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Forthcoming Nature Paper

By Noorjaben B Monowari, on 25 November 2016

171116 NatureCover

In a new systematic review featured on the front cover of Nature and amidst a rapidly changing global political landscape owing to legalization, the availability of synthetic analogues (commonly termed spice), cannavaping and an emphasis on the purported therapeutic effects of cannabis,  Dr Bloomfield and colleagues review the complex effects of THC, the main ingredient in cannabis, on the brain’s reward system. They describe the ways in which these may alter brain function to increase the risk of mental health problems.  Owing to the complexity of the cannabinoid-dopamine interactions that take place, there is conflicting evidence from human and animal studies concerning the effects of THC on the dopamine system. Acute THC administration causes increased dopamine release and neuron activity, whereas long-term use is associated with blunting of the dopamine system.  and provide a framework for future pharmacology research  they argue must examine the long-term and developmental dopaminergic effects of THC.

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