Facilitation of brain stimulation reward by Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol

E. L. Gardner, W. Paredes, D. Smith, A. Donner, C. Milling, D. Cohen, D. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


The present experiment explored whether Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ 9-THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, shares with other drugs of abuse the ability to facilitate brain stimulation reward acutely, as measured by clectrical intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS). Laboratory rats were implanted with stimulation electrodes in the medial forebrain bundle, and trained to stable performance on a self-titrating threshold ICSS paradigm. Δ 9-THC, at a dose believed pharmacologically relevant to moderate human use of marijuana, acutely lowered ICSS thresholds, suggesting that marijuana acts on similar CNS hedonic systems to most other drugs of abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-144
Number of pages3
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1988


  • Brain stimulation reward
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabis
  • ICSS
  • Intracranial self-stimulation
  • Marijuana
  • Medial forebrain bundle
  • Rat
  • Reinforcement
  • THC
  • Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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