Are you under the influence? This prototype app could have the answer.
Joanna Cummings |
A new app, currently in development, called ‘Am I Stoned?’ aims to tell consumers if and how they are affected by consumption of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The test assesses reaction time, memory and attention level to determine if users are significantly impaired.
Twenty-four people were asked to take either 15mg of THC or a 7.5mg placebo and then complete a series of computer- and iPhone app-based tasks. Three out of four of the computer tasks and one of the iPhone tasks successfully detected impairment.
“One of our long-term goals is for the app to improve the safety of cannabis use by making individual users more aware of their impairment,” said the team in a statement.
The app was designed and tested by a team at University of Chicago, headed by Harriet de Wit, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience. The initial results will be presented at 2018’s Experimental Biology conference by doctoral student Elisa Pabon.
The effect of THC on performance can be subtle, the team acknowledge – so the next stage is to improve the sensitivity of the app-based tasks. They also hope that data gathered from use of the app will help improve future iterations. Ultimately, they hope to develop a working app that allows individuals to assess their own performance without the need for lab-based testing. However, the app is not designed to tell users whether they can drive or engage in risky activities.