Neurodevelopmental Effects of Prenatal Cannabidiol Exposure on the Offspring of Rats in the Postnatal Period
Cannabis use during pregnancy has recently increased worldwide. Cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-intoxicating compound in Cannabis, is often seen as a natural substance and has been used for the treatment of several health conditions. During pregnancy, women might choose to use CBD to treat very common pregnancy-related symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. However, there is very little evidence regarding the safety of CBD use during pregnancy and the possible outcomes to maternal and fetal health. In this context, we tested the effects of prenatal CBD exposure on pregnancy outcomes, offspring physical health and neurodevelopment. Pregnant rats were treated by intraperitoneal injection with either a drug vehicle solution (1:1:18 ethanol:kolliphor:PBS), 5 mg/kg CBD or 10 mg/kg CBD during gestational days 6 to 20. Offspring physical health was assessed until weaning on post-natal day (PND) 21. Different neurodevelopmental tests were conducted from PND3 to PND21 to measure the development of neurological reflexes and postural mechanisms. Prenatal CBD exposure was associated with a lower body weight in offspring and a delay in the development of reflexes in early stages after birth. These findings contribute to the current evidence available on the consequences of in utero CBD exposure and brings light to the need for further research in the area.
Cannabidiol, pregnancy, neurodevelopment, behavior, rodent model
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Pharmacy and Nutrition