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The effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the metabolism of norepinephrine in rat brain

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Δ 9-THC (approximately 80 mg/kg) was administered to rats by intraperitoneal injection. This dose was found to cause an accelerated rate of disappearance of intracisternally administered norepinephrine-H3 from the brain and a small increase in the uptake of norepinephrine-H3 in the brain. In contrast to most stimulants, euphoriants, or antidepressants (e.g., cocaine or amphetamine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants), Δ 9-THC appeared to cause no decrease in the deamination of norepinephrine-H3 in brain. Levels of endogenous norepinephrine in brain tended to be slightly lower, whereas levels of endogenous serotonin were slightly higher in animals treated with Δ 9-THC than in matched control animals. Behavioral effects were observed and are described in the text.

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Correspondence to Joseph J. Schildkraut.

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Schildkraut, J.J., Efron, D.H. The effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the metabolism of norepinephrine in rat brain. Psychopharmacologia 20, 191–196 (1971).

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  • Marijuana
  • Δ 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol
  • THC
  • Catecholamines
  • Norepinephrine
  • Behavior