Effects of Oral Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Combinations on a Sustained Attention Task in Rats

Catherine F. Moore, Catherine Davis-Takacs, Cristina Sempio, Jost Klawitter, Uwe Christians, Elise M. Weerts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A well-documented side effect of cannabis and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) acute administration is deficits in cognition and attention. Cannabidiol (CBD), a nonintoxicating constituent of cannabis, may modulate THC’s impairing effects. A goal of this study was to determine the effects of THC and CBD, alone and in combination, on performance in the rodent Psychomotor Vigilance Test (rPVT), a translational paradigm used to quantify sustained attention. Outcome measures in the rPVT include motor speed, premature responding, and lapses in attention. Sprague Dawley rats were trained to perform the rPVT to the acquisition criteria and then received oral doses (mg/kg) of THC (1–17.6), CBD (1–100), and combinations of THC + CBD in sesame oil prior to rPVT sessions, administered in a within-subject randomized design. Blood was collected from rats receiving selected doses of THC alone or THC + CBD for analysis of THC and its metabolites. THC alone produced significant decreases in accuracy and increases in lapses in attention at higher doses (10 mg/kg; ps <.05). The coadministration of CBD (10 mg/kg) with THC (3 or 10 mg/kg) caused greater impairments to sustained attention comparedwith administration of THC alone (ps<.05). The rPVT is a translational platform sensitive to detect impairments in attention associated with THC and other cannabis constituents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExperimental and clinical psychopharmacology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Attention
  • Cannabidiol
  • Cannabis
  • Cognition
  • Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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