Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces cocaine-environment memory in mice




Cocaine addiction is a global health problem with no approved pharmacotherapies. Preclinical research indicates the non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), can reduce addiction-relevant behaviour for several drug classes (e.g. ethanol, opiates, psychostimulants) in rodents. However, research into the effects of CBD on cocaine addiction-like behaviours is limited, and the acute effects of CBD on cocaine reward are unknown.


The present experiments sought to clarify the effects of CBD (10 mg/kg) on the acquisition, consolidation, reconsolidation, extinction and drug-primed reinstatement of cocaine (15 mg/kg) conditioned place preference (CPP) in adult male C57BL6/J mice.


In five separate experiments, CBD was administered 1) prior to cocaine-context pairings, to target acquisition of cocaine-context memory; 2) immediately after cocaine-context pairings, to target consolidation of cocaine-context memory; 3) after a brief reactivation session, to target reconsolidation of cocaine memory; 4) prior to extinction sessions; and 5) prior to cocaine-primed reinstatement.


CBD treatment reduced preference for the cocaine-context 20 days after CBD cessation. CBD also reduced consolidation of cocaine memory, and this was evident 1 day after cessation of CBD treatment. Interestingly, CBD treatment also modified cocaine-induced locomotion. CBD did not affect reconsolidation of cocaine-induced place preference, the rate of extinction of cocaine memory, or drug-primed reinstatement of cocaine CPP.


These findings indicate specific effects of acute 10 mg/kg CBD on cocaine memory processes, suggesting delayed effects on cocaine preference and consolidation of cocaine memory, and support the therapeutic utility of CBD for targeting some drug-associated memory processes.

Read the full study here:

Rose Chesworth, Tim Karl,
Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces cocaine-environment memory in mice,
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior,
Volume 199,
ISSN 0091-3057,

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