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PLoS One. 2018 Jul 31;13(7):e0200016. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200016. eCollection 2018.

Cannabidiol effects on behaviour and immune gene expression in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

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Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C., Denmark.


Various preparations and extracts of the plant Cannabis sativa (family cannabaceae) are used as herbal medicinal drugs against a series of disorders but the plant contains a wide series of pharmacologically active components which may confound evaluation of drug effects. In order to differentiate specific effects of the individual constituents on specific functions in the organism we advocate for controlled studies on specified constituents and their impact on the vertebrate organism. One of the dominating Cannabis constituents, delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has previously been studied in depth whereas information on another main ingredient cannabidiol (CBD) is limited. We have performed a controlled study on CBD and its effect using an experimental zebrafish model. CDB treatment of zebrafish for 30 min affected mobility of the fish by decreasing swimming speed and swimming distance. In addition, out of 23 immune related genes studied it was shown that expression of two genes il1b and il17a/f2 were up-regulated and four genes, tgfba, ighm, cd4-1, and s100a10b were significantly down-regulated following CBD treatment. The study indicated that CBD affects motility and immunity of the vertebrate host.

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