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Anti-cannabis molecule discovered

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Hmmmm....perhaps an anti-cannabis vaccine too? Add it to the preschool schedule.

http://m.medicalxpress.com/news/2014-01-molecule-brain-cannabis-intoxication.html

Two INSERM research teams led by Pier Vincenzo Piazza and Giovanni Marsicano (INSERM Unit 862 "Neurocentre Magendie" in Bordeaux) recently discovered that pregnenolone, a molecule produced by the brain, acts as a natural defence mechanism against the harmful effects of cannabis in animals. Pregnenolone prevents THC, the main active principle in cannabis, from fully activating its brain receptor, the CB1 receptor, that when overstimulated by THC causes the intoxicating effects of cannabis. By identifying this mechanism, the INSERM teams are already developing new approaches for the treatment of cannabis addiction.

These results are to be published in Science on 3 January.

Over 20 million people around the world are addicted to cannabis, including a little more than a half million people in France. In the last few years, cannabis addiction has become one of the main reasons for seeking treatment in addiction clinics. Cannabis consumption is particularly high (30%) in individuals between 16 to 24 years old, a population that is especially susceptible to the harmful effects of the drug.

While cannabis consumers are seeking a state of relaxation, well-being and altered perception, there are many dangers associated to a regular consumption of cannabis. Two major behavioural problems are associated with regular cannabis use in humans: cognitive deficits and a general loss of motivation. Thus, in addition to being extremely dependent on the drug, regular users of cannabis show signs of memory loss and a lack of motivation that make quite hard their social insertion.

The main active ingredient in cannabis, THC, acts on the brain through CB1 cannabinoid receptors located in the neurons. THC binds to these receptors diverting them from their physiological roles, such as regulating food intake, metabolism, cognitive processes and pleasure. When THC overstimulates CB1 receptors, it triggers a reduction in memory abilities, motivation and gradually leads to dependence.

Increase of dopamine release

Developing an efficient treatment for cannabis addiction is becoming a priority of research in the fiend of drug addiction.

In this context, the INSERM teams led by Pier Vincenzo Piazza and Giovanni Marsicano have investigated the potential role of pregnenolone a brain produced steroid hormone. Up to now, pregnenolone was considered the inactive precursor used to synthesize all the other steroid hormones (progesterone, estrogens, testosterone, etc.). The INSERM researchers have now discovered that pregnenolone has quite an important functional role: it provide a natural defence mechanism that can protect the brain from the harmful effects of cannabis.

Essentially, when high doses of THC (well above those inhaled by regular users) activate the CB1 cannabinoid receptor they also trigger the synthesis of pregnenolone. Pregnenole then binds to a specific site on the same CB1 receptors (see figure) and reducing the effects of THC.

The administration of pregnenolone at doses that increase the brain's level of this hormone even more, antagonize the behavioral effects of cannabis.

At the neurobiological level, pregnenolone greatly reduces the release of dopamine triggered by THC. This is an important effect, since the addictive effects of drugs involve an excessive release of dopamine.

This negative feedback mediated by pregnenolone (THC is what triggers the production of pregnenolone, which then inhibits the effects of THC) reveal a previously unknown endogenous mechanism that protects the brain from an over-activation of CB1 receptor.

A protective mechanism that opens the doors to a new therapeutic approach.

The role of pregnenolone was discovered when, rats were given equivalent doses of cocaine, morphine, nicotine, alcohol and cannabis and the levels of several brain steroids (pregnenolone, testosterone, allopregnenolone, DHEA etc..) were measured. It was then found that only one drug, THC, increased brain steroids and more specifically selectively one steroid, pregnenolone, that went up3000% for a period of two hours.

The effect of administering THC on the pregnenolone synthesis (PREG) and other brain steroids

This increase in pregnenolone is a built-in mechanism that moderates the effects of THC. Thus, the effects of THC increase when pregnenolone synthesis is blocked. Conversely, when pregnenolone is administered to rats or mice at doses (2-6 mg/kg) that induce even greater concentrations of the hormone in the brain, the negative behavioural effects of THC are blocked. For example, the animals that were given pregnenolone recover their normal memory abilities, are less sedated and less incline to self-administer cannabinoids.

Experiments conducted in cell cultures that express the human CB1 receptor confirm that pregnenolone can also counteract the molecular action of THC in humans.

Pier Vincenzo Piazza explains that pregnenolone itself cannot be used as a treatment "Pregnenolone cannot be used as a treatment because it is badly absorbed when administerd orally and once in the blood stream it is rapidly transformed in other steroids".

However, the researcher says that there is strong hope of seeing a new addiction therapy emerge from this discovery. "We have now developed derivatives of pregnenolone that are well absorbed and stable. They then present the characteristics of compounds that can be used as new class of therapeutic drugs. We should be able to begin clinical trials soon and verify whether we have indeed discovered the first pharmacological treatment for cannabis dependence."

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Not sure I follow

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It blocks the activity of THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana. It could lead to a treatment for marijuana addiction, which is an increasing problem.

My comment was that perhaps a vaccine could be produced so there would be no "high" in new users, discouraging use from day one.

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anti-cannabis molecule is an Anti-freedom mole

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Cannabis is not addictive, the routine of smoking the drug is what people become used to but it's not an addiction.

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And, you have a PHD in what. . .you are smarter then any doctor on the planet. . . :D

Cannabis is not addictive, the routine of smoking the drug is what people become used to but it's not an addiction.

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Cannabis is not addictive, the routine of smoking the drug is what people become used to but it's not an addiction.

 

It might not be addictive to everyone, but it's definitely addictive to some people. That is a fact. I have seen it.

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Hello,

Cannabis is not additive. The act of smoking it is addictive.

Its like saying you go out and have a beer every day, two days, or weekends. You are not addicited to alcohol, just addicted to social drinking which is not the same thing...

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And, you have a PHD in what. . .you are smarter then any doctor on the planet. . . :D

Likewise, just because science publishes document x in journal y does not mean irrefutable proof.

This isnt blocking the addiction, its blocking the sensation of being "stoned".

Routine is the only "addiction" with habitual cannabis users. Much in the same way that it is to habitual coffee drinkers.

Do we have caffeine addiction problems? Yes, is it demonized in the same way? No.

Not to mention that the vast majority of users do not develop problems from its use. (Again same as most coffee drinkers).

Id much rather have a cannabis addiction than a drink or hard drug addiction!

Still this is good news for the 2-3% of people who actually have serious problems from cannabis use, i.e those who have had known or unknown previous conditions and for whom cannabis use is a catalyst.

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If it is the simple act of smoking, why won't they use regular cigarettes then? It really is the substance they are after...

 

Personally I don't mind smoking weed every now and then, but I am a purely recreational user... if I smoke it more then once every 2 months or so it would be a lot! Ow well, funny how nowadays in Colorado you are allowed to have more (28 grams) on you than you can have in the Netherlands (5 grams) :D

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Hello,

Cannabis is not additive. The act of smoking it is addictive.

Its like saying you go out and have a beer every day, two days, or weekends. You are not addicited to alcohol, just addicted to social drinking which is not the same thing...

 

If you're drinking regularly every weekend or more, you're definitely an alcoholic. having a beer a day or every two days, oh yes. 

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If you're drinking regularly every weekend or more, you're definitely an alcoholic. having a beer a day or every two days, oh yes. 

 

Tosh, I have one bottled beer a day, so that makes me an alcoholic? I like a drink but I am in no way an alcoholic. Alcoholics normally drink heavy volumed drinks like spirits to get drunk quicker. They won't stop at 2 or 3 though. They will keep going and going until they fall asleep or just run out. 

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Tosh, I have one bottled beer a day, so that makes me an alcoholic? I like a drink but I am in no way an alcoholic. Alcoholics normally drink heavy volumed drinks like spirits to get drunk quicker. They won't stop at 2 or 3 though. They will keep going and going until they fall asleep or just run out. 

 

This describes a dosaholic. Once you've had your dose, you tell yourself enough is enough, and stop :) But you need that dose everyday - that's the behavior you can't control. So, it's an addiction.

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Tosh, I have one bottled beer a day, so that makes me an alcoholic? I like a drink but I am in no way an alcoholic. Alcoholics normally drink heavy volumed drinks like spirits to get drunk quicker. They won't stop at 2 or 3 though. They will keep going and going until they fall asleep or just run out. 

 

Actually most alcoholics drink beer and they drink ~1 a day or less. 

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So if one person eats a chocolate bar every day that makes them addicted to chocolate?

FYI I didn't have a drink last night. I've been a smoker and quit so know what addiction is.  

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So if one person eats a chocolate bar every day that makes them addicted to chocolate?

FYI I didn't have a drink last night. I've been a smoker and quit so know what addiction is.  

 

It could. chocolate isn't quite the same as alcohol though. and addiction comes in many forms. many alcoholics that smoke know they're addicts to smoke but they still don't understand they're addicted to alcohol. it's funny when you hear some of them say stuff like "I don't understand how people become alcoholics, I drink beer every day and I'm not addicted".

 

post beer can of beer is the classic alcoholic, and one that will easily turn to stronger stuff if faced with hardship or free time like vacations or losing the job.

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With nearly 20,000 forum posts, it looks like you're addicted to the internet. Could you not use the internet for a month?

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With nearly 20,000 forum posts, it looks like you're addicted to the internet. Could you not use the internet for a month?

 

yes, outside of banking which by necessity must be done at lest once a month.

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If you're drinking regularly every weekend or more, you're definitely an alcoholic. having a beer a day or every two days, oh yes. 

 

 

really? if you have a drink 2 days out of 7 your an alcoholic?

 

I must also be a sex addict in your eyes to  then....maybe i need to get that looked into

 

on topic though

 

If they have found something that can stop the effects i am all for it

 

I don't understand why the government has not legalised it and is not taxing the hell out of it aswell

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So is this along the same lines as the anti-cocaine one that will for that persons life stop it working? If so, that's pretty awful.

 

Also why do people continually spout up saying cannabis is not addictive? Everything's addictive, if you have something and enjoy it (dopamine release generally with drugs) then chances are you form an addition, like with: caffeine, sugar, playing games, tobacco, alcohol and yes, cannabis.

I'm not anti-cannabis but I am anti-people that seem to think it's completely harmless with no ill effects.

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From an outsiders POV your an addict.  Me accusing you of this is no different from you accusing me.

I too can go without a drink no problem. Just because someone enjoys something and does it regularly doesn't make them an addict. Doing something excessively where it controls their life is. I played WoW for a year and became addicted. I had to do my daily instances and raid.  Like smoking I just stopped one day and never went back as I knew it was controlling me. 

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Cannabis dependency is a defined medical condition. While the withdrawl symptoms are milder than some other drugs it has real physiological and psychological effects and its use can become compulsive - which is the important part.

Harvard on chocolate,

http://www.health.harvard,

.edu/blog/can-you-become-addicted-to-chocolate-201302145903

You?ve probably heard the term ?chocoholic? before. Maybe you?ve even used it to describe your devotion to what the Mayans and Aztecs believed was a food of the gods. Usually said jokingly, ?chocoholic? actually nods to a potentially serious question: can a person become addicted to chocolate, or food in general? It?s an appropriate question to ask on Valentine?s Day, the feast day of chocolate.

There are three essential components of addiction:

intense craving

loss of control over the object of that craving

continued use or engagement despite bad consequences

Several studies have shown that people can exhibit all three of these in their relationships with food.

Take craving, for example. The midnight run for a pint of ice cream is a familiar scenario. But I?ve never heard of anyone trolling for celery at that hour. That?s likely because foods that deliver a lot of sugar and fat ? like chocolate ? trigger reward pathways in the brain. In some animal studies, restricting these foods induced a stress-like response consistent with the ?withdrawal? response seen in addiction.

Chocolate, which contains both sugar and fat, is often used in studies of food addiction. In a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers at Yale University asked volunteers to fill out questionnaires to assess addictive behavior. The volunteers then had their brains imaged while being able to see and smell, and then finally drink, a chocolate milkshake.

Participants who scored higher on the food addiction scale experienced a surge of activity in the part of the brain that regulates cravings and rewards when presented with the chocolate milkshake. Once they started drinking it, they showed markedly reduced activity in areas of the brain that control impulses to seek rewards. A similar pattern of brain activity is found in people addicted to drugs.

>

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Cannabis is not addictive, the routine of smoking the drug is what people become used to but it's not an addiction.

 

Everything in life can be addictive.

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Hello,

If you're drinking regularly every weekend or more, you're definitely an alcoholic.

So a person that gets off work on friday, on saturday goes to the local club, and has a few drinks and repeats every week is a alcoholic?

Is that what you are saying? Before I go any further.

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can a person become addicted to chocolate, or food in general

 

 

That's like asking if a person can be addicted to oxygen.

 

 

a few drinks

 

This is a very broad term :D

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