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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2000 May;66(1):175-81.

Different effects of nabilone and cannabidiol on binocular depth inversion in Man.

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Department of Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, D-30623, Hannover, Germany.


The physiological and pathophysiological roles of the central nervous endogenous cannabinoid system are not completely understood, but still represent a challenge in basic neurobiological, cognitive, and psychiatric research. The system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Binocular depth inversion, an illusion of visual perception, provides a model of impaired perception during psychotic states. Using this model the effects of nabilone, a psychoactive synthetic 9-trans-ketocannabinoid, and of cannabidiol, the main natural component of herbal cannabis, and a combined application of both substances on binocular depth inversion and behavioural states were investigated in nine healthy male volunteers. The time course of the effects of both substances on binocular depth inversion was analysed after oral administration using three different groups of natural stimuli. A significant impairment of binocular depth perception was found when nabilone was administered, but combined application with cannabidiol revealed somewhat reduced effects on binocular depth inversion. The influence of psychoactive cannabinoids on this perceptual model and the role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in visual information processing are discussed.

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