New study suggests that individual brain sensitivity to THC determines high level of happiness or paranoia
It may not be more obvious, at least in the field of recreation, than a persistent and unanswered question: why does cannabis make one person feel pleasant and the other a paralyzing paranoia?
Thanks to a study conducted by 5 July by Western University in Ontario, Canada, we can get closer to the solution. Published in Scientific Reports, this study is one of the few to explore the "divergent psychological effects" produced by the THC psychoactive ingredient and to explain why this occurs.
Using rats, the study showed that psychological responses to the herb depended on the part of the brain of the most sensitive individual to THC. If it is the anterior part of the brain, cannabis use will produce rewarding effects (eg feeling of ease, decreased anxiety and joy). If it is the posterior (posterior) region that is most sensitive to THC, it will produce negative reactions (Paranoia and fear).
Steven R. Laviolette, one of the researchers in the study, told Yahoo Lifestyle that the study had begun in a new territory.
It's unclear why there are such differences in THC response, "says Laviolette. "We know a lot about short-term and long-term effects. But we know very little about the specific areas of the brain responsible for the independent control of these effects.
This study is therefore a breakthrough. "It's a whole new discovery," said Laviolette. The multi-year project, led by Christopher Norris, validates many people who have reported experiencing very negative effects of marijuana. In addition to negative feelings, the authors found that in severe cases individuals mayschizophrenia».
This work stands out from previous attempts to explain the different psychological reactions, including a study done in 2014 by Oxford , which suggests that traits such as low self-esteem play a role.
The Norris and Laviolette study suggests that the reaction is beyond the control of the individual and may be more genetically based. For those who have a bad reaction, this can be good news.
"Once we have determined what molecular pathways are causing these effects in different areas, we can work long-term on modulating THC formulations so that they do not trigger these specific pathways," Laviolette explains. "This is the long-term goal of what we are trying to do here."
The next step for Laviolette and her colleagues is to try to replicate the results on the human brain, which will not be an easy task. But for now, he hopes the new research will educate users and help them make informed decisions. "Know that we are beginning to solve some of the most complex details of how cannabis affects the brain," he said.Monitor your use and if you experience any negative side effects, talk to your doctor. "
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