NIH Research Festival
Cannabis is the most widely abused illicit drug. With recent trends of cannabis medicalization and recreational legalization, we expect high prevalence of cannabis use to continue or even increase. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, is typically administered to animals through forceful routes of administration (e.g., injections) which differ from cannabis users willingly choosing to inhale cannabis. Therefore, it is important to develop a translationally relevant model of vaporized THC self-administration in mice to investigate the neural circuits underlying volitional cannabis use such as in cannabis use disorder. Rats have been reported to self-administer vaporized cannabis extracts, but anecdotal reports suggest mice are resistant to this procedure, and our pilot studies showed similar trends. However, a recent study demonstrated that mice self-administer vapor mixed with a green apple chemical flavorant commonly found in electronic cigarettes in the absence of nicotine. Therefore, by utilizing 1 % green apple flavored vapor to train mice to acquire vapor self-administration, we hope to facilitate THC vapor self-administration. In a cohort of animals trained to lever-press to earn green apple flavored vapor, we found, indeed, mice would increase responding to earn ‚Äúpuffs‚Äù of this vapor. We are currently performing studies to ‚Äúfade out‚Äù the green apple flavorant and ‚Äúfade in‚Äù THC.
Scientific Focus Area: ACI/IRS
This page was last updated on Monday, September 25, 2023