Post-ischemic treatment with cannabidiol prevents electroencephalographic flattening, hyperlocomotion and neuronal injury in gerbils

Neurosci Lett. 2003 Jul 31;346(1-2):61-4. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(03)00569-x.


The potential activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of marijuana, in preventing damage caused by cerebral ischemia was studied. Cannabidiol (1.25-20 mg/kg) was given 5 min after 10 min bilateral carotid occlusion in freely-moving awake gerbils. Seven days after ischemia, it antagonized the electroencephalographic flattening of total spectral power, with a dose-dependent bell-shaped curve; the neuroprotective effect was greatest with 5 mg/kg. One day after ischemia cannabidiol completely antagonized ischemia-induced hyperlocomotion, at all doses. Rectal temperature did not change during the first hour after occlusion. Histological examination showed complete survival of CA1 neurons in cannabidiol-treated gerbils. These findings suggest a potential therapeutic role of cannabidiol in cerebral ischemia, though the clear mechanism of action remains to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology*
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoids / therapeutic use
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects*
  • Gerbillinae
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Neurons / drug effects*
  • Neurons / pathology


  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabidiol