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Int Rev Psychiatry. 2009 Apr;21(2):104-12. doi: 10.1080/09540260902782752.

Actions of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in cannabis: relation to use, abuse, dependence.

Author information

1
Division on Substance Abuse, New York Psychiatric Institute and Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Abstract

Cannabis use disorders have been recently identified as a relevant clinical issue: a subset of cannabis smokers seeks treatment for their cannabis use, yet few succeed in maintaining long-term abstinence. The rewarding and positive reinforcing effects of the primary psychoactive component of smoked cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are mediated by the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. The CB1 receptor has also been shown to mediate cannabinoid dependence and expression of withdrawal upon cessation of drug administration, a phenomenon verified across species. This paper will review findings implicating the CB1 receptor in the behavioural effects of exogenous cannabinoids with a focus on cannabinoid dependence and reinforcement, factors that contribute to the maintenance of chronic cannabis smoking despite negative consequences. Opioidergic modulation of these effects is also discussed.

PMID:
19367504
PMCID:
PMC2731700
DOI:
10.1080/09540260902782752
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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