Slimming Drug Compound May Be An Antidote to Synthetic Cannabis ‘Spice’ Intoxication

Summary: A compound found in the slimming drug Rimonabant appears to act as an ‘antidote’ to the effects of synthetic cannabis intoxication, researchers report.

Source: Queen Mary University of London.

Early research from Queen Mary University of London has potentially found an antidote that can rapidly stop the intoxicating effects of cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids.

Synthetic cannabinoids, such as ‘Spice’ and ‘Black Mamba’, are becoming an increasing problem, especially with youths game to experiment and within the homeless and prison populations, due to their cheapness and odourless properties. Their super strength compared to cannabis is leading to an increasing number of severe adverse reactions and an increasing number of deaths.

The study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, looked at mice that were experiencing the effects of synthetic cannabinoid intoxication, to see the effects of treating them with a molecule known as AM251.

AM251 blocked the action of the synthetic cannabinoid on one of the brain receptors and led to a loss of the cannabinoid-related behavioural effects within a few minutes. This included a significant loss of sedation within 20 minutes, and a loss of the associated hypothermia within 40 minutes.

Image shows a packet of Spice.
AM251 blocked the action of the synthetic cannabinoid on one of the brain receptors and led to a loss of the cannabinoid-related behavioural effects within a few minutes. NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Lance Cpl. Damany S. Coleman.

The researchers say that the most rapid way to develop an antidote would be to re-develop one of the slimming drugs, known as rimonabant, which also blocks the cannabinoid system on which marijuana acts.

About this neuroscience research article

Source: Joel Winston – Queen Mary University of London
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is credited to Lance Cpl. Damany S. Coleman.
Original Research: Abstract for “Antidote to cannabinoid intoxication: the CB1 receptor inverse agonist, AM251, reverses hypothermic effects of the CB1 receptor agonist, CB-13, in mice” by Gareth Pryce, and David Baker in British Journal of Pharmacology. Published online September 20 2017 doi:10.1111/bph.13973

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article

[cbtabs][cbtab title=”MLA”]Queen Mary University of London “Slimming Drug Compound May Be An Antidote to Synthetic Cannabis ‘Spice’ Intoxication.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 4 October 2017.
<https://neurosciencenews.com/am251-spice-intoxication-7657/>.[/cbtab][cbtab title=”APA”]Queen Mary University of London (2017, October 4). Slimming Drug Compound May Be An Antidote to Synthetic Cannabis ‘Spice’ Intoxication. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved October 4, 2017 from https://neurosciencenews.com/am251-spice-intoxication-7657/[/cbtab][cbtab title=”Chicago”]Queen Mary University of London “Slimming Drug Compound May Be An Antidote to Synthetic Cannabis ‘Spice’ Intoxication.” https://neurosciencenews.com/am251-spice-intoxication-7657/ (accessed October 4, 2017).[/cbtab][/cbtabs]


Abstract

Antidote to cannabinoid intoxication: the CB1 receptor inverse agonist, AM251, reverses hypothermic effects of the CB1 receptor agonist, CB-13, in mice

Background and Purpose

Cannabis is a recreational drug leading to intoxication, following stimulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors. However, more recently, herbs mixed with synthetic cannabinoids sometimes known as ‘Spice’ and ‘Black Mamba’ have been increasingly used, and their high CB1 receptor affinity has led not only to marked intoxication but also life-threatening complications and an increasing number of deaths. Although many studies have indicated that prophylactic treatment with CB1 receptor antagonists can block cannabimimetic effects in animals and humans, the aim of this study was to determine whether CB1 receptor antagonism could reverse physical cannabimimetic effects.

Experimental Approach

Cannabimimetic effects, measured by the hypothermic response following sedation and hypomotility, were induced by the synthetic CB1 receptor agonist CB-13 (1-naphthalenyl[4-(pentyloxy)-1-naphthalenyl]methanone) in Biozzi Antibody High mice. The CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 (N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-1-(2, 4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide) was administered 20 min after the injection of CB-13 and its effects on the cannabimimetic responses were assessed.

Key Results

In this study, the CNS-related cannabimimetic effects, as measured by the hypothermic effect, induced by the CB1 receptor agonist were therapeutically treated and were rapidly reversed by the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist. There was also a subjective reversal of visually evident sedation.

Conclusions and Implications

Cannabinoid receptor antagonists have been widely used and so may provide an acceptable single-dose antidote to cannabinoid intoxication. This use may save human life, where the life-threatening effects are mediated by cannabinoid receptors and not off-target influences of the synthetic cannabinoids or non-cannabinoids within the recreational drug mixture.

“Antidote to cannabinoid intoxication: the CB1 receptor inverse agonist, AM251, reverses hypothermic effects of the CB1 receptor agonist, CB-13, in mice” by Gareth Pryce, and David Baker in British Journal of Pharmacology. Published online September 20 2017 doi:10.1111/bph.13973

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