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New chemical gives hope for curing drug addiction and obesity

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana Usage and Applications' started by Superjoint, May 16, 2004.

  1. Washington, May 16(ANI):

    A new synthetic chemical may provide the framework for future drugs that can treat a variety of ailments related to the brain, ranging from overeating and drug dependency to neuropathic pain.

    Anandamide is a natural marijuana-like compound that responds to hormones and external stimuli and activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This endocannabinoid system helps regulate pain, mood and appetite, along with dependence on drugs such as alcohol and marijuana. Because of this, anandamide is sometimes referred to as the "bliss" molecule.

    Daniele Piomelli, professor of pharmacology at the UC Irvine College of Medicine, and colleagues at the University of Connecticut have created a molecule, AM1172, that regulates the processing of a neurotransmitter called anandamide.

    "By understanding how this works at a biological level, we can begin to understand how anxiety and depression is connected with obesity and the dependence on substances such as marijuana," said Piomelli, who also studies how anandamide and other similar substances are involved in feeding and obesity. "By helping the body's own system give the brain a boost, compounds such as AM1172 might be able to counterbalance these feelings of anxiety and depression."

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