Researchers at the University of California Irvine have found how marijuana acts to alleviate ailments such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and other spasmodic diseases. THC mimics a natural brain chemical called anandamide, and it was discovered that anandamide acts to regulate the production of dopamine, which is responsible for stimulating movement and other motor behaviour.
In the April issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, the researchers explained how a lack of dopamine produces shaking and motor hesitation, while uncontrolled dopamine production leads to nervous tics and outbursts associated with Tourette’s and schizophrenia.
Daniele Piomelli, associate professor of pharmacology who helped lead the study, explained that “Patients with schizophrenia and other diseases have reported that marijuana appears to relieve some of their symptoms, but scientists have never found a physiological reason why.?By understanding how the anandamide system works similarly to marijuana, we can explore new ways to treat these diseases more effectively.”