Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-like effects of novel synthetic cannabinoids found on the gray market

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Abstract

When synthetic cannabinoid compounds became controlled by state and federal governments, different, noncontrolled compounds began to appear as marijuana substitutes. Unlike the scheduled cannabinoids, the newer compounds have not been characterized for potency and efficacy in preclinical studies. The purpose of these experiments was to determine whether some of the more recent synthetic compounds sold as marijuana substitutes have behavioral effects similar to those of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the pharmacologically active compound in marijuana. The compounds UR-144, XLR-11, AKB-48 (APINACA), PB-22 (QUPIC), 5F-PB-22, and AB-FUBINACA were tested for locomotor depressant effects in Male Swiss-Webster mice and subsequently for their ability to substitute for Δ9-THC (3 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) in drug discrimination experiments with Male Sprague-Dawley rats. UR-144, XLR-11, AKB-48, and AB-FUBINACA each decreased locomotor activity for up to 90 min, whereas PB-22 and 5F-PB-22 produced depressant effects lasting 120-150 min. Each of the compounds fully substituted for the discriminative stimulus effects of Δ9-THC. These findings confirm the suggestion that these compounds have marijuana-like psychoactive effects and abuse liability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-468
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural pharmacology
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2015

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Keywords

  • abuse liability
  • cannabinoids
  • drug discrimination
  • locomotor activity
  • mouse
  • rat

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