The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide shares discriminative stimulus effects with D9-tetrahydrocannabinol in fatty acid amide hydrolase knockout mice
The endogenous cannabinoid system has been noted for its therapeutic potential, as well as the psychoactivity of cannabinoids such as ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, less is known about the psychoactivity of anandamide (AEA), an endocannabinoid ligand. Thus, the goals of this study were to establish AEA as a discriminative stimulus in transgenic mice lacking fatty acid amide hydrolase (i.e., FAAH ?/? mice unable to rapidly metabolize AEA), evaluate whether THC or oleamide, a fatty acid amide, produced AEA-like responding, and assess for CB1 mediation of AEA's discriminative stimulus. Mice readily discriminated between 6 mg/kg AEA and vehicle in a two-lever drug discrimination task. AEA dose-dependently generalized to itself. THC elicited full AEA-like responding, whereas oleamide failed to substitute. The CB1 antagonist rimonabant attenuated AEA- and THC-induced AEA-appropriate responding, demonstrating CB1 mediation of AEA's discriminative stimulus. These findings suggest that, in the absence of FAAH, AEA produces intoxication comparable to THC, and consequently to marijuana.