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Ananamide: the Real Gateway DrugDr. Phil Leveque Professor of Pharmacology
Marijuana is no gateway drug...look deeper, folks!
(MOLALLA, OR) - What the 'Gateway Drug' is has been bandied about for many years. Whether it is/was beer, tobacco, chocolate, Starbucks, pizza, Coca Cola or pancakes, or whatever else is still very controversial. The ignorant severe critics say that it is marijuana. Unknown to them in their ignorance, they are only about half correct.
The gateway drug is Anandamide which is in mother's milk and the first 'drug' any infant will ingest. The real brain opener is that Anandamide is the body's own marijuana with all of the actions of marijuana itself.
Anandamide is increased in the bloodstream at ovulation and also during copulation. Anandamide is necessary for the implantation of early stage embryos onto the uterus.
Real marijuana may have a similar effect. Both Anandamide and marijuana stimulate the appetite and that is where it is lifesaving to infants but a problem to obese adults. Anandamide is also in chocolate! I guess that is why chocolate is so addicting.
As a Professor of Pharmacology, I find both Anandamide and marijuana to be extremely interesting. There is no substance with the exceptions of maybe salt and water which have so many beneficial actions to all of us animals.
Anandamide and marijuana both give similar medical relief to 34 brain/central nervous system conditions. There is no other medication which will do this. These are conditions publicized in Storm Crow's list with medical journal references.
In addition to the brain/neural actions, there are about 23 medical conditions which are not actions on the brain. This information can be found by searching Storm Crow's list or 'Medical Marijuana Uses: Miracle Medicine for Dozens of Diseases' in Salem-News.com.
Some of the actions of Anandamide and cannabis/marijuana are mediators such as dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and presumably other secondary messengers or hormones.
I have been scanning cannabis therapy articles for more than fifty years to find out what is the precise mechanism of action. After reading at least 1000 articles, the best I can find is an article in Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPTE.107.125336) about Anandamide which says, "Although the mechanisms of action of Anandamide are complex and not well established, modulation of various ion channels (in membranes) is thought to mediate some of its effects."
Another article by David Bearman M.D. in AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) entitled 'PTSD and Cannabis: a Clinician Ponders Mechanism of Action'. In his last paragraph, I quote, "What remains is for the chemists to determine the precise mechanism of action."
As a professional chemist, biochemist, physiologist, pharmacologist and toxicologist, I am more than a bit concerned. I can say this, NO CHEMIST is qualified to determine the mechanism of action of THC or marijuana.
CAN ANYBODY HELP WITH THE MECHANISM?
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