Students create ‘Weed App’ to test how stoned Marijuana users are
Two doctoral students in America have developed a new phone app to test how stoned a Marijuana user is.
Elisa Pabon and Harriet de Wit created the “Am I Stoned?” application to help the recreational drug users find out how impaired their senses are after using it.
According to the two researchers, no non-laboratory tests are currently available to find out the level of influence that cannabis has on its users.
Once this app becomes operational and possibly available through online software stores, those who enjoy the occasional joint or weed cookie will be able to know exactly how much of their cognitive abilities have been affected by the drug.
Alcohol on the other hand, has several tests administered to drinkers such as alcoblow and the ‘walk in a straight line’ test, to establish how intoxicated they are especially if they are driving.
“Cannabis and its active ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been shown to impair memory, reaction time and attention. As a first step; we tested the app in a within-subjects double-blind placebo-controlled study with THC.
ILLEGAL IN KENYA
“Participants completed both iPhone-based and standard computer tests of cognitive speed, reaction time, fine motor ability, and memory,” said the researchers in an abstract for Experimental Biology, an annual meeting of five societies comprised of more than 14,000 scientists.
The participants in the experiments were given THC pills with doses ranging from zero, 7.5 and 15 milligrammes and their reaction time, memory and coordination were tested. They were also examined on whether they were aware of the impairments that they were experiencing.
It was found that the computer tests were more sensitive and picked up on the users who were high rather than the phone based application. Ms Pabon theorized that maybe the computer tests used more time to complete, hence had a longer period to examine the sobriety of the users.
“In a follow-up study we will improve the tasks used in the phone application to increase their sensitivity to THC impairment.The research will also identify conditions under which individuals are or are not aware of their impaired state,” the duo said.
Though illegal in Kenya, the laws on cannabis use in the United States differ from state to state. There are some states that have decriminalized it and set lower penalties for using or being in possession of it. Others only allow its use for medical purposes, to treat or alleviate the pain from debilitating diseases such as cancer.