Effects of exercise on experimentally manipulated craving for cannabis: A preliminary study.

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, and craving for cannabis is related to cannabis use. Exercise has been demonstrated to reduce craving for substances. To examine the effects of exercise on cannabis craving, we conducted a 3-week within-subject crossover experiment. Young-adult men (n = 35) and women (n = 11), age 18–25 years (M = 20.76, SD = 1.68), who regularly (≥3 times per week) used cannabis participated in a cue exposure paradigm to stimulate craving. After each of three separate craving inductions, they completed a 10-min bout of exercise that varied in intensity (rest, moderate, vigorous). Craving was assessed before and after the induction, immediately following the exercise, and at three 10-min intervals (total of 30 min). Results of condition-specific, repeated measures analyses of variance showed nonsignificant reductions in immediate postexercise craving for the moderate and vigorous conditions. We used latent growth modeling to examine the trajectory of craving rebound during the 30 min following exercise and explored the effect of baseline weekly cannabis use in predicting craving rebound. Within 30 min postexercise, craving rebounded for both the moderate, F(3, 135) = 9.10, p < .01, and vigorous, F(3, 135) = 3.48, p < .05, conditions. We found that among cannabis users reporting larger quantities of typical weekly cannabis use, craving rebounded more quickly following vigorous than moderate exercise, b = 0.02, SE = 0.02, 95% confidence interval [0.00, 0.06]. The findings suggest that moderate exercise may be useful for reducing craving, particularly among those who use larger quantities of cannabis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)