Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the relationship between marijuana & depression


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A new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that a synthetic form of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, may help patients with depression. This is the first study to establish the ability of cannabis to increase seratonin levels.


A new neurobiological study has found that a synthetic form of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, is an effective anti-depressant at low doses. However, at higher doses, the effect reverses itself and can actually worsen depression and other psychiatric conditions like psychosis.
The anti-depressant and intoxicating effects of cannabis are due to its chemical similarity to natural substances in the brain known as "endo-cannabinoids," which are released under conditions of high stress or pain, explained Dr. Gobbi. They interact with the brain through structures called cannabinoid CB1 receptors. This study demonstrates for the first time that these receptors have a direct effect on the cells producing serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates the mood.
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