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Scientists discover the body's marijuana-like compounds are crucial for stress-induced pain relief

e formation of the naturally occurring marijuana-like compound 2-AG is called monoacylglycerol lipase, and it is this enzyme that could be a target for therapeutic drug intervention to help those in pain.

A new drug increasing the body's own marijuana-like compounds could work similar to something like Prozac, which blocks the body's reuptake of the compound serotonin, causing it to be active longer, Hohmann said.

Apparently, several parts of the brain are involved in the effect, most notably a structure in the midbrain known as the periaqueductal gray. In this region, stress causes the release of the naturally occurring marijuana-like compounds in the brain.

A drug derived from the new research would likely be more effective and specific than smoked marijuana, said Hohmann.


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Source:University of Georgia


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