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Cannabis Could Relieve Pain Without the High

by Sheela Philomena on  April 6, 2011 at 11:52 AM Drug News   - G J E 4
Cannabis is taken as a painkiller but it causes some unpleasant side effects like delusions and impaired mobility. Experiments conducted by US researchers have paved way for cannabis-like drugs that could kill the pain without the high.
 Cannabis Could Relieve Pain Without the High
Cannabis Could Relieve Pain Without the High
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Li Zhang of the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Maryland, and his team found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the active component in cannabis - is able to relieve pain by binding to receptors for the brain-signalling compound glycine and increasing their activity.

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It has long been known that THC gives people a high by binding to a molecular anchor on cells called the cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor.

Through experiments on mice, Zhang and his team confirmed that if the glycine receptor is absent or if its activity is blocked by another drug, the animals experienced pain in a standard 'tail-flick' test even when given THC, confirming that the drug's pain-relief and psychotropic effects can be decoupled.

"We found that this glycine receptor could be a primary target for developing non-psychoactive forms of cannabis," New Scientist.quoted Zhang as saying.

Source: ANI
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