Cannabidiol (CBD), is the non psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, where as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is. Products made with CBD are becoming increasingly popular because of its ability to help people with depression, anxiety, and a range of diseases such as MS and cancer. THC has also been highlighted as a possible treatment to cancer related nausea and anorexia. This paper will look at how CBD’s can treat people with addicted to drugs of abuse, even including long term marijuana users.
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It is known that all commonly abused drugs manipulate the brain reward system to increase the concentrations of dopamine in the brain. Many drugs of abuse appear to increase dopamine levels by dramatically increase the firing and bursting rates of dopamine neurons located in the ventral mesencephalon area of the brain. This study describes how cannabinoid receptors, a landing point for CBD’s to have an effect, in the brain can subside animals addiction to substances such as opiates, alcohol, THC and nicotine. It is proposed that when an animal is administered with CBD, the cannabinoid receptors in the axon terminal part of the brain block the effects of endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) that are fired from the mesolimbic dopamine releasing activity.
opamine firing activity.
However, this animal study has found that people with cocaine and amphetamine addictions can not be treated with CBD because these psychostimulants have the ability to increase dopamine through actions at the dopamine axon terminals rather than increasing dopamine neuron firing rates, and subsequent endocannabinoid release.
The data from these studies suggest that the cannabinoid system and the main CB1 receptors located in the ventral mesencephalon part of the brain may have a crucial role in controlling drug reward processes, and that endocannabinoids are recruited whenever dopamine neuron activity is increased. This means that by controlling the endocannabinoid system, CBD’s can be used to treat people with many types of addiction by relieving withdrawal symptoms. however more studies will need to take place so that more of an understanding can be developed into how the relationship between endocannabinoids and dopamine in the brain work.