Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 18;22(16):8899. doi: 10.3390/ijms22168899.
Cannabis is the most-used recreational drug worldwide, with a high prevalence of use among adolescents. In animal models, long-term adverse effects were reported following chronic adolescent exposure to the main psychotomimetic component of the plant, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, these studies investigated the effects of pure THC, without taking into account other cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Interestingly, cannabidiol (CBD) content seems to mitigate some of the side effects of THC, at least in adult animals. Thus, in female rats, we evaluated the long-term consequences of a co-administration of THC and CBD at a 3:1 ratio, chosen based on the analysis of recently confiscated illegal cannabis samples in Europe. CBD content is able to mitigate some of the long-term behavioral alterations induced by adolescent THC exposure as well as long-term changes in CB1 receptor and microglia activation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). We also investigated, for the first time, possible long-term effects of chronic administration of a THC/CBD combination reminiscent of « light cannabis » (CBD:THC in a 33:1 ratio; total THC 0.3%). Repeated administration of this CBD:THC combination has long-term adverse effects on cognition and leads to anhedonia. Concomitantly, it boosts Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase-67 (GAD67) levels in the PFC, suggesting a possible lasting effect on GABAergic neurotransmission.