It’s generally true that little stories, one specific case after another, add up to an enormous amount of what we call anecdotal evidence. And in medicine anecdotal evidence is often sufficient to guide treatment, or at the very least, to initiate further investigation. In the case of medical marijuana, and contrary to the belief of many physicians, much of that investigation has been already done.
An international group led by Vanderbilt University researchers has found cannabinoid receptors, through which marijuana exerts its effects, in a key emotional hub in the brain involved in regulating anxiety and the flight-or-fight response.
This is the first time cannabinoid receptors have been identified in the central nucleus of the amygdala in a mouse model, they report in the current issue of the journal Neuron.
The discovery may help explain why marijuana users say they take the drug mainly to reduce anxiety, said Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D., the paper's senior author and professor of Psychiatry and of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.
Led by first author Teniel Ramikie, a graduate student in Patel's lab, the researchers also showed for the first time how nerve cells in this part of the brain make and release their own natural “endocannabinoids.”
The study “could be highly important for understanding how cannabis exerts its behavioral effects,” Patel said. As …
The main argument against marijuana is that it does not produce Serotonin, but affects anandamide which is present in brain and produces soothing feeling by reacting with THC which is present in marijuana. This can actually increase the depression and cause schizophrenia like in regular illegal use after a prolonged use. It is always safe to administer antidepressant under medical care than use the illegal substance. Also, the constituents of marijuana interfere with the process of balancing the chemicals which antidepressants work to achieve and in fact it may aggravate the condition instead of curing it.
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