Rationale: The legalization of medicinal use of Cannabis sativa in most US states and the removal of hemp from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) controlled substances act has resulted in a proliferation of products containing Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) for oral consumption (e.g., edibles, oils, and tinctures) that are being used for recreational and medicinal purposes. Objective: This study examined the effects of cannabinoids THC and CBD when administered orally on measures of pain sensitivity, body temperature, locomotor activity, and catalepsy (i.e., cannabinoid tetrad) in male and female Sprague Dawley rats. Methods: Rats (N = 24, 6 per sex/drug group) were administered THC (1–20 mg/kg), CBD (3–30 mg/kg), or sesame oil via oral gavage. Thermal and mechanical pain sensitivity (tail flick assay, von Frey test), rectal measurements for body temperature, locomotor activity, and the bar-test of catalepsy were completed. A separate group of rats (N = 8/4 per sex) was administered morphine (5–20 mg/kg; intraperitoneal, IP) and evaluated for pain sensitivity as a positive control. Results: We observed classic tetrad effects of antinociception, hypothermia, hyper- and hypolocomotion, and catalepsy after oral administration of THC that were long lasting (> 7 h). CBD modestly increased mechanical pain sensitivity and produced sex-dependent effects on body temperature and locomotor activity. Conclusions: Oral THC and CBD produced long lasting effects that differed in magnitude and time course when compared with other routes of administration. Examination of cannabinoid effects administered via different routes of administration, species, and in both males and females is critical to enhance translation.
- Oral administration
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