Reintoxication: the release of fat-stored delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) into blood is enhanced by food deprivation or ACTH exposure

British Journal of Pharmacology
Nathan GunasekaranIain S McGregor


Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, accumulates in adipose tissue where it is stored for long periods of time. Here we investigated whether conditions that promote lipolysis can liberate THC from adipocytes to yield increased blood levels of THC. In vitro studies involved freshly isolated rat adipocytes that were incubated with THC before exposure to the lipolytic agent adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). A complementary in vivo approach examined the effects of both food deprivation and ACTH on blood levels of THC in rats that had been repeatedly injected with THC (10 for 10 consecutive days. Lipolysis promoted by ACTH or food deprivation was indexed by measurement of glycerol levels. ACTH increased THC levels in the medium of THC-pretreated adipocytes in vitro. ACTH also enhanced THC release from adipocytes in vitro when taken from rats repeatedly pretreated with THC in vivo. Finally, in vivo ACTH exposure and 24 h food deprivation both enhanced the levels of THC and its metabolite, (-)-11-nor-9-carboxy-Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) in the blood of rats that had been pre-exposed to repeated THC injections. The present study shows that lipolysis enhances the...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

(6aR-trans)-isomer of 11-nor-delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid
Food Deprivation (Experimental)
Tetrahydrocannabinol, Trans-(+-)-Isomer
Rats, Wistar
Adipose Tissue

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