A single dose study of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid.
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The effects of single oral doses of nabilone, a synthetic cannabinoid, were studied in four anxious volunteer subjects. Each subject had two exposures to placebo and three dose levels of nabilone at 1 week intervals in a single blind balanced Latin square design after the nabilone dose range was determined by each subject's response to a test dose. The Profile of Mood States (POMS), a self-rating adjective checklist, was used as the quantitative measure of subjective effects. The subjects performed a continuous avoidance procedure. High doses (4 or 5 mg) of nabilone produced orthostatic hypotension. Small dose-related increases in heart rate also occurred. Despite the occurrence of highly significant levels of subjective sedation, there were no significant effects of nabilone on behavior maintained by the continuous avoidance procedure. Two of these subjects experienced an anti-anxiety effect from low (1 or 2 mg) nabilone doses, but there was no statistically significant effect on the mean POMS anxiety factor for the group as a whole. In a follow-up experiment, four other anxious subjects received comparatively lower doses of nabilone. In these subjects there were no important effects on blood pressure or heart rate, and also no anti-anxiety effects.