Effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol in man

Pharmacology. 1975;13(6):502-12. doi: 10.1159/000136944.


The interaction of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC) and cannabinol (CBN) was studied in man. Five male volunteers were given placebo, 50 mg CBN, 25 mg delta9-THC, 12.5 mg delta9-THC + 25 mg CBN, and 25 mg delta9-THC + 50 mg CBN (orally). Administrations were spaced 1 week apart. With physiological measures, delta9-THC produced an increase in heart rate while CBN did not. When combined, no change of the delta9-THC effect occurred. No changes occurred on the electrocardiogram, blood pressure, or body temperature. With psychophysical measures no changes occurred in pain thresholds or skin sensitivity as a function of drug treatment. In time estimates of the passage of 1 minute, delta9-THC alone produced underestimates of the passage of 1 minute and CBN alone had no effect. In combination the two drugs had a tendency to produce significant overestimates and underestimates of the passage of 1 minute. On a 66-item adjective-pair drug reaction scale, the volunteers reported feeling drugged, drunk, dizzy, and drowsy under the delta9-THC condition, but not under the CBN condition. With combined drug treatment, volunteers reported feeling more drugged, drunk, dizzy, and drowsy than under the delta9-THC condition alone. None of the drug treatments produced significant changes on other items which included items on perception, emotion, cognition and sociability. It appears that CBN increases the effect of delta9-THC on some aspects of physiological and psychological processes, but that these effects are small and cannot account for the greater potency which has been reported when plant material is used.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Cannabis / administration & dosage
  • Cannabis / pharmacology*
  • Dronabinol / administration & dosage
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain
  • Phytotherapy
  • Placebos
  • Pulse / drug effects
  • Reaction Time / drug effects


  • Placebos
  • Dronabinol