Acute and long-term cannabis use among stimulant users: Results from CTN-0037 Stimulant Reduction Intervention using Dosed Exercise (STRIDE) Randomized Control Trial

Denise Vidot, Chad D. Rethorst, Tom J. Carmody, Mark Stoutenberg, Robrina Walker, Tracy L. Greer, Madhukar H. Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the impact of vigorous intensity, high dose exercise (DEI) on cannabis use among stimulant users compared to a health education intervention (HEI) using data from the Stimulant Reduction Intervention using Dosed Exercise, National Institute of Drug Abuse National Drug Treatment Clinical Trials Network Protocol Number 0037 (STRIDE). Methods: Adults (N = 302) enrolled in the STRIDE randomized clinical trial were randomized to either the DEI or the HEI. Interventions included supervised sessions three times a week during the Acute phase (12 weeks) and once a week during the Follow-up phase (6 months). Cannabis use was measured at each assessment via Timeline Follow Back and urine drug screens. Cannabis use was compared between the groups during the Acute and Follow-up phases using both the intent-to-treat sample and a complier average causal effects (CACE) analysis. Findings: Approximately 43% of the sample reported cannabis use at baseline. The difference in cannabis use between the DEI and HEI groups during the Acute phase was not significant. During the Follow-up phase, the days of cannabis use was significantly lower among those in the DEI group (1.20 days) compared to the HEI group (2.15 days; p = 0.04). Conclusions: For those who adhered to the exercise intervention, vigorous intensity, high dose exercise resulted in less cannabis use. Results suggest that there were no significant short-term differences in cannabis use between the groups. Further study on the long-term impact of exercise as a treatment to reduce cannabis use should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019



  • Behavioral intervention
  • Cannabis
  • Exercise
  • Exercise intervention
  • Health behavior
  • Marijuana
  • Stimulants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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