The locus coeruleus is a spot in the human brainstem that is integral to our responses to stress, panic, wakefulness, and sleep-wake transitions. Both the cannabinoid receptors and opioid receptors in the locus coeruleus have a synergistic relationship that, once the medical system begins to incorporate more education about cannabinoids, just might change how physicians prescribe pain medication. The interactions of the two receptor types provide a mechanism that could easily and conveniently improve pain control, provide treatments for addiction, and will likely aid those experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. Research focusing on the treatment of opioid addiction with cannabis is ongoing… but hindered by the legal status of cannabis.
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