Attentional bias to drug cues has been associated with the problematic use of drugs,
including cannabis. The cognitive mechanisms underlying this bias are not fully understood.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether cannabis-cue attentional bias is
associated with disruptions in attentional processing. To this end, a novel cannabis-cue
visual probe task that incorporated eye tracking technology and attention-based metrics
derived from signal detection theory was administered to seventeen individuals who
reported daily/near-daily cannabis use. Seventeen individuals with cocaine use disorder
were also enrolled as a clinical-control group. Cannabis and neutral images were briefly
presented side-by-side on a computer screen, followed by the appearance of a “go”
or “no-go” target upon offset of both images to permit assessment of attention-based
performance. Cannabis users exhibited attentional bias to cannabis cues, as measured
by fixation time and response time, but not cue-dependent disruptions on subsequent
attentional performance. Cocaine users did not display an attentional bias to cannabis
cues but did display poorer attentional performance relative to cannabis users. These
results indicate that attentional bias to cannabis cues is selective to cannabis use
history and not associated with impaired attentional processing.