PubMed: Evaluation of the Possible Anticonvulsant Effect of Δ<sup>9</sup>-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid in Murine Seizure Models

PubMed: Evaluation of the Possible Anticonvulsant Effect of Δ<sup>9</sup>-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid in Murine Seizure Models

Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020 Sep 9. doi: 10.1089/can.2020.0073. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (Δ9-THCA) has long been suggested in review articles and anecdotal reports to be anticonvulsant; yet, there is scant evidence supporting this notion. The objective of this study was to interrogate the anticonvulsant potential of Δ9-THCA in various seizure models-the Scn1a+/- mouse model of Dravet syndrome, the 6-Hz model of psychomotor seizures and the maximal electroshock (MES) model of generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Materials and Methods: We examined the effect of acute Δ9-THCA treatment against hyperthermia-induced seizures, and subchronic treatment on spontaneous seizures and survival in the Scn1a+/- mice. We also studied the effect of acute Δ9-THCA treatment on the critical current thresholds in the 6-Hz and MES tests using outbred Swiss mice. Highly purified Δ9-THCA was used in the studies or a mixture of Δ9-THCA and Δ9-THC. Results: We observed mixed anticonvulsant and proconvulsant effects of Δ9-THCA across the seizure models. Highly pure Δ9-THCA did not affect hyperthermia-induced seizures in Scn1a+/- mice. A Δ9-THCA/Δ9-THC mixture was anticonvulsant in the 6-Hz threshold test, but purified Δ9-THCA and Δ9-THC had no effect. Conversely, both Δ9-THCA and Δ9-THC administered individually were proconvulsant in the MES threshold test but had no effect when administered as a Δ9-THCA/Δ9-THC mixture. The Δ9-THCA/Δ9-THC mixture, however, increased spontaneous seizure severity and increased mortality of Scn1a+/- mice. Discussion: The anticonvulsant profile of Δ9-THCA was variable depending on the seizure model used and presence of Δ9-THC. Because of the unstable nature of Δ9-THCA, further exploration of Δ9-THCA through formal anticonvulsant drug development is problematic without stabilization. Future studies may better focus on determining the mechanisms by which combined Δ9-THCA and Δ9-THC alters seizure thresholds, as this may uncover novel targets for the control of refractory partial seizures.

PMID:33998858 | DOI:10.1089/can.2020.0073

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