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Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Oct 18;6(10):e920. doi: 10.1038/tp.2016.195.

Cannabidiol is a partial agonist at dopamine D2High receptors, predicting its antipsychotic clinical dose.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
2
Department of Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

Although all current antipsychotics act by interfering with the action of dopamine at dopamine D2 receptors, two recent reports showed that 800 to 1000 mg of cannabidiol per day alleviated the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, although cannabidiol is not known to act on dopamine receptors. Because these recent clinical findings may indicate an important exception to the general rule that all antipsychotics interfere with dopamine at dopamine D2 receptors, the present study examined whether cannabidiol acted directly on D2 receptors, using tritiated domperidone to label rat brain striatal D2 receptors. It was found that cannabidiol inhibited the binding of radio-domperidone with dissociation constants of 11 nm at dopamine D2High receptors and 2800 nm at dopamine D2Low receptors, in the same biphasic manner as a dopamine partial agonist antipsychotic drug such as aripiprazole. The clinical doses of cannabidiol are sufficient to occupy the functional D2High sites. it is concluded that the dopamine partial agonist action of cannabidiol may account for its clinical antipsychotic effects.

PMID:
27754480
PMCID:
PMC5315552
DOI:
10.1038/tp.2016.195
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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