Alcohol-induced conditioned place preference is modulated by CB2 cannabinoid receptors and modifies levels of endocannabinoids in the mesocorticolimbic system
A recent study has revealed that the endocannabinoid system may provide a novel treatment for alcoholism. Researchers have found that cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is able to modulate the reward pathway for alcohol consumption. Specifically, when CB2 is antagonized or given an inverse agonist it is able to mitigate the positive effects of alcohol consumption. Dampening the positive effects felt when consuming alcohol will hopefully lower the need to drink felt by those suffering from alcohol use disorders.
This article highlights the potential uses of synthetic cannabinoids and how different synthetic cannabinoids are able to have similar effects despite causing inverse reactions. Two synthetic cannabinoids were utilized for this study, an agonist and an antagonist for CB2, but both managed to minimize the positive effects of alcohol consumption. The only differing effect was that of the CB2 agonist in its ability to also decrease the positive effects felt when consuming food. Stumbling upon this secondary effect may provide a novel treatment for obesity, another prevalent disease in the United States. Further research into how the endocannabinoid system affects bodily processes and the development of synthetic cannabinoids may reveal hundreds of novel therapies.
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