Cannabinoids and the Cholinergic System

  • Edward E. Domino


Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) decreases EEG activation and causes slow waves in the cat. The EEG slow-wave activity is accompanied by a concomitant decrease in acetylcholine release from the neocortex. The findings suggest that THC depresses the brainstem-activating system. Large doses of Δ8- and Δ- 9THC increase brain acetylcholine levels in rodents such as the mouse and rat, but this effect is not seen with minimal doses of the cannabinoids that show behavioral effects. The most dramatic change produced by THC is that brain acetylcholine utilization is reduced, primarily in the hippocampus.


Cholinergic System Acetylcholine Release Marijuana Smoking Brain Acetylcholine Baseline Release 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

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  • Edward E. Domino

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