Evaluating the Therapeutic Effects of Cannflavins on Hippocampal Neuronal Systems Function in the Valproic Acid Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Thumbnail Image


Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of Guelph


Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show significant variability in symptom presentation. No pharmacological therapies exist to treat the core symptoms. There is widespread interest in cannabis as a therapy in ASD, yet the therapeutic potential of select cannabis constituents has not been explored. Here, the effects of cannflavin A or cannflavin B on hippocampal (HIP) neuronal morphology, activity and cell death in vitro were evaluated using the valproic acid (VPA) idiopathic rat model of ASD. HIP primary cultures were treated sub-chronically, every 3 days, with cannflavin A, cannflavin B (1nM), or vehicle. Cannflavin B increased dendritic branching in male, but not female, VPA-derived HIP cultures. Pre-and post-treatment neuronal activity recordings revealed that cannflavin A and cannflavin B normalized VPA-induced alterations in activity with sex-dependent effects. These in vitro findings indicate therapeutic potential for cannflavins in ASD, although further in vivo studies are required.



Cannflavins, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Valproic Acid Model, Multielectrode Array