Cannabidiol disrupts conditioned fear expression and cannabidiolic acid reduces trauma-induced anxiety-related behaviour in mice

Neda Assareh, Anand Gururajan, Cilla Zhou, Jia Lin Luo, Richard C. Kevin, Jonathon C. Arnold*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The major phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) has anxiolytic properties and lacks tetrahydrocannabinol-like psychoactivity. Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) is the acidic precursor to CBD, and this compound appears more potent than CBD in animal models of emesis, pain and epilepsy. In this short report, we aimed to examine whether CBDA is more potent than CBD in disrupting expression of conditioned fear and generalised anxiety-related behaviour induced by Pavlovian fear conditioning. Mice underwent fear conditioning and 24 h later were administered CBD and CBDA before testing for fear expression and generalized anxiety-like behaviour. We found that CBD and CBDA had dissociable effects; while CBD but not CBDA disrupted cued fear memory expression, CBDA but not CBD normalized trauma-induced generalized anxiety-related behaviour. Neither phytocannabinoid affected contextual fear expression. Our findings form the basis for future experiments examining whether phytocannabinoids, alone and in combination, are effective in these mouse models of fear and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-596
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • cannabidiol
  • cannabidiolic acid
  • fear memory
  • generalized anxiety
  • mice
  • posttraumatic stress disorder

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