, Volume 118, Issue 4, pp 419–424 | Cite as

Pharmacological specificity of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol discrimination in rats

  • R. L. Barrett
  • J. L. Wiley
  • R. L. Balster
  • B. R. Martin
Original Investigation


While many previous studies have shown that a variety of cannabinoids substitute and cross-substitute for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in drug discrimination procedures, few have systematically examined potential THC-like effects of non-cannabinoid compounds. The purpose of the present study was to delineate further the pharmacological specificity of THC discrimination. Rats were trained to discriminate THC (3.0 mg/kg) from vehicle. Following determination of a dose-effect curve with THC, substitution tests with selected compounds from a variety of pharmacological classes, includingl-phenylisopropyl adenosine, dizocilpine, dextromethorphan, clozapine, buspirone, MDL 72222, muscimol, midazolam and chlordiazepoxide, were performed. Whereas THC produced full dose-dependent substitution, substitution tests with non-cannabinoid drugs resulted in less than chance (50%) levels of responding on the THC-appropriate lever, with the exception of (+)-MDMA (2.5 mg/kg, 50%) and diazepam (3.0 mg/kg, 67%). These results are consistent with those of previous studies and suggest that the discriminative stimulus effects of THC exhibit pharmacological specificity.

Key words

Δ9-THC Drug discrimination Benzodiazepines Specificity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Barrett
    • 1
  • J. L. Wiley
    • 1
  • R. L. Balster
    • 1
  • B. R. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of VirginiaVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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