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Brainstorms

Getting Stoned Without Inhaling: Anandamide Is the Brain’s Natural Marijuana

Article Abstract

The brain makes its own morphine, so why not its own marijuana? Marijuana has been in use for over 4000 years as both a therapeutic agent and a recreational drug. Until 10 years ago, however, the exact mechanism of marijuana’s psychoactive properties was relatively obscure, even though the psychoactive ingredient has long been known to be delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Analogous to how the endogenous opiates were discovered, isolation and characterization of cannabinoid (CB) receptors provided the key for their use as a tool in isolating an endogenous ligand for marijuana receptors in the brain.


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Volume: 59

Quick Links: Psychopharmacology