Scientists discover hormone that blocks marijuana buzz
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A naturally occurring hormone acts as spontaneous defense in the brain against the high caused by marijuana and could be useful in preventing addiction, researchers said Thursday.
French researchers studied lab rats and found that the steroid hormone pregnenolone reduced the activity of a particular brain molecule called the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1).
The hormone, which was not previously believed to have any biological effect of its own, actually cancels out the "high" caused by THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to lead author Pier Vincenzo Piazza of the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM).
"These researchers weren't trying to be buzzkills," said the journal Science, in which the study appears. "Their discovery could lead to new approaches to treating marijuana intoxication and addiction - and it may allow researchers to isolate the medicinal properties of cannabis while blocking its behavioral and somatic effects."