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J Neurosci. 2009 Nov 25;29(47):14764-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4291-09.2009.

Cannabidiol, a nonpsychotropic component of cannabis, inhibits cue-induced heroin seeking and normalizes discrete mesolimbic neuronal disturbances.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029-6574, USA.

Abstract

There remains debate regarding the impact of cannabis on neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we examined the effects of cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive constituent of cannabis, on heroin self-administration and drug-seeking behavior using an experimental rat model. CBD (5-20 mg/kg) did not alter stable intake of heroin self-administration, extinction behavior, or drug seeking induced by a heroin prime injection. Instead, it specifically attenuated heroin-seeking behavior reinstated by exposure to a conditioned stimulus cue. CBD had a protracted effect with significance evident after 24 h and even 2 weeks after administration. The behavioral effects were paralleled by neurobiological alterations in the glutamatergic and endocannabinoid systems. Discrete disturbances of AMPA GluR1 and cannabinoid type-1 receptor expression observed in the nucleus accumbens associated with stimulus cue-induced heroin seeking were normalized by CBD treatment. The findings highlight the unique contributions of distinct cannabis constituents to addiction vulnerability and suggest that CBD may be a potential treatment for heroin craving and relapse.

PMID:
19940171
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2829756
Free PMC Article
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