The ring test: a quantitative method for assessing the 'cataleptic' effect of cannabis in mice

Br J Pharmacol. 1972 Dec;46(4):753-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1972.tb06900.x.


1. A bioassay for cannabis, called the ring test, has been developed in which the percentage of the total time spent on a horizontal wire ring during which a mouse remains completely immobile is recorded.2. The effect of cannabis on mobility is a dose-related, graded response.3. Threshold doses of cannabis extract are 12.5 mg/kg when injected intravenously, and 100 mg/kg when injected intraperitoneally or subcutaneously.4. The method provides a measure of the ;cataleptic' effect of cannabis. Chlorpromazine in doses of 1 mg/kg upwards also produces the effect but barbitone does not.5. It is concluded that Delta(1)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(1)-THC) is largely responsible for the effect of cannabis extract on mobility; the potency ratio of Delta(1)-THC to cannabis extract is between 10 and 20. Delta(1)-Tetrahydrocannabidivarol (Delta(1)-THD) also affects mobility but is less active than Delta(1)-THC. Cannabidiol has no effect when injected intraperitoneally in doses up to 100 mg/kg.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Barbiturates / pharmacology
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Biological Assay
  • Cannabis / administration & dosage
  • Cannabis / pharmacology*
  • Chlorpromazine / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Methods
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy
  • Posture
  • Time Factors


  • Barbiturates
  • Chlorpromazine