The Surprising Effect Of Marijuana On Morphine Dependence

Injections of THC, the active principle of cannabis, eliminate dependence on opiates (morphine, heroin) in rats deprived of their mothers at birth.

This has been shown by a study carried out by Valérie Daugé and her team at the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System (UPMC / CNRS / INSERM) in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. The findings could lead to therapeutic alternatives to existing substitution treatments.

In order to study psychiatric disorders, neurobiologists use animal models, especially maternal deprivation models. Depriving rats of their mothers for several hours a day after their birth leads to a lack of care and to early stress. The lack of care, which takes place during a period of intense neuronal development, is liable to cause lasting brain dysfunction. Valérie Daugé’s team at the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System (UPMC / CNRS / Inserm) analyzed the effects of maternal deprivation combined with injections of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main active principle in cannabis, on behavior with regard to opiates.

Previously, Daugé and her colleagues had shown that rats deprived of their mothers at birth become hypersensitive to the rewarding effect of morphine and heroin (substances belonging to the opiate family), and rapidly become dependent. In addition, there is a correlation between such behavioral disturbances linked to dependence, and hypoactivity of the enkephalinergic system, the endogenous opioid system.

To these rats, placed under stress from birth, the researchers intermittently administered increasingly high doses of THC (5 or 10 mg/kg) during the period corresponding to their adolescence (between 35 and 48 days after birth). By measuring their consumption of morphine in adulthood, they observed that, unlike results previously obtained, the rats no longer developed typical morphine-dependent behavior. Moreover, biochemical and molecular biological data corroborate these findings. In the striatum, a region of the brain involved in drug dependence, the production of endogenous enkephalins was restored under THC, whereas it diminished in rats stressed from birth which had not received THC.

Such animal models are validated for understanding the neurobiological and behavioral effects of postnatal conditions in humans. In this context, the findings point to the development of new treatments that could relieve withdrawal effects and suppress drug dependence.

The enkephalinergic system produces endogenous enkephalins, which are neurotransmitters that bind to the same receptors as opiates and inhibit pain messages to the brain.

– Article from redOrbit



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  2. toPdoG on

    I have a friend who is dying of the Cancer!! it’s in his liver and he is in alot of pain. The docs started him on the morphine and hope for the best…After several days on the morphine he started getting loopy and seeing things! He asked several times to get high we were a little concered how he would reacte!?!? But Ya know a dying Man deserves to get high, get laid, go to the moon if it’s at all possible!!
    Well before my very eyes and not just mine, after a few hits of some good ole commersh, my boy was talking and laughing. We went inside first thing he did was grab some cherry tomatoes throw them into his mouth and ask for more…first time he had eaten in 3 days!! I guess even though I smoke and have for about 30 years, I never really believed the advocates of medicinal weed!? I knew that when I was sick to my stomach it worked and when my anxiety was [email protected] with me I felt better, but CANCER!!?!?!
    Well all I can say is if your reading this here you will be seeing it again and again, because the Medicinal Weed group just got another advocate and I plan on telling everyone!
    The best way to describe what happens to my Friend of 45 years is simply “AWAKENING” I feel as though as long as he can ,he will continue to smoke and i will be there to make sure he doesn’t burn to death…As i told him “you’ve spent to damn much money fighting this cancer to let something else kill you”

    I want to do more and I hope you don’t have to loose a freind to figure out that WEED HEALS the Minds and if it’ snot a cure it’s the cushion between quality and quantity.

    !!!WE LOVE YOU MARK!!!

  3. City C on

    First two days /without/ smoking to relieve the tremors, bugs-under-skin, nauseous symptoms. Took damn near an entire year to feel completely normal again…and the government demonizes the miracle plant. Ignorant douchebags.

  4. Ommani on

    This might be the only time I’d love to be a lab rat.

    “Hey Pinky, wanna get high?”

    turn on, tune in, and drop out

  5. Anonymous on

    Just two days? Wholly crap, it took me two months to feel normal not to mention the sleep deprivation, cannabis just made the withdrawls feel worse for me, terrible restless legs syndrome.

  6. City C on

    How wonderful this research is being done finally! Years ago when I had back pain, I was a perc addict. I came off cold turkey and the first two days were horrifying. Being a cannabis enthusiast, I picked up a bag and was up in smoke for the rest of the withdrawal period. I can say that without question, toking helped me deal with the withdrawal so much more effectively than I could have without. The calming effect during a time when your body is going haywire helped me get clean and stay that way. I hope they provide this option to other folks looking to get clean themselves. It really does help tremendously.