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Cannabis Research - behavioural effects


Id Code
87175810
Authors
Martin P, Hodge W, Royal M, Jones B
Title
Behavioral effects of THC as a function of environment and prior drug experience.
Source
Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior
Date
1987 Jan
Issue
26(1)
Pages
141-4
Abstract
Holtzman albino rats were divided into 4 groups, and on 5 consecutive days each group was exposed to one of 4 conditions. The drug-adapted group was given delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (0.0, 0.5, 2.5 or 5.0 mg/kg PO) in their home cages, while the environment-adapted group was given vehicle and placed for one hr in the chamber where they were later tested. The naive group was given vehicle in their home cages and the drug + environment adapted group was given THC and placed in the test chamber. One week later, all rats were given either 0.0, 0.5, 2.5, or 5.0 mg/kg THC and placed in the test chamber where standing, sitting, and behavioral activity were measured. The results showed that the behavioral effects of THC are a function of environmental familiarity in rats who are drug naive but not in rats given prior exposure to THC.

Authors
van Ree JM, Niesink RJ, Nir I
Title
delta 1-Tetrahydrocannabinol but not cannabidiol reduces contact and aggressive behavior of rats tested in dyadic encounters.
Source
Psychopharmacology
Date
1984
Issue
84(4)
Pages
561-5
Abstract
A low and a high dose of delta 1-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 1-THC) and of cannabidiol (CBD) were IP injected in rats that had been isolated for 7 days. Forty-five minutes after injection, the rats were tested for social interactions with non-isolated, untreated test partners in dyadic encounters under standardized conditions. Different aspects of social behavior were analyzed. The high dose of delta 1-THC (10 mg/kg) prevented nearly all social interactions. The low dose of delta 1-THC (1 mg/kg) exerted selective and specific effects on social interactions. Social contact behavior, including crawl over/mounting, and social grooming, and aggressive behavior, including fighting, kicking, and biting, were markedly decreased, whereas social exploratory behavior (exploration of the partner and anogenital investigation) and the behavioral item, approach/follow, were hardly affected by delta 1-THC treatment. Both doses of CBD (2 and 20 mg/kg) failed to change the various aspects of social interaction. It is postulated that the effects of delta 1-THC on close and intimate contact behavior of rats may contribute to the understanding of marihuana taking in humans.

Authors
Zuardi AW, Shirakawa I, Finkelfarb E, Karniol IG
Title
Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by delta 9-THC in normal subjects.
Source
Psychopharmacology
Date
1982
Issue
76(3)
Pages
245-50
Abstract
The object of the experiment was to verify whether cannabidiol (CBD) reduces the anxiety provoked by delta 9-THC in normal volunteers, and whether this effect occurs by a general block of the action of delta 9-THC or by a specific anxiolytic effect. Appropriate measurements and scales were utilized and the eight volunteers received, the following treatments in a double-blind procedure: 0.5 mg/kg delta 9-THC, 1 mg/kg CBD, a mixture containing 0.5 mg/kg delta 9-THC and 1 mg/kg CBD and placebo and diazepam (10 mg) as controls. Each volunteer received the treatments in a different sequence. It was verified that CBD blocks the anxiety provoked by delta 9-THC, however this effect also extended to marihuana-like effects and to other subjective alterations induced by delta 9-THC. This antagonism does not appear to be caused by a general block of delta 9-THC effects, since no change was detected in the pulse-rate measurements. Several further effects were observed typical of CBD and of an opposite nature to those of delta 9-THC. These results suggest that the effects of CBD, as opposed to those of delta 9-THC, might be involved in the antagonism of effects between the two cannabinoids.

Authors
Turley WA Jr, Floody OR
Title
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol stimulates receptive and proceptive sexual behaviors in female hamsters.
Source
Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior
Date
1981 May
Issue
14(5)
Pages
745-7
Abstract
This experiment studied the effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on lordosis responses and ultrasonic communication (measures of sexual receptivity and proceptivity, respectively) in female hamsters. Specifically, lordosis durations and rates of ultrasound production by estradiol-primed ovariectomized hamsters were observed following acute treatment with 1.5 mg/kg of THC, 500 micrograms of progesterone, or the injection vehicle. The results showed that THC can facilitate both lordosis and ultrasound production. Together with results from other laboratories, these data indicate that THC can stimulate female sexual behavior and suggest that this effect reflects a direct, nonhormonal, effect of THC on brain mechanisms for behavior.

Authors
Zuardi AW, Finkelfarb E, Bueno OF, Musty RE, Karniol IG
Title
Characteristics of the stimulus produced by the mixture of cannabidiol with delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
Source
Archives Internationales de Pharmacodynamie et de Therapie
Date
1981 Jan
Issue
249(1)
Pages
137-46
Abstract
Rats, trained to discriminate between delta 9-THC (5 mg/kg) and a control solution, using a T-maze, were submitted to generalization tests wih delta 9-THC (2.5 and 1.25 mg/kg), CBD (40 mg/kg) and the mixtures of delta 9-THC (5 and 1.25 mg/kg) with CBD (40 mg/kg). Doses of delta 9-THC smaller than the training dose, produced a progressive reduction in the number of correct responses together with a decrease in the running time. The choice made by the animals under the effect of CBD (40 mg/kg) did not differ from that of the animals given the control solution but their running time was significantly longer. The mixtures of CBD (40 mg/kg) with delta 9-THC (5 and 1.25 mg/kg) produced approximately 50% response to both sides of the maze, and with run times greater than those observed with delta 9-THC (5 mg/kg). The results suggest that the simultaneous administration of the two cannabinoids might produce a qualitative stimulus different from that produced by delta 9-THC alone.

Authors
Brady KT, Balster RL
Title
The effects of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol alone and in combination with cannabidiol on fixed-interval performance in rhesus monkeys.
Source
Psychopharmacology
Date
1980
Issue
72(1)
Pages
21-6
Abstract
It has been reported that cannabidiol (CBD) antagonizes the effects of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on operant behavior in rats and pigeons. We have replicated this finding with rhesus monkeys. Four rhesus monkeys were trained to lever press on a fixed-interval 5-min schedule of food presentation with a 1-min limited hold and 1-min time out between successive intervals. The effects of 0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg THC alone were determined three times during the experiment; before the CBD-THC interaction, after the CBD-THC interaction and once with the CBD vehicle. A dose of 30 mg/kg CBD, which alone resulted in a 24% reduction in responding, completely antagonized the response rate reduction produced by 0.3 mg/kg THC. The effects of THC revealed a rate-dependent effect that did not conform to the log-linear rate-dependency plots described for most other drugs.

Authors
Miranne AC
Title
Marijuana use and alienation: a multivariate analysis.
Source
International Journal of the Addictions
Date
1981 May
Issue
16(4)
Pages
697-707
Abstract
Research investigating the relationship between marijuana use and alienation is characterized by conflicting findings and a relative lack of multivariate designs. although a number of potential explanations for this lack of consensus are assessed, the primary focus of this study is on the type of analysis employed. Using bivariate analysis, significant positive associations were found between marijuana use and anomia, political alienation, and social isolation. However, when these same relationships were investigated in a multivariate design, controlling for other relevant factors, they failed to remain significant. These results indicate that there is no direct relationship between marijuana use and alienation. furthermore, the results question studies that have not taken into consideration relevant control variables in their analyses.

Authors
Hemphill RE, Fisher W
Title
Drugs, alcohol and violence in 604 male offenders referred for inpatient psychiatric assessment.
Source
South African Medical Journal
Date
1980 Feb 16
Issue
57(7)
Pages
243-7
Abstract
Of 604 White and Coloured male offenders in the Cape referred for inpatient psychiatric observation, 52% habitually indulged heavily in alcohol, drugs (mostly dagga (cannabis)) or both. Indulpence in alcohol alone was frequently associated with violence and sexual assaults, alcohol and drugs together less, and drugs alone least. Those who indulged in drug-taking (i.e. dagga, LSD and hard drugs) were less frequently associated with violence, rape and other sex crimes than were those who did not; 60% of sex offenders were non-abusers. Out of 101 severely psychopathic patients in the sample, only 1 who indulged in drugs but not alcohol was charged with a crime of violence or sex. There was no evidence of a potentiating action between alcohol and dagga towards violent behaviour. Dagga appeared to diminish the action of alcohol, and may inhibit urges toward violence and rape in aggressive persons and psychopaths. Drugs did not release or set off violent reactions, and drug indulgence was associated with stealing without violence. Some implications for forensic psychiatry and arguments about drug indulgence as an extenuating factor in serius crime are discussed.

Id Code
76103379
Authors
Cutler MG, Mackintosh JH
Title
Effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on social behaviour in the laboratory mouse and rat.
Source
Psychopharmacologia
Date
1975 Nov 21
Issue
44(3)
Pages
287-9
Abstract
The behavioural effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in mice and rats have been studied by an ethological analysis of encounters between animals injected with the drug and partners injected with the solvent (Tween-saline). In both species, Immobility was increased and Non-Social Activity reduced after injections of 5 mg/kg of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Flight was increased in treated mice but not in treated rats. Aggression was not significantly altered in either species. Thus, in the mouse, the qualitative behavioural effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol were similar to those previously reported for crude cannabis resin. Comparison of the dose-response data indicated that some other constituents of cannabis may reduce the Flight reaction from delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol although not interfering with Immobility.

Id Code
76079139
Authors
Cutler MG, Mackintosh JH, Chance MR
Title
Behavioural changes in laboratory mice during cannabis feeding and withdrawal.
Source
Psychopharmacologia
Date
1975 Oct 31
Issue
44(2)
Pages
173-7
Abstract
The effects of feeding cannabis at a level of 0.4% in the diet has been studied by an ethological analysis of encounters between male mice. Administration of cannabis to dominant males resulted in a reduction of non-social activity and an increase in flight and in social and sexual investigation when compared with untreated controls, but the behaviour of subordinate males was not significantly altered by cannabis. One week after withdrawal of cannabis, the behaviour of diminant males showed a rebound effect with increase in aggression. Nevertheless, by a preference feeding test it was demonstrated that the treated mice were not dependent on the cannabis-containing diet but consumed the control diet in preference.

Id Code
75196832
Authors
Constoe PF, Jones BC, Chin L
Title
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, EEG and behavior:the importance of adaptation to the testing milieu.
Source
Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior
Date
1975 Mar-Apr
Issue
3(2)
Pages
173-7
Abstract
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) in doses of 0.01, 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/kg, i.v. was administered to adult rabbits previously adapted to the testing chamber. Additionally, a group of rabbits not adapted to any part of the testing regimen was administered 1.0 mg/kg delta-9-THC. Cortical and hippocampal electroencephalographs as well as postural and activity behaviors of the unrestrained animals were recorded. In the adapted rabbits, there were dose-related increased in cortical voltage output, disruption of hippocampal theta rhythm and cortical polyspike bursts. Behaviorally, there was a dose-related tendency for standing and exploration to decrease, and at 0.5 and 1.0 mg/lh, delta-9-THC produced sprawling. In the nonadapted rabbits, administration of 1.0 mg/kh of the drug caused EEG and behavioral stimulation followed by depression of both, The results suggest that the behavioral actions of cannabinols are largely dependent upon the animal's existing state of arousal.

Id Code
78117599
Authors
Miczek KA
Title
delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol: antiaggressive effects in mice, rats, and squirrel monkeys.
Source
Science
Date
1978 Mar 31
Issue
199(4336)
Pages
1459-61
Abstract
delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, the most active constituent of marihuana, decreased species-specific attack behavior in mice, rats, and squirrel monkeys at doses (0.25 to 2.0 milligram per kilogram of body weight) that have no effects on other elements of the behavioral repertoire. Aggressive behavior was engendered in all three species by confronting a resident animal with an intruder conspecific. The present results contrast with the widely held belief that marihuana increases aggressive behavior.

Id Code
79104344
Authors
Pasquale A, Costa G, Trovato A
Title
Effects of cannabis resin on learning by repetition in the rat.
Source
Bulletin on Narcotics
Date
1978 Apr-Jun
Issue
30(2)
Pages
55-61
Abstract
Studies were made of the effects of cannabis resin in differing doses on a type of learning by repetition, using the water-filled maze technique, and on the conditioned avoidance reflex in the rat. When administered at a dose corresponding to 0.5 mg of delta9-THC per kg, the resin led to improved learning in both the types of test employed; opposite effects were observed with the higher dose (corresponding to 5 mg of delta9-THC per kg). These effects are probably attributable to complex reciprocal action between the active constituents of the resin, particularly THC, and the metabolisms of the cerebral monoamines and c-AMP.

Id Code
78077867
Authors
Miczek KA, Barry H 3d
Title
Comparison of the effects of alcohol, chlordiazepoxide, and delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol on intraspecies aggression in rats.
Source
Advances in Experimental Medicine & Biology
Date
1977
Issue
85B
Pages
251-64
Abstract
The species-specific repertoire of attack, threat, defense, and submission was produced in pairs of male laboratory rats and measured after intraperitoneal injection of a drug or its vehicle to one of the rats. Attack behavior by dominant rats toward nondrugged opponents was increased by a low dose of alcohol (0.5 g/kg) or of chlordiazepoxide (5 mg/kg), but suppressed by delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In experienced subordinate rats, the highest alcohol dose (1.5 g/kg) impaired the defensive upright posture whereas THC (2, 4 MG/KG) prolonged immobile crouch and submissivesupine reactions and resulted in more wounds. Naive rats administered alcohol assumed the submissivesupine posture more readily and for a longer duration, but sustained more biting attacks. Chlordiazepoxide and THC, when administered to naive rats, prolonged the immobile crouch reaction, and THC also impaired the defensive upright posture. We conclude that alcohol and chlordiazepoxide both enhance attack behavior in dominant rats, whereas THC has specific anti-aggressive effects and profoundly alters the submissive-defensive reactions.

Id Code
78033035
Authors
Kilbey MM, Johnson KM, McLendon DM
Title
Time course of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol inhibition of predatory aggression.
Source
Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior
Date
1977 Aug
Issue
7(2)
Pages
117-20
Abstract
Three studies assessed the time course of inhibition of predatory aggression and changes in levels of brain serotonin following administration of delta9-THC. In Study One, six groups of six rats each were administered 1.25 mg/kg delta9-THC IV and frog-killing behavior was measured at six postinjection intervals: 30, 60, 90, 150, 210, and 270 minutes. In Study Two, four groups of six rats each were tested. Group One received a vehicle control injection and was tested immediately, i.e. zero-minutes, postinjection. The remaining groups received 1.25 mg/kg delta9-THC, and behavior was measured at 0, 15, and 30 min postinjection. In Study Three, two groups of six rats were treated with the vehicle or 1.25 mg/kg delta9-THC and sacrificed one minute postinjection. Additional drug groups were sacrificed at 30 and 210 min postinjection. Levels of 5-HT were determined in four brain sections: cortex, midbrain, medulla, and cerebellum. Significant inhibition of predatory aggression was found for groups tested at 0, 15, and 30 min postinjection. Brain levels of 5-HT in the midbrain and/or medulla were significantly increased over the same period.

Id Code
80071229
Authors
Russell JA, Bond CR
Title
Beliefs among college students on settings and emotions conducive to alcohol and marijuana use.
Source
International Journal of the Addictions
Date
1979 Oct
Issue
14(7)
Pages
977-86
Abstract
Two hundred college student alcohol and marijuana users rated their desire to drink alcohol and desire to smoke marijuana in or after different settings shown via color photographic slides. Contrary to the compensation hypothesis (that these drugs are used to escape from unpleasant circumstances), desire for both alcohol and marijuana was greater both in and after more pleasant settings than unpleasant ones. These results were more consistent with an amplification hypothesis, that alcohol and marijuana intensify emotions already present.

Id Code
80071222
Authors
Natale M, Zeidenberg P, Jaffe J
Title
Delta 9-tetrahydrocannibinol: acute efects on defensive and primary-process language.
Source
International Journal of the Addictions
Date
1979 Oct
Issue
14(7)
Pages
877-89
Abstract
This study examined the effects of delta 9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) on defensive, primary-process, and secondary-process language. Four male volunteers provided 5-minute monologues in three conditions: Round 1,placebo; Round 2, 15 mg THC; Round 3, recovery. THC was found to attenuate defensive language behavior (retractors, qualifiers, direct references) and to increase the use of secondary-process (intellectualizing) vocabulary.

Id Code
79003112
Authors
Ray R, Mohan D, Prabhu GG, Nath LM, Neki JS
Title
Psychosocial correlates of chronic cannabis use.
Source
Drug & Alcohol Dependence
Date
1978 Jul
Issue
3(4)
Pages
235-41
Abstract
The psychosocial effects of chronic heavy use of cannabis were studied in a rural population of males in north India. The user group comprised thirty persons who had been taking only cannabis at least 11 times a month over a period of five years or more. The controls were fifty subjects selected from among the general population to which the users belonged. The controls had not been using any drugs. The subjects had similar age distribution, occupation, socioeconomic status, and educational background. Psychosocial adaptation was assessed by enquiries into such areas as self-aspiration, present occupation, occupational satisfaction, marital status, marital relationships, sexual behaviour, self-reported deviant behaviour, and future planning for children. On no variable were the present users found to be different from the non-user control group.

Id Code
77079545
Authors
McLendon DM, Harris RT, Maule WF
Title
Suppression of the cardiac conditioned response by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol: a comparison with other drugs.
Source
Psychopharmacology
Date
1976 Nov 10
Issue
50(2)
Pages
159-63
Abstract
Using classical conditioning procedures, the cardiac conditioned response (CCR) was established by pairing one of two tones with the delivery of a peripheral electric shock in Rhesus monkeys. The other tone had no terminal consequence. Such a procedure results in an anticipatory 'anxiety' or 'fear' response to the impending shock signalled by the reinforced tone. The heart rate before the tone in two of the animals was characterized by tachycardia and by bradycardia in the other animal. The effect of intravenous Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was compared to various doses of diazepam, chlorpromazine, and morphine. The results indicate that THC blocks the CCR in a does-related manner. The effects of THC were similar to diazepam, an anti-anxiety drug. Chlorpromazine and morphine affected the conditioned response in an unreliable manner, and both drugs would attenuate the response in some cases and potentiate it in other instances.

Id Code
77132906
Authors
Satz P, Fletcher JM, Sutker LS
Title
Neuropsychologic, intellectual, and personality correlates of chronic marijuana use in native Costa Ricans.
Source
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Date
1976
Issue
282
Pages
266-306
Abstract
The present cross-cultural study investigated the effects of chronic marijuana usage on higher adaptive brain functions and personality in native Costa Ricans. After extensive standardization in Costa Rica, a battery of neuropsychologic, intelligence, and personality tests was administered to two carefully matched groups of marijuana users and controls (NU = NC = 41). Multivariate analyses of multiple combinations of variables, followed by separate univariate tests on each measure, revealed essentially no significant differences between users and nonusers on any of the neuropsychologic, intelligence, or personality tests. Furthermore, no relationship was found between level of daily use (high vs low) and test performance. These findings were discussed in terms of previous chronic and acute studies of changes in adaptive brain functions and personality as a function of marijuana intake.

Id Code
76275480
Authors
Salzman C, Van Der Kolk BA, Shader RI
Title
Marijuana and hostility in a small-group setting.
Source
American Journal of Psychiatry
Date
1976 Sep
Issue
133(9)
Pages
1029-33
Abstract
The authors used several indices to assess the relationship between marijuana and hostility as both inner affect and verbal behavior in a small-group setting. Marijuana subjects reported a small but statistically significant decrease in hostile feelings after the introduction of a frustration stimulus. They also showed significantly less verbal hostility than placebo subjects both before and after introduction of a frustration stimulus. The authors note that research findings on marijuana and hostility are not consistent and suggest a multidetermined relationship based on dose, environment, nature of the frustration stimulus, and intraindividual factors.

Id Code
86114788
Authors
Myerscough R, Taylor S
Title
The effects of marijuana on human physical aggression.
Source
Journal of Personality & Social Psychology
Date
1985 Dec
Issue
49(6)
Pages
1541-6
Abstract
Thirty male undergraduates received intense provocation following their ingestion of one of three doses of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The subjects in the low-dose condition tended to respond in a more aggressive manner than the subjects in the moderate-and high-dose conditions. The subjects in the high-dose condition behaved in a relatively nonaggressive manner throughout the experimental session.

Id Code
91086932
Authors
Fabian WD Jr, Fishkin SM
Title
Psychological absorption. Affect investment in marijuana intoxication.
Source
Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease
Date
1991 Jan
Issue
179(1)
Pages
39-43
Abstract
Absorption (a trait capacity for total attentional involvement) was reported to increase during episodes of marijuana intoxication. Several subsets of the absorption scale items specifically characterized marijuana intoxication, and groups of users and nonusers showed differential affective involvement with these experiences. Additionally, within the drug-using group, a positive correlation between frequency of marijuana use and affective ratings of these experiences was found. The findings support the hypothesis that a specific type of alteration in consciousness that enhances capacity for total attentional involvement (absorption) characterizes marijuana intoxication, and that this enhancement may act as a reinforcer, possibly influencing future use.

Id Code
90083545
Authors
Marks DF, MacAvoy MG
Title
Divided attention performance in cannabis users and non-users following alcohol and cannabis separately and in combination.
Source
Psychopharmacology
Date
1989
Issue
99(3)
Pages
397-401
Abstract
The effect of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC) and alcohol, singly and in combination, on divided attention performance was investigated in cannabis users and non-users who were matched for alcohol use. Both cannabis and alcohol produced decrements in central and peripheral signal detections. Drug and alcohol effects were greater for signal presentations in the periphery. Cannabis users were less impaired in peripheral signal detection than non-users while intoxicated by cannabis and/or alcohol. These findings suggest the development of tolerance and cross-tolerance in regular cannabis users and/or the ability to compensate for intoxication effects.

Id Code
88197469
Authors
Kleinman PH, Wish ED, Deren S, Rainone G, Morehouse E
Title
Daily marijuana use and problem behaviors among adolescents.
Source
International Journal of the Addictions
Date
1988 Jan
Issue
23(1)
Pages
87-107
Abstract
Previous research by Johnston has shown that high school seniors who are daily marijuana users are distinct from the larger population of seniors in a variety of ways. This paper focuses on adolescent daily marijuana users. It replicates Johnston's work and also qualifies it in an important way. We find that level of marijuana use does not make a significant independent contribution to school problems when such critical factors as lifetime cigarette smoking, lifetime multiple drug use, whether respondent has ever used an illicit drug, rebelliousness, and gender, are taken into account. It is concluded that use of marijuana is only one element in a large and complex picture of interrelated problems and behaviors.

Id Code
87175810
Authors
Martin P, Hodge W, Royal M, Jones B
Title
Behavioral effects of THC as a function of environment and prior drug experience.
Source
Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior
Date
1987 Jan
Issue
26(1)
Pages
141-4
Abstract
Holtzman albino rats were divided into 4 groups, and on 5 consecutive days each group was exposed to one of 4 conditions. The drug-adapted group was given delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (0.0, 0.5, 2.5 or 5.0 mg/kg PO) in their home cages, while the environment-adapted group was given vehicle and placed for one hr in the chamber where they were later tested. The naive group was given vehicle in their home cages and the drug + environment adapted group was given THC and placed in the test chamber. One week later, all rats were given either 0.0, 0.5, 2.5, or 5.0 mg/kg THC and placed in the test chamber where standing, sitting, and behavioral activity were measured. The results showed that the behavioral effects of THC are a function of environmental familiarity in rats who are drug naive but not in rats given prior exposure to THC.

Id Code
86104502
Authors
Sethi BB, Trivedi JK, Kumar P, Gulati A, Agarwal AK, Sethi N
Title
Antianxiety effect of cannabis: involvement of central benzodiazepine receptors.
Source
Biological Psychiatry
Date
1986 Jan
Issue
21(1)
Pages
3-10
Abstract
The present work, involving clinical, behavioral, and biochemical studies, was undertaken to elucidate the probable mechanism of the observed antianxiety effects of cannabis. The population for the clinical study consisted of 50 male chronic cannabis users who were otherwise healthy and 50 matched controls. When evaluated on Taylor's Manifest Anxiety Scale (TMA), these subjects had low anxiety scores as compared with the controls. To explore the possible interaction of cannabis with the benzodiazepine receptors, behavioral and biochemical studies in mice were devised, involving acute and chronic cannabis administration. Behavioral study revealed that mice under chronic cannabis treatment scored significantly higher on foot shock-induced aggression, but this was significantly blocked by benzodiazepine receptor antagonist. Furthermore, chronic cannabis treatment significantly (p less than 0.001) increased the frequency of licking response periodically punished by shocks. This confirms the antianxiety effect of cannabis, which also appears to be mediated through a benzodiazepine receptor, as it was reduced significantly (p less than 0.001) by a benzodiazepine receptor blocker. Specific 3H-diazepam binding was carried out in frontal cortex to assess both the population and affinity of benzodiazepine receptors. Our results indicate that acute cannabis treatment has no significant effect, whereas chronic cannabis treatment significantly increased 3H-diazepam binding as compared with controls. Scatchard analysis further reveals that increased affinity is responsible for increased binding to these receptors. It is therefore our contention that the antianxiety effect of cannabis is mediated through central benzodiazepine receptors.