Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of Graduate Psychology
Marijuana use has been linked to various circadian related activities like sleep and cognitive performance (Bolla et al., 2002; 2008; Budney et al., 2002; Cohen-Zion et al., 2010; Iverson et al., 2005; Meier et al., 2012; NIDA, 2012; Pope & Yugulen-Todd, 1996; WHO, 2013). Animal literature suggests a connection between marijuana use and altered circadian rhythms; however, the effect has not yet been studied in humans (Acuna-Goycolea et al., 2010; Sanford et al., 2008). The present study seeks to examine the effect of chronic marijuana use on circadian function in humans and extend the knowledge surrounding marijuana’s effect on neurocognition and sleep quality. Participants consisted of chronic marijuana users and age-matched non-drug user controls. Participant substance abuse was verified through urine samples obtained at the initial and final visits. Participants wore actigraphs and maintained sleep diaries for 3 weeks and both marijuana users and non-users took the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM) to measure cognitive performance. Data analyses reveal chronic marijuana use may act as a zeitgeber and lead to increased entrainment in human users, however use may also result in slight cognitive impairment and significant sleep disturbance.
Whitehurst, Lauren Nicole, "Effects of Chronic Marijuana Use on Circadian Rhythms, Sleep, and Cognitive Performance" (2013). Masters Theses. 368.