Cannabis sativa is a plant that contains more than 500 components, of which the most studied are Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Several studies have indicated that CBD displays neurobiological effects, including wake promotion. Moreover, experimental evidence has shown that injections of CBD enhance wake-related compounds, such as monoamines (dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine). However, no clear evidence is available regarding the effects of CBD on additional wake-related neurochemicals such as acetylcholine (ACh). Here, we demonstrate that systemic injections of CBD (0, 5, 10 or 30 mg/kg, i.p.) at the beginning of the lights-on period, increase the extracellular levels of ACh collected from the basal forebrain and measured by microdialysis and HPLC means. Moreover, the time course effects on the contents of ACh were present 5 h post-injection of CBD. Altogether, these data demonstrate that CBD increases ACh levels in a brain region related to wake control. This study is the first to show the effects of ACh levels in CBD-treated rats and suggests that the basal forebrain might be a site of action of CBD for wakefulness modulation.
Keywords: Cannabis; Dopamine; Monoamines; Sleep; Wakefulness.