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Estrogen increases cannabis sensitivity
Date:9/2/2014

ed the pain relieving effects of THC in male and female rats. After 10 days of treatment, tolerance to THC was shown to be significantly greater in females than males.

Tolerance occurs when the rat "adapts" to THC so that larger doses are required to produce the same pain-relieving effects initially seen with the first dose.

Because Craft already knew that females were more sensitive to THC, she adjusted their doses to be 30 percent lower than doses for males. The females still developed more tolerance.

"This is the lowest dose anyone has ever used to induce tolerance," she said.

The team also found that a low dose of THC did not disrupt the reproductive cycle in female rats, something that has been under debate and, Craft said, needs more study.

Medical marijuana

Hoping to gain greater insights into marijuana's medical potential, Craft and her team are also studying the effects of cannabidiol, which can counter some of THC's negative side effects.

The THC and cannabidiol studies will be extended to include chronic types of pain typically seen in people who request medical marijuanasuch as those with debilitating back or joint pain, cancer, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, severe muscle spasms and more.

"These people have pain that lasts for months or years," Craft said. "Tolerance develops differently and sometimes you get a lot less tolerance to a drug when people are in chronic pain."

Craft uses a standard research formulation of delta-9-THC for her studies and is approved by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to work with Schedule I drugs such as cannabis.


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Contact: Rebecca Craft
craft@wsu.edu
509-335-5040
Washington State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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