Baltimore, MD: The stimulation of a specific endocannabinoid receptor by a synthetic cannabinoid agonist significantly reduces the desire for cocaine, according to preclinical data published online in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience.

Investigators at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Intramural Research Program reported that activation of the CB2 receptor via the administration of a selective cannabinoid agonist reduced intravenous cocaine administration in mice by up to 60 percent.

Researchers concluded, “These findings suggest that brain CB2 receptors modulate cocaine’s rewarding and locomotor-stimulating effects, likely by a dopamine-dependent mechanism.”

Separate studies have previously documented that THC is associated with reduced sensitivity to opiate dependence and that moderate cannabis use may improve retention to naltrexone treatment among opiate-dependent subjects.

Resourced: Nature Neuroscience