Anxiety-like behavior increases after recent, but not prenatal, cannabis exposure

Author(s): Francisca Bertin, Gonzalo Miguez, Mario Laborda, Vanetza Quezada-Scholz, Felipe Alfaro, Viviana Sáez, Matías González, Angélica Buendia

Abstract

Cannabis consumption is globally prevalent, and its gestation use has increased despite the unclear psychological effects, such as anxiety and risk behaviors.
Objective: To determine the effects of prenatal and recent cannabis exposure on anxiety-like behaviors.
Methodology: Sprague-Dawley rats (both sexes) were used, with (P+) or without (P+) a prenatal exposure to cannabis. Post-weaning, litters were subdivided into groups with (R+) or without (R-) recent cannabis exposure before testing. Anxiety-like behavior was assessed in an elevated plus maze by quantifying entries and time spent in each zone. Results: The R+ condition increased entries in the center of the maze and tended to increase entries in the closed arms.
Discussion: We found that R+ has at least partially anxiogenic effects by increasing risk assessment behaviors in a novel environment. Considering cannabis high consumption, future research should explore the long-term effects of both exposure conditions on anxiety and other psychological
aspects.

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