The Pain-Relieving Effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol Differ Depending on Age

Age-Related Differences in Δ9-TetrahydrocannabinolInduced Antinociception in Female and Male Rats

In Summary

Researchers have recently found that the antinociceptive effects of ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) differ depending on the age of the subject. While examining the effects of THC on the nociceptive receptors of rats it was found that the THC was not as effective of a pain reliever in adolescent rats as it was in adult rats. It was determined that although adolescent and adult rats metabolize the cannabinoid differently it is not the cause of the differences in THC’s effect on nociception. Further research is needed to determine the mechanism that underlies the difference in age-dependent effects.

This article brings to light the issues of dosing between age and gender. Clinical trials often occur in a population of healthy young men and are rarely dosed specifically for women. By noting the differences in effect and metabolism of drugs depending on sex and age clinical trials need to be broadened to accurately dose drugs for all users. Although the featured study was conducted in mouse models it provides evidence that the effects of cannabis are age-dependent and should be a serious consideration for researchers moving forward with the development of cannabis-based therapies.

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