Rats Stay Dopey on Medicinal Part of Pot, UBC Study Finds

Article by Camille Bains, The Globe and Mail


Apparent laziness caused by the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana persists even when the same amount of pot’s medicinal component is added, a new study suggests.

Lead author Mason Silveira, a PhD candidate in the University of British Columbia’s psychology department, said one part of the research done on rats involved giving them THC, the intoxicating part of cannabis, and having them choose between an easy or hard task to earn sugary treats.

Mr. Silveira said that under normal circumstances, most rats preferred the more difficult task to get more rewards, but they switched to the easier option when given THC.

He said that while the laziness finding was not surprising, adding the same ratio of a pain-relieving ingredient called cannabidiol, a combination present in some medical marijuana used for pain relief, did not block the so-called slacker effect.

Mr. Silveira said the rats’ ability to do a difficult challenge was not affected by THC, but they chose not to do it.

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