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Cannabis terpenes demonstrate acute anti-seizure activity in rodent brain slices in vitro.
Cannabis has received attention for its potential anti-seizure activity, however studies of cannabis have predominantly focused on the plant’s cannabinoid constituents. This study aims to assess the anti-seizure potential of α-pinene and linalool, two monoterpenes commonly found in the Cannabaceae family of plants .
Extracellular local field potential (LFP) in vitro electrophysiology was employed to measure network neuronal activity in rat brain slices. Seizure-like events were elicited using the bath application of the proconvulsant agent, 4-aminopyridine (100 μM). Following the establishment of baseline seizure activity, doses linalool (100 & 300 μM) or α-pinene (10 & 30 μM were added. Waveforms of seizure activity were recorded from the medial Entorhinal Cortex. The effects of each monoterpene on seizure duration (SD), first spike amplitude and power spectral density (PSD) were analysed. DMSO (0.03% w/v) was used as a vehicle control. Addition of linalool resulted in a significant reduction in both SD and PSD when compared to baseline activity. Linalool also produced a significantly greater percentage decrease in PSD when compared with α-pinene or DMSO. α-Pinene failed to produce a significant change in any of the parameters measured at the concentrations studied. These results indicate that linalool possesses the ability to reduce both the duration and the area power of LFP seizure activity. This anticonvulsant activity may be attributable to modulation of glutamate neurotransmission and/or voltage-gated sodium channels  . This evidence supports the potential use of linalool in the treatment of seizures in patients with epilepsy.
Article published online:
13 December 2021
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