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NIDA

The Brain & the Actions of Cocaine, Opiates, and Marijuana

11: Localization of THC binding sites

Localization of THC binding sites

When a person smokes marijuana, the active ingredient, cannabinoids or THC, travels quickly to the brain. Point to the areas where THC (magenta) concentrates. The VTA, nucleus accumbens, caudate nucleus, hippocampus, and cerebellum are highlighted. THC binds to THC receptors that are concentrated in areas within the reward system as well as these other areas. Indicate that the action of THC in the hippocampus explains its ability to interfere with memory and actions in the cerebellum are responsible for its ability to cause incoordination and loss of balance.

This page was last updated January 2007

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