Anxiolytic-like effect of cannabidiol in the rat Vogel conflict test

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Dec 30;30(8):1466-71. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2006.06.004. Epub 2006 Jul 31.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major constituent of the Cannabis sativa plant. It inhibits the anxiogenic activity of high doses of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and induces anxiolytic-like effects. However, the mechanisms underlying the actions of CBD are unknown. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to test the effects of CBD in the Vogel test, a widely used animal model of anxiety. In addition, it was verified if these effects would depend on benzodiazepine-receptor activation. After 24 h of water deprivation, male Wistar rats were subjected to an initial 3-min non-punished (pre-test) drinking session. This was followed by an additional 24-h period of water deprivation followed by a 3-min punished-licking session (test). Diazepam (3 mg/kg) or CBD (2.5, 5 or 10 mg/kg) were intraperitoneally injected 30 min before the test session. CBD (10 mg/kg) and diazepam had similar anticonflict effects, increasing the number of punished licks. The effect of diazepam, but not of CBD, was prevented by the benzodiazepine-receptor antagonist flumazenil (10 mg/kg). To exclude that the anticonflict effects were reflecting non-specific drug effects, we checked the effects of CBD on water consumption and nociceptive response. The drug did not interfere on the former variable in a non-punished test session. Moreover, contrary to morphine (5 mg/kg), CBD was ineffective in the tail-flick test. In conclusion, CBD induced an anticonflict effect not mediated by benzodiazepine receptors or by non-specific drug interference on nociceptive threshold or water consumption. These results reinforce the hypothesis that this cannabinoid has anxiolytic properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology*
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • Psychological Tests
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Cannabidiol