The nonpsychoactive Cannabis constituent cannabidiol is a wake-inducing agent

Behav Neurosci. 2008 Dec;122(6):1378-82. doi: 10.1037/a0013278.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a constituent of Cannabis sativa that induces nonpsychotropic effects, and some of its biological actions in sleep have been described by the authors' group. Here, the authors report that when administered 10 or 20 microg/1 microl during the lights-on period directly into either lateral hypothalamus (LH) or dorsal raphe nuclei (DRN), which are wake-inducing brain areas, CBD enhanced wakefulness and decreased slow wave sleep and REM sleep. Furthermore, CBD increased alpha and theta power spectra but diminished delta power spectra. Additionally, CBD increased c-Fos expression in LH or DRN. These findings suggest that this cannabinoid is a wake-inducing compound that presumably activates neurons in LH and DRN.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology*
  • Cannabis / chemistry*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electromyography
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / drug effects
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / physiology
  • Male
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / metabolism
  • Random Allocation
  • Raphe Nuclei / drug effects
  • Raphe Nuclei / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Wakefulness / drug effects*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • Cannabidiol