Plasma concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in dams and fetuses following acute or multiple prenatal dosing in rats

Life Sci. 1989;44(11):697-701. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(89)90380-9.


Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was administered by gastric intubation to pregnant rats to study the effects of dose-level and dosing regimen on plasma concentration in dams and fetuses. Two multiple-dose groups were administered either 15 or 50 mg/kg of delta-9-THC once daily during the last two weeks of gestation. Two acute groups were administered the same dose as above but only once on the last day of gestation. Sixty min after receiving the last dose all dams and their fetuses were sacrificed by decapitation, blood collected, centrifuged and plasma removed. Quantitative measurement of delta-9-THC in plasma was carried out using GS/MS. Among the dams, plasma concentrations covaried with dose and multiple dosing produced higher concentrations than acute, especially at the high dose. Among the fetuses, plasma concentrations were approximately 10% of those found in the dams. The fetuses from the high, multiple-dose dams similarly yielded significantly higher concentrations. These findings are discussed with respect to other studies of the placental transfer of delta-9-THC and effects of postnatal developmental.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Dronabinol / administration & dosage
  • Dronabinol / blood*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Weight Gain


  • Dronabinol