Acute Cannabigerol Administration Lowers Blood Pressure in Mice

Front Physiol. 2022 May 9;13:871962. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.871962. eCollection 2022.

Abstract

Cannabigerol is a cannabinoid compound synthesized by Cannabis sativa, which in its acid form acts as the substrate for both Δ9-tetraydrocannabinol and cannabidiol formation. Given its lack of psychoactive effects, emerging research has focused on cannabigerol as a potential therapeutic for health conditions including algesia, epilepsy, anxiety, and cancer. While cannabigerol can bind to classical cannabinoid receptors, it is also an agonist at α2-adrenoreceptors (α2AR) which, when activated, inhibit presynaptic norepinephrine release. This raises the possibility that cannabigerol could activate α2AR to reduce norepinephrine release to cardiovascular end organs to lower blood pressure. Despite this possibility, there are no reports examining cannabigerol cardiovascular effects. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that acute cannabigerol administration lowers blood pressure. Blood pressure was assessed via radiotelemetry at baseline and following intraperitoneal injection of cannabigerol (3.3 and 10 mg/kg) or vehicle administered in a randomized crossover design in male C57BL/6J mice. Acute cannabigerol significantly lowered mean blood pressure (-28 ± 2 mmHg with 10 mg/kg versus -12 ± 5 mmHg vehicle, respectively; p = 0.018), with no apparent dose responsiveness (-22 ± 2 mmHg with 3.3 mg/kg). The depressor effect of cannabigerol was lower in magnitude than the α2AR agonist guanfacine and was prevented by pretreatment with the α2AR antagonist atipamezole. These findings suggest that acute cannabigerol lowers blood pressure in phenotypically normal mice likely via an α2AR mechanism, which may be an important consideration for therapeutic cannabigerol administration.

Keywords: adrenoreceptors; cannabinoids; cardiovascular; mouse models; radiotelemetry.