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Anesth Analg. 2008 Jul;107(1):102-6. doi: 10.1213/ane.0b013e318173287a.

Propofol sedation is reduced by delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in mice.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Germany.



Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC) induces analgesic effects and alterations of alertness. It has been reported that propofol increases endocannabinoid levels in the brain, but the effects of Delta9-THC on propofol sedation remain unclear. Our aim was to characterize the interaction between Delta9-THC and propofol in terms of sedation and analgesia.


Sedation was monitored by a rota-rod and analgesia by tail-flick latencies. Twenty mice received intraperitoneal injections of 50 mg/kg Delta9-THC with 50, 75 and 100 mg/kg propofol after baseline values were established for each drug. Control experiments were performed with Delta9-THC and thiopental or Intralipid.


Injection of 50 mg/kg propofol caused a rapid onset of sedation with a minimum of 24 s on the rota-rod. Fifty mg/kg Delta9-THC alone had no sedative effects. Administration of Delta9-THC significantly reduced the sedative effect of propofol to at least 60 s on the rota-rod (P < 0.001). After increasing the propofol dose to 100 mg/kg in the presence of Delta9-THC, sedation was re-established with 27 s on the rota-rod. Thiopental sedation was significantly reduced (P < 0.01) in the presence of Delta9-THC.


The results indicate a dose-dependent antagonistic interaction between Delta9-THC and propofol, and also between Delta9-THC and thiopental.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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