A new study published by the journal Psychopharmacology, and conducted by researchers at the Universitat de València in Spain, has found that the body’s cannabinoid receptors play a vital role in the management of social interactions and aggressive behavior, and that administration of a cannabinoid receptor agonist significantly reduces aggression in animal models.
The study’s abstract explains that “This study was designed to examine the role of cannabinoid CB2r in social and aggressive behavior.”
A social interaction and other tests were performed in mice lacking cannabinoid (type 2) receptors (CB2r) and in “wild-type (WT) littermates”, and “the effects of the CB2r selective agonist [meant to mimic the effects of cannabinoids] JWH133 (1 and 2 mg/kg) on aggression were also evaluated”.
Researchers found that the mice lacking CB2r “exhibited higher levels of aggression in the social interaction test and displayed more aggression than resident WT mice… Acute administration of the CB2 agonist JWH133 significantly reduced the level of aggression in aggressive isolated OF1 mice, an effect that decreased after pretreatment with the CB2 receptor antagonist AM630.”
The study concludes; “Our results suggest that CB2r is implicated in social interaction and aggressive behavior and deserves further consideration as a potential new target for the management of aggression.”