The effects of three cannabinoids, 11-hyddroxy-Δ9-tetrahydracannabinol (11-OH-Δ9-THC), Δ9-THC and cannabinol (CBN), ranging in behavioral activity from high to low, were studied on two aspects of pituitary-adrenal function. Plasma corticosterone levels were used as an index of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) release. All three cannabinoids elicited an increase in plasma corticosterone levels in a mannger similr to their behavioral potency. These cannabinoids also elicited an increase in the concentration of 3H-corticosterone taken up by the brains of adrenalectomized mice in a mannger similar to their potency in elevating plasma corticosterone levels. The significance and possible underlying mechanism of the apparent correlation resulting between these effects and the behavioral effects of cannabionoids are discussed.
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone
- Structure-activity relationship
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