Comparative analgesic activity of various naturally occurring cannabinoids in mice and rats

Psychopharmacologia. 1975;40(4):285-95. doi: 10.1007/BF00421466.


The analgesic effectiveness of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a crude marihuana extract (CME), cannabinol (CBN), cannabidiol (CBD), morphine SO-4 and aspirin following oral administration was directly compared in mice using the acetic-induced writhing and hot plate tests and the Randall-Selitto paw pressure test in rats. THC and morphine were equipotent in all tests except that morphine was significantly more potent in elevating pain threshold in the uninflamed rat hind paw. In terms of THC content, CME was nearly equipotent in the hot plate and Randall-Selitto tests, but was 3 times more potent in the acetic acid writhing test. On the other hand, CBN, like aspirin, was only effective in reducing writhing frequency in mice (3 times more potent than aspirin) and raising pain threshold of the inflamed hind paw of the rat (equipotent with aspirin). CBD did not display a significantly analgesic effect in any of the test systems used. The results of this investigation seem to suggest that both THC and CME possess narcotic-like analgesic activity similar to morphine, while CBN appears to be a non-narcotic type analgesic like aspirin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetates
  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Aspirin / pharmacology
  • Cannabis / pharmacology*
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology
  • Hot Temperature
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Morphine / pharmacology
  • Pressure
  • Rats
  • Reaction Time / drug effects


  • Acetates
  • Analgesics
  • Morphine
  • Dronabinol
  • Aspirin