Behavioral Pharmacology of Cannabinoids

  • Harriet de Wit
  • Jeffrey M. Kirk
  • Angela Justice


Many cannabinoids, including both naturally occurring constituents of the plant Cannabis sativa and their synthetic analogs, are psychoactive and produce a distinctive profile of behavioral effects. These effects have been most completely documented for ...9-tetrahydrocannabinol (...9-THC), the major psychoactive constituent of the marijuana plant, and to a lesser extent for other cannabinoids. The other cannabinoids, which vary in their potencies and efficacies on various measures of central effects according to their chemical structures (Compton, Johnson, Melvin, & Martin, 1992; Pertwee, Greentree, & Swift, 1988), provide a useful means for investigating central sites of action. This review focuses primarily on the acute behavioral effects of ...9-THC, and other cannabinoids are mentioned when pertinent. The reader is referred to Martin (1986), Pertwee (1990), Chait and Pierri (1992), Grinspoon and Bakalar (1995), Howlett (1995), and Compton, Harris, Lichtman, and Martin (1996) for more extensive reviews of cannabinoid pharmacology.


Rhesus Monkey Stimulus Effect Subjective Effect Discriminative Stimulus Effect Smoke Marijuana 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harriet de Wit
    • 1
  • Jeffrey M. Kirk
    • 1
  • Angela Justice
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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