Systemic administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotomimetic compound from Cannabis sativa, attenuates the cardiovascular and behavioral responses to restraint stress. Although the brain structures related to CBD effects are not entirely known, they could involve brainstem structures responsible for cardiovascular control. Therefore, to investigate this possibility the present study verified the effects of CBD (15, 30 and 60 nmol) injected into the cisterna magna on the autonomic and behavioral changes induced by acute restraint stress. During exposure to restraint stress (1h) there was a significant increase in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR). Also, 24h later the animals showed a decreased percentage of entries onto the open arms of the elevated plus-maze. These effects were attenuated by CBD (30 nmol). The drug had no effect on MAP and HR baseline values. These results indicate that intracisternal administration of CBD can attenuate autonomic responses to stress. However, since CBD decreased the anxiogenic consequences of restraint stress, it is possible that the drug is also acting on forebrain structures.
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