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Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Characterization of Tetrahydrocannabinol-Induced Cannabinoid Dependence After Chronic Passive Cannabis Smoke Exposure in Rats.

Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2019;4(4):240-254

Authors: Ravula A, Chandasana H, Jagnarine D, Wall SC, Setlow B, Febo M, Bruijnzeel AW, Derendorf H

Introduction: Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the US, and cannabis use among young adults continues to rise. Previous studies have shown that chronic administration of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis, induces dependence in animal models. Because smoking is the most frequent route of THC self-administration, it is critical to investigate the effects of cannabis smoke inhalation. The goal of the current study was to develop a rat model to characterize the pharmacokinetics (PKs) of THC after cannabis smoke inhalation, and to determine if chronic cannabis smoke inhalation leads to the development of cannabis dependence. Materials and Methods: For the PK study, male Wistar rats were administered THC intravenously (1 mg/kg) or exposed to smoke from 5 or 10 sequentially smoked cannabis cigarettes (5.3% THC) in an automated smoking machine. Plasma samples were collected from 10 min to 10 hours post smoke exposure (or intravenous administration) and analyzed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to characterize the PK of THC. A three-compartment PK model was used to characterize the PKs. In a separate study, three groups of male Wistar rats were trained in an intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) procedure, and exposed to smoke from burning 5 or 10 cannabis cigarettes (or clean air control conditions), 5 days/week for 4 weeks. Discussion and Conclusions: Across exposure days, the change from baseline in ICSS thresholds for cannabis smoke-exposed groups was significantly lower and response latencies were significantly faster in the cannabis smoke-exposed groups compared to controls, suggesting that chronic cannabis smoke exposure has rewarding properties. Acute administration of the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (0.3, 1.0, 3.0 mg/kg) induced a dose-dependent increase in ICSS thresholds in the smoke-exposed rats, suggestive of dependence and withdrawal. Finally, an effect compartment PK-pharmacodynamic model was used to describe the relationship between THC concentrations and changes in ICSS thresholds after cannabis smoke exposure.

PMID: 32042924 [PubMed]

Source: ncbi 2

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