Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2022 Apr 18. doi: 10.1007/s00213-022-06119-3. Online ahead of print.
RATIONALE: Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) are non-psychoactive components of the cannabis plant. CBD has been well characterised to have anxiolytic and anticonvulsant activity, whereas the behavioural effects of CBDA are less clear. Preclinical and clinical data suggests that CBD has antipsychotic properties and reduces methamphetamine self-administration in rats. An animal model that is commonly used to mimic the neurochemical changes underlying psychosis and drug dependence is methamphetamine (METH) sensitisation, where repeated administration of the psychostimulant progressively increases the locomotor effects of METH.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether CBD or CBDA attenuate METH-induced sensitisation of locomotor hyperactivity in rats.
METHODS: Eighty-six male Sprague Dawley rats underwent METH sensitisation protocol where they were subjected to daily METH (1 mg/kg on days 2 and 8, 5 mg/kg on days 3-7; i.p.) injections for 7 days. After 21 days of withdrawal, rats were given a prior injection of CBD (0, 40 and 80 mg/kg; i.p.) or CBDA (0, 0.1, 10 and 1000 µg/kg; i.p.) and challenged with acute METH (1 mg/kg; i.p.). Locomotor activity was then measured for 60 min.
RESULTS: Rats displayed robust METH sensitisation as evidenced by increased locomotor activity to METH challenge in METH-pretreated versus SAL-pretreated rats. CBD (40 and 80 mg/kg) reduced METH-induced sensitisation. There was no effect of any CBDA doses on METH sensitisation or acute METH-induced hyperactivity.
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that CBD, but not CBDA, reduces METH sensitisation of locomotor activity in rats at pharmacologically effective doses, thus reinforcing evidence that CBD has anti-addiction and antipsychotic properties.