Comparison of the influence of alcohol and cannabis on the dynamics of the accommodative response


To assess and compare the changes produced by the two most commonly used substances, alcohol and cannabis, on accommodation dynamics.


A total of 38 young participants (19 females) were enrolled in the study. They were assigned to two groups: a cannabis group (N = 19) and an alcohol group. Participants in the cannabis group underwent two randomized sessions: a baseline session and a session after smoking a cigarette. Participants in the alcohol group underwent three randomized sessions: a baseline session, a session after the intake of 300 ml of red wine (Alcohol 1), and other after the ingestion of 450 ml of wine (Alcohol 2). For the accommodation assessment, the open-field autorefractor WAM-5500 was used.


The decrease of the mean velocity of the accommodative response produced by Alcohol 2 condition was significantly greater than that observed for Alcohol 1 and Cannabis (p = 0.046). The direction of the accommodation (near-distance and distance-near) had no effect on the deterioration of the accommodation dynamics following substance use. The target distance had a significant effect on the decrease of the mean velocity following substance use (p = 0.002). The decrease of the amplitude of the accommodative response was associated with a decrease of the peak velocity (p = 0.004) and the increase of the accommodative lag (p < 0.001).


A moderate-high dose of alcohol impairs accommodation dynamics to a greater extent that lower dose of alcohol or smoked cannabis. The deterioration of the accommodation mean speed was higher for a shorter target distance.


Accommodation dynamics; Accommodative lag; Accommodative response; Alcohol consumption; Cannabis use; Target distance.

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