Interaction between non-psychotropic cannabinoids in marihuana: effect of cannabigerol (CBG) on the anti-nausea or anti-emetic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in rats and shrews

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2011 Jun;215(3):505-12. doi: 10.1007/s00213-010-2157-4. Epub 2011 Jan 18.


Rationale: The interaction between two non-psychotropic cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), which have been reported to act as a 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A (5-HT(1A)) agonist and antagonist, respectively, was evaluated.

Objective: To evaluate the potential of CBG to reverse the anti-nausea, anti-emetic effects of CBD.

Materials and methods: In experiment 1, rats were pre-treated with CBG (0.0, 1, 5, and 10 mg/kg, ip), 15 min prior to being treated with CBD (experiment 1a: VEH or 5 mg/kg, ip) or 8-OH-DPAT (experiment 1b: VEH or 0.01 mg/kg, ip). Thirty minutes later, all rats received a pairing of 0.1% saccharin solution and LiCl (20 ml/kg of 0.15 M, ip). Seventy-two hours later, the rats received a drug-free taste reactivity test with saccharin to evaluate the effects of the treatments on the establishment of conditioned gaping reactions (a model of nausea). As well, conditioned saccharin avoidance was measured. In experiment 2, Suncus murinus were injected with CBG (5 mg/kg, ip) or VEH 15 min prior to CBD (5 mg/kg) or VEH and 30 min later were injected with LiCl (60 ml/kg of 0.15 M, i.p.), and the number of vomiting episodes were measured.

Results: CBD (5 mg/kg) suppressed conditioned gaping in rats and vomiting in shrews, which were reversed by pre-treatment with all doses of CBG. CBG also prevented the anti-nausea effects of 8-OH-DPAT.

Conclusions: Interactions between moderate doses of CBG and CBD may oppose one another at the 5-HT(1A) receptor in the regulation of nausea and vomiting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antiemetics / administration & dosage
  • Antiemetics / isolation & purification
  • Antiemetics / pharmacology*
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Cannabidiol / administration & dosage
  • Cannabidiol / isolation & purification
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology*
  • Cannabinoids / administration & dosage
  • Cannabinoids / isolation & purification
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology*
  • Cannabis / chemistry*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Saccharin / administration & dosage
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists / isolation & purification
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Antagonists / isolation & purification
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Shrews


  • Antiemetics
  • Cannabinoids
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Cannabidiol
  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin
  • Saccharin
  • cannabigerol