11: Localization of THC binding sites
When a person smokes marijuana, the active ingredient, 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 cannabinoid 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. Just as the body produces and responds to its own opioids (endorphins), the body produces and responds to its own cannabinoid molecules, called endocannabinoids. THC interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid signaling system.
Cite this article
NIDA. (2019, November 19). The Brain & the Actions of Cocaine, Opioids, and Marijuana. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/brain-actions-cocaine-opioids-marijuana
Explores the consequences of drug abuse on the brain and body and introduces the topics of prevention, and treatment.