Behavioral effects of chronic WIN 55,212-2 administration during adolescence and adulthood in mice
A recent study has revealed that adolescents appear resilient to some effects of cannabis yet early use leads to increased impulsivity later on in life. Researchers administered 3.0 of a cannabis receptor 1 (CB1) agonist, WIN55,212-2, per day for 21 days to one group of mice in adolescence and another in adulthood before testing their impulsivity, judgment, and learning abilities. Adolescent mice who had been given cannabis performed as well as controls at the learning activity while the adult group experienced a serious delay, suggesting an age-dependent difference in the cannabinoid system. Adolescent mice who had been given cannabis and then tested later as adults demonstrated increased impulsivity suggesting that exposure to cannabis during development does have a lasting effect on processes. Further research will need to validate these findings in non-human primates or be examined in naturalistic observation studies.
When considering the implications of a study like this one it is important to note the varying accuracy of cannabis research conducted in murine models. While rats and mice are convenient physiological models due to their availability and economic value they do not always provide the most accurate representation of specific biological systems in humans. The endocannabinoid system of rats has been shown in previous featured studies to act differently than the human or primate endocannabinoid system meaning that any scientific evidence for cannabis-based medicine found from murine studies cannot be conclusive without further validation.
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