Effects of Acute Exposure to Cannabidiol on Zebrafish Behaviour

  • Lyndsay Pinder MacEwan University


Cannabinoid therapeutic potential is increasingly studied using animal models. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a useful model organism because humans and zebrafish have similiar endocannabinoid systems (Oltrabella, Melgoza, Nguyen, & Guo, 2017). The present study examined zebrafish behaviour in response to 3 mg/L and 7mg/L of the cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD). Behaviour was assessed using the novel tank dive (NTD) behavioural test. The NTD is a test of anxiety displayed by individual zebrafish, and it is linked to predator avoidance behaviours. 1-way ANOVAs showed no significant difference among 3mg/L and 7 mg/L groups compared against control in anxiety-related bottom-dwelling behaviour. However, group differences in velocity and overall time spent moving were significant, suggesting CBD has an impact on zebrafish levels of motor activity. Future studies should use behavioural assays that measure different anxiety-related behaviours, such as the shoaling test that assesses social anxiety.


Faculty Mentor: Melike Schalomon

Department: Psychology (Honours)