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7. The Effect of Cannabis Intoxication on Liking and Wanting for Tobacco and Cocaine
Drug use trajectory theories have suggested that cannabis exposure has a causal effect on harder drug use beyond genetic influences. Despite this, there has been a paucity of research on the underlying mechanisms accounting for this relationship. Additionally, researchers have not focused on how past cannabis exposure or intoxication may intensify processes involved in softer drug use. To address these gaps, participants (N = 100; 55% female; 45% male) were administered tasks assessing liking and wanting for tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine pre- and post- administration of a cannabis or placebo joint inside Dutch Coffee shops and with a cross-cultural (Dutch vs. American) sample. Participants’ drug use was tracked 6 months after their smoking sessions. Our main goal for the study was to determine the effect of cannabis condition and past cannabis use frequency on liking and wanting for cocaine and tobacco in Dutch and American participants, beyond common cause factors. In doing so, we hope to better understand how repeated cannabis use as well as the intoxication state may intensify harder and softer drug use. Results and implications will be discussed, with attention to competing theories on drug use (i.e., gateway hypothesis; common liability to addiction).