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Effect of subchronic treatment with (−) δ8-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (δ8-THC) on food intake, body temperature, hexobarbital sleeping time and hexobarbital elimination in rats


In a series of experiments in rats it was possible to prove that δ 8-THC has the same type of effectiveness as the stereo-isomeric δ 9-THC.

Body temperature was reduced to 35.5‡ C 90 min after injection of 10 mg/kg δ 8-THC; 5 mg/kg δ 8-THC extended the duration of hexobarbital sleeping time from 119 min in control animals to 205 min. Following treatment with δ 8-THC for 9 and 10 days the effects on hypothermia and prolongation of sleeping time were less pronounced than in acute experiments. Body temperature dropped to 36.4‡ C 90 min p.i. and the duration of hexobarbital sleeping time was only extended to 156 min. This attenuation of effects after subchronic THC treatment was regarded as due to the development of tolerance.

In order to exclude the possibility that the extension of sleeping time might be due to an effect of THC on hexobarbital metabolism, the hexobarbital concentration in cerebral tissue and blood was determined 30, 60, 90 and 120 min after the administration of 100 mg/kg hexobarbital-Na. There was no difference in hexobarbital elimination between rats treated with THC in a single dose or over a 10-day period and control animals.

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We are indebted to the Bundesministerium für Jugend, Familie und Gesundheit for financial support.

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Rating, D., Broermann, I., Honecker, H. et al. Effect of subchronic treatment with (−) δ8-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (δ8-THC) on food intake, body temperature, hexobarbital sleeping time and hexobarbital elimination in rats. Psychopharmacologia 27, 349–357 (1972).

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Key words

  • δ 8-THC
  • Hexobarbital
  • Tolerance