Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado


Daniel Vigil

Faculty Sponsor

Kristina Phillips


Craving contributes to the development of substance disorders and is a significant factor leading to relapse. With the legalization of medicinal marijuana and retail marijuana in some states, understanding the effects of craving is essential. I designed an experiment to determine whether marijuana craving leads to cognitive and academic impairment among college students. I hypothesized that participants provided with a marijuana cue would demonstrate greater problems with working memory and reading comprehension than those assigned to a neutral cue control group. Eight university undergraduate students were recruited to participate. Though the study was underpowered, an effect size examining the impact of craving on reading comprehension suggested a moderate to high effect, with the marijuana group scoring lower than the neutral group. Data on the working memory task was skewed, thus limiting conclusions. The data was uninterpretable due to the small sample size, overall. With more research, findings will allow for a better understanding of the role of craving on university students.