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Evidence of abstinence syndrome in cannabis indica treated albino rats

, : Evidence of abstinence syndrome in cannabis indica treated albino rats. Quarterly Journal of Crude Drug Research 19(2-3): 65-74

Albino rats were used to evaluate drug dependence liability of C. indica. The animals were administered the drug ad lib and in fixed daily doses in different groups. Ad lib administration was done to see whether any motivation for drug intake existed in the case of Cannabis (C.) and fixed daily doses (CFDD) were given to achieve high levels of the drug in animal tissues. Phenobarbitone given ad lib was used as a standard drug for comparison. Occurrence of convulsions induced by audiogenic stimuli, during the abstinence from drugs was taken as the criterion for the development of physical dependence. In the C.-treated groups there was a gradual reduction in body weight and food intake during drug administration period. On the 22nd day following withdrawal of the drug the food intake started increasing accompanied by increase in body weight. On the appearance of audiogenic seizures, some reduction in food intake and body weight again occurred; these started recovering on cessation of convulsions. During the period of C. administration, tolerance developed to decrease S.M.A. [spontaneous motor activity] and hypothermic effects of C. Both S.M.A. and rectal temperature started recovering from the 2nd wk onwards, although the dose of the drug was increased. On withdrawal, 20, 30 and 100% animals in the C. ad lib C.F.D.D., and phenobarbitone (P.B.) treated groups showed audiogenic seizures. Twenty percent of the animals died during audiogenic seizures in the P.B. treated group, while there were no deaths in the C. treated groups. Tolerance and physical dependence develop with C. but it is milder as compared to phenobarbitone. Cannabis differs from other addictive drugs in 2 ways: Motivation for intake does not develop and physical dependence symptoms appear after a prolonged latent period (10-13 days after drug withdrawal), perhaps because of very slow metabolism of the drug.

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