UPF: Hormone blocks the effects of cannabis addiction

UPF: Hormone blocks the effects of cannabis addiction

News from the UPF

A study just published in the journal Science reveals that the main active ingredient in cannabis, THC (Δ9 - tetrahydrocannabinol ), substantially increases the synthesis of pregnenolone, the precursor of all steroid hormones, through activation of the CB1 receptor .

Pregnenolone acts as a specific inhibitor of CB1 signaling and reduces various effects of THC. This negative feedback hitherto unknown evidences that pregnenolone acts as a protector against brain over-activation by CB1 receptors, opening new possibilities for the treatment of cannabis intoxication and addiction to marijuana.

The work has been coordinated from the INSERM in Bordeaux (France). Elena Martín García and Rafael Maldonado, researcher and head, respectively, of the Laboratory of Neuropharmacology at the CEXS-UPF, also participated.


More information:
Website of CEXS-UPF (in English)
UPF news (in Catalan)


M. Vallée, S. Vitiello, L. Bellocchio, E. Hébert-Chatelain, S. Monlezun, E. Martin-Garcia, F. Kasanetz, G. L. Baillie, F. Panin, A. Cathala, V. Roullot-Lacarrière, S. Fabre, D. P. Hurst, D. L. Lynch, D. M. Shore, V. Deroche-Gamonet, U. Spampinato, J.-M. Revest, R. Maldonado, P. H. Reggio, R. A. Ross, G. Marsicano, P. V. Piazza (2014), "Pregnenolone can protect the brain from cannabis intoxication", Science, 343, pp. 94-98.