By Will Ferguson, College of Arts and Sciences
PULLMAN, Wash. – A new study by Washington State University psychology researchers reveals a dampened physiological response to stress in chronic cannabis users.
Using a nationally recognized procedure designed to provoke elevated levels of stress, Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology, Ryan McLaughlin, assistant professor of integrative physiology and neuroscience, and colleagues in the WSU Department of Psychology examined levels of the stress hormone cortisol in both chronic cannabis users and non-users.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the effects of acute stress on salivary cortisol levels in chronic cannabis users compared to non-users,” Cuttler said. “While we are not at a point where we are comfortable saying whether this muted stress response is a good thing or a bad