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Endocannabinoids ?the brain's cannabis ?demonstrate novel modes of action to stress

ndocannabinoids may have possible involvement in stress-induced responses such as the changes of autonomic, endocrine and immune function."

Furthermore, Soya added, "cannabinoids are relevant to potential relief in such disease situations in the brain as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, or feeding disorders. In these, their effects are similar to marijuana, except for the possible dangers of accidentally using the natural products at higher dosages."

Scottish team seeks social behavior answers

Nancy Sabatier of the University of Edinburgh, noted that "cannabis, or marijuana, is a drug that is widely abused because of the effects it can have on our mood and our social behavior. Cannabis works this way because it acts like substances that are produced inside our brains that are messengers between brain cells. Our work involves trying to understand what these substances, endocannabinoids, are for."

She said they are particularly interested in how endocannabinoids influence oxytocin cells in the brain, because because OT within the brain is involved in social behavior. "We have found that oxytocin cells produce endocannabinoids, and can release these to switch off other inputs to the oxytocin cells themselves. We are looking at what stimuli will cause oxytocin cells to release endocannabinoids to understand why this system might be important."

Sabatier noted that most related experiments are carried out in rats, "but we think that the basic ways in which these circuits work is very similar in all mammals. These brain circuits are very old in evolutionary terms, and they govern behaviors that are of fundamental importance to most species."


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Source:The American Physiological Society


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