Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Monika Fleshner

Second Advisor

Kent Hutchison

Third Advisor

Robert Spencer


While there is evidence that pure cannabidiol has some stress-protective and anti-inflammatory effects, no studies have yet investigated its effects on stress-induced inflammation, and few have investigated cannabidiol-rich hemp extracts. The current study was designed to investigate the effects of ad libitum consumption of cannabidiol-rich hemp extract for one week on the response to acute stress (100 inescapable tail shocks) in male and female rats. As expected, tail shock decreased spleen weight and increased plasma corticosterone, blood glucose, and levels of CINC-1, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10. Hemp extract did not impact these responses; however, it reduced body weight gain, spleen weight, and thymus weight, and increased plasma corticosterone, regardless of stressor exposure. Interestingly, females consumed more hemp extract than males. It remains unclear whether the observed effects reflect a true pharmacological effect of the hemp extract, as opposed to a conditioned taste and/or odor aversion.