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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2019 Dec;187:172814. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2019.172814. Epub 2019 Oct 20.

Vaporized Cannabis differentially modulates sexual behavior of female rats according to the dose.

Author information

1
Laboratorio de Neurobiología del Sueño, Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República, General Flores 2125, 11800 Montevideo, Uruguay. Electronic address: a.monvero@gmail.com.
2
Laboratorio de Farmacognosia y Productos Naturales, Departamento de Química Orgánica, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, General Flores 2124, 11800 Montevideo, Uruguay.
3
Unidad de Medioambiente, Drogas y Doping, Instituto Polo Tecnológico de Pando, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, Camino Aparicio Saravia S/N, Bypass ruta 8, 91000 Pando, Canelones, Uruguay.
4
Laboratorio de Neurobiología del Sueño, Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República, General Flores 2125, 11800 Montevideo, Uruguay.
5
Sección Fisiología y Nutrición, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Iguá 4225, 11400 Montevideo, Uruguay. Electronic address: dagrati@fcien.edu.uy.

Abstract

Studies exploring the effect of compounds that modulate the endocannabinoid system on sexual behavior have yielded contradictory results. However, the effect of smoked Cannabis in women has been consistently associated with an increase in sexual drive. Therefore, it can be speculated that vaporized Cannabis will augment sexually motivated components of the sexual behavior of female rats. To test this hypothesis, we compared the sexual behavior of late-proestrous female rats in a bilevel chamber after vaporizing 0, 200 or 400 mg of Cannabis flowers (containing 18% of delta-9-THC and undetectable levels of cannabidiol) during 10 min. We found that both doses of Cannabis increased the duration of the lordosis response, whereas the highest dose also reduced the lordosis quotient of females. The lowest dose of Cannabis augmented the display of hops and darts without altering the expression of sexual solicitations of females, while the highest one did not affect the expression of hops and darts but reduced sexual solicitations. These effects were not accompanied by alterations of females' ambulatory behavior. The increment of the duration of lordosis response produced by both doses of Cannabis could be associated to a general effect of this drug in sensory processing, as can be an enhancement of females' sensory reactivity to male's stimulation. However, the reduction in the display of solicitations and lordosis in response to mounting observed in females exposed to the highest dose when compared to control and 200 mg of Cannabis groups indicates a reduction of sexual receptivity and motivation. This differential effect of vaporized Cannabis according to the dose employed, suggests that it modulates sexual behavior in a complex way, impacting neural circuits that control different aspects of this social behavior.

KEYWORDS:

Female's sexual behavior; Sexual motivation; THC; Vaporized Cannabis

PMID:
31644886
DOI:
10.1016/j.pbb.2019.172814

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