Marijuana Effects on dopamine/sertonin

Discussion in 'Medicinal Marijuana' started by carmen77, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. carmen77

    carmen77 New Member

    Basically my title summed up my question, Does Marijuana effect dopamine or sertonin and a link to a study backing up a claim would be nice since I have read contradictory evidence.
  2. Mamabudz

    Mamabudz Guest

    Excellent topic...

    My current information is that cannabinoids tend to be anti-serotinergic, meaning serotonin blockers of a sort and that in that manner can be useful in helping certain types of migraines.

    On is the latest as of May 2000:

    A chemical that boosts a marijuana-like substance in the brain may inspire new treatments for brain disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have developed a compound--dubbed AM404--that bolsters the natural function of anandamide, a brain chemical that acts on the same brain receptors as marijuana does.

    Experiments in rats show that anandamide normally inactivates another brain chemical called dopamine, which has been implicated in a number of brain disorders. Daniele Piomelli, a professor of pharmacology, and colleagues report their findings in the May issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

    In the case of Parkinson's disease, patients have too little dopamine, while people with ADHD, schizophrenia or Tourette's syndrome may have too much.

    The hope is that AM404 will lay the groundwork for a new class of drugs that either boost or block dopamine, without the side effects linked to current treatments, Piomelli told Reuters Health in an interview.

    ``Our results are interesting,'' he said, ``because they show that you can modulate dopamine without acting on the dopamine system.''

    This is important, Piomelli noted, because Parkinson's, schizophrenia, Tourette's syndrome and other disorders are all currently treated with drugs that act directly on the dopamine system. These drugs, he added, carry side effects such as lethargy and impaired sexual activity.

    Last year, Piomelli and his colleagues showed for the first time that in rats, anandamide naturally counters dopamine. Usually, though, anandamide is inactive in the brain. The California team's latest experiments in rats reveal that AM404 stops anandamide from being ``drained from the brain,'' which allows it to suppress dopamine.

    Although dopamine's role in brain disorders is not completely understood, an elevated level is a ``common element'' in conditions such as ADHD, schizophrenia and Tourette's syndrome, Piomelli explained. These disorders are all marked by hyperactive ``intrusions'' into normal brain function, he said. For example, people with Tourette's experience physical ''tics,'' while schizophrenics suffer from delusions.

    The potential for anandamide-boosting drugs to work against these disorders has some anecdotal backing. Anandamide's counterpart, marijuana, is used by many schizophrenics who report that it relieves their symptoms, Piomelli noted.

    ``But,'' he said, ``we are not implying that marijuana is useful for these conditions.''

    Marijuana, according to Piomelli, is far less selective than anandamide in activating brain cells.

    Because pot smoking overstimulates the brain, he said, cells eventually become desensitized to any benefits the drug initially brings.

    New York (Reuters Health)
    Wednesday May 3 2:24 PM ET
    SOURCE: Journal of Neuroscience May 2000.
    Copyright © 2000 Reuters Limited.

    My personal experience is the following:

    I have been on anti depressant medication for what was originally diagnosed as unipolar clinical depression in 1988 and subsequently rediagnosed as bipolar hypomanic rapid cycling depression in 2001. My prescribed medication has always included a SSRI, originally Prozac, then Zoloft and currently Paxil in it's generic equivalent Paroxetine (currently concurrent with Topomirate -- to control mood swings and Buspirone to control anxiety).

    I noticed that smoking too much too often (say 3 joints a day) causes me to cycle to a depressive state and I am not as "together" as I prefer to be. I also seem to get migrain headaches.

    Stopping smoking? I become "one dimensional", my artistic side is stunted and while I am not depressed I am disaffected -- no smile/no frown -- what my "dear" family referred to in my younger years as my "fish face".

    So I am about a "Bowl A Day" girl ...for regular times and I consider it an adjunct to my other medications and enjoy it greatly -- And of course it is my recreational intoxicant of choice ( I don't do other "drugs" and I am not a big one for alcoholic intoxicants)

    Thanks for brining up a great topic and let's see what others have to contribute.

    ...have a cookie and welcome to the boards


    Mama Budz
  3. vai113

    vai113 New Member


    Honestly mama buds...

    Why dont you try to give up smoking for an extended period of time... If you have all those problems weed might actually be making them worse in the long run... Although you may say u feel good now smoking.. But take a very very very long break and you might feel yourself start to change and feel better... Also when diagnosed in 1988 did you smoke then and before your diagnose? If the answer is yes im sad to say you could have had an already predisposed illness that marijuana could have exacerbated and made way worse.... and you say your one dimensional when u dont smoke, dont u think this is more of a state and power of your own conscious and mind?

    Also as reguards to anxiety, from my own personal experience i used to be an anxious wreck .. thinking i had many problems etc etc.. but once i stopped smoking all that anxiety went completely away and it feels great not to relay on something everyday.

    I really believe people may believe marijuana is helping their mental state or condition but in turn it could be the exact opposite....

    Ofcourse you feel good when you smoke or get high, but taking atleast a year off is good to see how youve changed as a person... ofcourse everyone is different...
  4. Mamabudz

    Mamabudz Guest


    Thank you for being honest and "saying it like it is" because for a lot of people your advice is right on point!

    The limitations of this form of communication do not always afford us the best method of providing information to one another and therefore a lot had to be left out of my personal anecdote.

    I was suffering from depression since pre-pubescence, approximately 9 years old when I recall the first symptoms; however, it has been theorized that due to early physical and mental trauma I experienced along with, in retrospect, a generational propensity to depression and hypomania in my family and ancestry, that I was in essence born "this way". In other words -- the same gifts I received from my ancestry (singing talent, a quick mind, a greater than normal memory and what amounts to the "so-called" genius level of IQ when tested) came with some down sides in the bargain (hypomania, melancholia, and so forth)

    I smoked pot for the first time at 17 and set it behind me as I had changed who I hung out with, went off to college and then on to graduate school. In hindsight, I probably would have done better both socially and mentally if I had been smoking back then.

    I was diagnosed with unipolar depression in the mid 80's

    I began smoking again in the late 80's but rarely (maybe once a month or a few times a year)

    I was on Prozac for a few years and then weaned off it

    In '94 I had a serious breakdown that effected my life & my career -- it was precipitated by certain major life changing events. I was not smoking pot at that time.

    It was in about '96 (almost 10 years ago) that I started to smoke on a weekly basis and now, on a daily basis.

    In Jan of 2001 I my diagnoses was updated and my medication adjusted to take into account the hypomanic phases I was experiencing -- until that time medication for this condition was limited and had side effects I did not desire -- in addition, being of child bearing age, I did not wish to become pregnant with these particular medications in my system.

    Late Summer of 2001 found me a member of and the rest is ...well, history...

    BTW, that "fish face"? That was a term coined when I was 11, way before I even knew what marijuana was...

    Predetermination of the body to an illness exists whether a person smokes or not. In my case, my illness was always there.

    The theory that marijuana use can somehow "trigger" a psychotic episode or "cause" schizoidal behaviour in someone with latent schizophrenia has been questioned by most ethical psychiatrists who stay attuned to the most up-to date information on the subject.

    It has been discovered that endogenous cannabinoids in those with mental "illness" are dissimilar in amount and "amount over time" compared to so-called "normal" persons. It was these kinds of discoveries with another neuro transmitter, serotonin, that lead to the development of the Serotonin reuptake medications that have provided so many of us with depressive illness the ability to take back our lives.

    I believe it is possible that -- given the the propensity to self-medicate with cannabis and the benefits that such use can provide -- there is an indication here that cannabis type drugs can be a useful addition to the psycho-pharmacological treatment regimen.

    Once again thank you for your concern...

    ...and have a cookie ;)

    Mama Budz
  5. vai113

    vai113 New Member

    Ahhh, well i feel kinda bad now, I apologize if I hurt or offended you in any way I was only offering my honest voice and opinion..Am only trying to help :) But now i fully understand your situation.... and let me just say that ive been an admirer since day 1 that i joined...

    Anyways I feel that cannabis should definetly not be given to anyone with any sorts of mental illnesses only because of the lack of consistent research we really have on it.. Ive read pages and pages of studies like yourself and it seems that there is simply too much contradictions arguing both sides. However, time will definetly tell and once we FULLY 100% understand the physiological effects it has on the brain , then we will really know the truth. However there is already alot we do know and how it already offers relief to people with a wide range of dehabilitating illnesses.There is no doubt in my mind though that ii has been shown extremely useful for many medicinal purposes(Since humans were alive)(except in my opinion psychological disorders). One day though the truth will be shed and the federal government really needs to take it off schedule 1 to make research more easier for everyone.

    And the main thing to remember as you shown is everyone reacts differently...

    The amount of endogenous cannabinoids could have a direct effect and even how their natural cannabinoid system functions,

    But finally to restate i think there must be extensively more data and credibility before many people with predisposed illnesses go about self-medicating with cannabis or even under the supervision of Dr.s....

    But as reguards to people with chronic pain... It definetly works in mysterious ways and im hoping to still be here when they actually discover the exact mechanism in which it works..

    My close friend with RSD finds way more relief with Marijuana than he even does with IVed Morphine or many other conventional medications given to patients...

    The thing that upsets me the most is the way the goverment completley debunks it even has medicinal value... cause after all, it would really make them look like a fool, like it hasnt already and even when it was made illegal in 1937 for all those ludicrious reasons...

    One day the truth will be known.........

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