Allsop, DJ and Rooney, K and Arnold, JC and Bhardwaj, AK and Bruno, R and Bartlett, DJ and Montebello, M and Arkell, T and Richards, E and Gugusheff, J and Rooke, S and Kerley, W and Murnion, B and Haber, P and McGregor, IS and Lintzeris, N, Randomised controlled trial (RCT) of daily aerobic exercise for inpatient cannabis withdrawal: A study protocol, Mental Health and Physical Activity, 13 pp. 57-67. ISSN 1755-2966 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
Background and aims: Cannabis withdrawal is thought to be a major contributor to relapse to cannabis use and is now included in the DSM-5. Aerobic exercise relieves withdrawal symptoms from tobacco and other drugs, but has yet to be tested in cannabis users.
Methods: A prospective, single blind, parallel-group RCT comparing daily aerobic exercise to a control stretching intervention.
Setting: A seven-day inpatient hospital admission, with follow-up at 28 days’ post-discharge.
Participants: The study population will be 80 cannabis dependent adults seeking assistance with cannabis withdrawal.
Intervention and comparator: Participants in the Intervention group will undergo 35 min of aerobic exercise daily, at 60% of their VO2 Max, on an exercise bicycle. The Control group will participate in a structured non-aerobic daily stretching routine for 35 min daily. Both groups receive treatment as usual in the withdrawal management unit of the hospital.
Measurements: The primary outcome measure is the severity of cannabis withdrawal symptoms assessed daily using the Cannabis Withdrawal Scale and the Marijuana Cravings Questionnaire – pre and post exercise, across the week. Mechanisms by which exercise may affect cannabis withdrawal will be assessed by analysis of endogenous cannabinoids, and plasma and urine cannabinoid levels.
Discussion: This is the first RCT of aerobic exercise for cannabis dependence that has a valid control group to aid in interpretation of findings. Should the intervention prove effective, it would give empirical support to an inexpensive and accessible treatment approach for drug withdrawal management.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||cannabis, exercise, THC, cannabis, withdrawal, marijuana, V02 max|
|Research Division:||Psychology and Cognitive Sciences|
|Research Field:||Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)|
|Objective Group:||Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)|
|Objective Field:||Substance Abuse|
|UTAS Author:||Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||1|
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