Scientists Discover Hormone Blocks Pot "High" - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Scientists Discover Hormone Blocks Pot "High"

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 French researchers have discovered that a naturally occurring hormone acts as a defense in the brain against the psychoactive effects of marijuana consumption.

The hormone, pregnenolone reduces the activity of a brain molecule that acts as a cannabinoid receptor.
 
Researches think the discovery could help people with addictions to marijuana, as well as allowing people to take medical marijuana without the behavioral effects.
 
The study was published in the journal Science.
 
About 147 million people globally – or about 2.5 percent of the population – use cannabis, according to the World Health Organization.

While cannabis products can alleviate symptoms of depression, glaucoma, spasms, and nausea associated with cancer and AIDS, they are also known to impair brain development, memory and lung function, and some say they can lead to addiction.

Researchers discovered the previously unknown role of pregnenolone when they administered high doses of cannabis to lab rats, on the order of three to 10 times more than the typical human marijuana smoker might be exposed to, Piazza told AFP.

The high doses of cannabis raised the brain's level of pregnenolone, which blocked the harmful effects of THC on the brain.

They also did tests in the lab on human cell lines – not human patients – that showed a similar blocking effect.

"We hope to be able to start clinical trials in people in a year to a year and a half," Piazza told AFP.

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