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Cognitive & Neurobiological Processes

Does THCV inhibit the effects of IV THC?

Does THCV inhibit the effects of IV THC?

Background

Our work focuses on the effects of cannabinoid molecules in man. The wider context is that cannabis use is associated with psychotic illness. The molecule delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the major psychological effects of cannabis, including acute psychotic-like experiences. In contrast, cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) are showing some promise as medicines in psychiatry [Murray et al (2007) Nature Rev Neuroscience 8:885].

Why are we doing this research?

THCV is a neutral antagonist at the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. Early results suggest that THCV has beneficial effects on plasma lipids, glucose and body-weight, without the adverse effects on mood of the prototype compound, rimonabant (an inverse agonist at CB1). Here we aim to ascertain the effects of 10mg THCV on THC.

What are we doing?

Approvals [ethics, MHRA] for this study are in place.

This is a small pilot-study (n=10, within-subjects) assessing the effects of THCV on THC. A new assay has been incorporated to assess time perception. The most common psychological effect of THC is disruption in the judgement of elapsed time. We hypothesize that THCV will inhibit this effect. If the hypothesis is upheld, this will clarify that the 10mg dose of THCV is sufficient for brain penetration and antagonism of CB1 mediated responses. Data collection will begin in Feb 2012.

Who is involved?

Zerrin Atakan, Paul Morrison, Amir Englund, Robin Murray, shitij Kapur, Stefania Bonaccorso.

Who funds the study?

GW Pharmaceuticals

Contact

Dr Zerrin Atakan

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