Published on January 4th, 2014
Researchers have discovered the key that allows the treatment of cannabis dependence: a molecule in the brain! (VIDEO)
A molecule produced by the brain is a natural defense mechanism against the harmful effects of cannabis, according to a study published in the American journal Science, this finding may represent a possible way to cure drug addiction.
Worldwide, over 20 million people are dependent on cannabis inform liberation.fr.
Two teams of researchers from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in France analyzed pregnenolone, a precursor of all steroid hormones (progesterone, testosterone, etc.). Although, in general, it is believed that the pregnenolone has its own biological effects, researchers have shown that this hormone is capable of protecting the brain from harmful effects of cannabis. Among the best known are the effects of cognitive impairment and memory disturbances and a general loss of motivation.
With high doses of cannabis for mice and rats, researchers were able to increase brain concentrations of pregnenolone and block the adverse effects of the active ingredient in cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol, THC), which acts on the cannabinoid receptors (CB1) located in the neurons.
Ingested doses were much higher than what they consume cannabis addicts, “the order of 3 to 10 times”, said Pier Vincenzo Piazza, who led the study.
With increasing doses, the researchers found a natural process, until then unknown, that protects the brain from a over activation of CB1 receptors and reduces the effects of cannabis on memory.
In addition, researchers in the laboratory tests carried out on the human CB1 receptor and the results were similar.
But because pregnenolone is a natural hormone, poorly absorbed and rapidly metabolized by the body, researchers have developed derivatives of pregnenolone “modified to be absorbed by the body and not to develop into steroid hormones”, said Piazza.
“We hope that we can begin clinical trials on humans within a year or a year and a half”, he said, stressing that if the efficiency of these derivatives of pregnenolone is confirmed, it would be about “the first pharmaceutical treatment against cannabis addiction”.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 147 million people worldwide use cannabis, ie 2.5% of the total population.