The folks at NORML included some really cool information in their weekly wrap-up this morning. Apparently, there’s a new report in the journal Nature Neuroscience which says that there is “preclinical data” showing that if you use a synthetic cannabinoid agonist to stimulate a specfic endocannabinoid receptor, it reduces the craving for cocaine. Translation: smoking week makes you not want to use crack.
The study, performed by the folks at NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)’s Intramural Research Program, reported that if the CB2 receptor in a mouse is activated by giving it a shot of a “selective cannabinoid agonist” the mouse is up to 60% less likely to require shots of cocaine.
The researchers’ conclusion was that their findings, “…suggest that brain CB2 receptors modulate cocaine’s rewarding and locomotor-stimulating effects, likely by a dopamine-dependent mechanism.”
There have already been other studies which have shown that the THC in cannabis makes people less dependent on opioid drugs, and that moderate use of marijuana may help patients stay with their naltrexone-based addiction therapy. There is also already a precedent for using one drug to help wean patients off another – suboxone, for example, is the accepted treatment for opioid dependency right now.
Even if this is old news to some, it’s gratifying to see yet another medical benefit of cannabis being verified.