A. and Taffe, M.A. Cannabidiol attenuates deficits of visuo-spatial associative memory induced by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, Brit J Pharmacol, 2013, 170:1365-1373. [ PubMed ][ Publisher Link ] [Accompanying Commentary by Mechoulam and Parker, 2013, 170:1363-1364.]

Wright, Jr, M.J., Vandewater, S.A., Parsons, L.H. and Taffe, M.A. Δ9tetrahydrocannabinol impairs reversal learning but not extra-dimensional shifts in rhesus macaques. Neurosci, 2013, 235:51-58 [ PubMed ][ Publisher Link ]

Taffe, M.A. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol impairs visuo-spatial associative learning and spatial working memory in rhesus macaques, J Psychopharmacol, 2012, Oct; 26(10):1299-306. Epub 2012 Apr 22[ PubMed Abstract ][ Publisher Link ][ RequestPDF ]

Taffe, M.A. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol attenuates MDMA-induced hyperthermia in rhesus monkeys, Neuroscience, 2012, 201:125-133 Nov 29 2011 [Epub ahead of print] [ PubMed Abstract ] [ Publisher Link ] [ RequestPDF ]

Funding History:

The Scripps Center for Cannabis Addiction Neurobiology (SCCAN):  The Taffe Laboratory participated under Project #3 (Consequences of chronic exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in monkeys) of the Center, funded Sept 2007 to Jun 2011. The goal of this project was to determine the cognitive effects of actute and chronic exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in smoked cannabis.

Cannabis-related studies were continued under a new R01 project "Cannabinoid Regulation of Cognition" in 2013 with the goal of determining how the marijuana constituent cannabinol may alter the cognitive effects of THC.

The laboratory was funded in 2016 to develop techniques for e-cigarette type vapor inhalation delivery of THC to rats under a subcontract of SBIR Grant R44 DA041967.

Cannabis research in the Taffe Laboratory is currently supported by an award from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program and and award from the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. Work was previously supported by USPHS Grants R44 DA041967R01 DA035482 and  P20 DA024194 .