The anxiolytic effect of cannabis: a zebrafish learning model
LE3 .A278 2020
Bachelor of Science
This study examined the effects of plant-derived cannabinoids, THC and CBD, on fear-memory associative learning using a zebrafish (Danio rerio) model. A total of 30 zebrafish were dosed with either CBD (10), THC (10), or a water control (10) before undergoing a total of 12 shaping trials over the course of 3 days. The shaping trails consisted of a 6-minute swimming stress, coupled with a red background for associative learning. After completing 12 shaping trials, fish were placed in a plus maze on the fourth day, with one arm on the maze wrapped in the same red colour, for behavior analysis. Freezing duration, latency to enter red arm, number of entries into red arm, and total time in red arm were chosen as behavioural indicators of aversion to the colour red. Experimental difficulties and statistical outliers resulted in diminished sample sizes (CBD = 4, THC = 6, Water = 10) and only the difference in total time in red arm was found to be marginally significant, F(2,17) = 3.68, p= 0.047. The water control condition also served to demonstrate the effect of the experimental manipulation resulting in an aversion for the red arm of the maze, F(3,27) = 4.66, p= 0.009; Results are weakly suggestive of a possible anxiolytic effect of THC.
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