Suppression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by cannabinoids

Immunopharmacology. 1994 Nov-Dec;28(3):209-14. doi: 10.1016/0162-3109(94)90056-6.


The effect of delta 8-THC on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was examined. delta 8-THC is an analogue of delta 9-THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. It is more stable and less psychotropic than delta 9-THC and like the latter it binds to the brain cannabinoid receptor. Two strains of rats were inoculated for EAE, and delta 8-THC (40 mg/kg) was administered for up to 21 days. delta 8-THC significantly reduced the incidence and severity of neurological deficit in both rat strains. The beneficial influence of delta 8-THC only occurred on oral administration and not with parenteral injection. Serum corticosterone levels were twofold elevated in rats with EAE chronically treated with delta 8-THC. These results suggest that suppression of EAE by cannabinoids may be related to their effect on corticosterone secretion.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Corticosterone / blood
  • Dronabinol / administration & dosage
  • Dronabinol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / blood
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew


  • delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Dronabinol
  • Corticosterone