Acute separate and combined effects of cannabinoid and nicotinic receptor agonists on MMN-indexed auditory deviance detection in healthy humans
Researchers have attempted to elucidate the relationship between nicotine and cannabis revealing a possible benefit for sensory and cognitive processes. A cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) agonist, nabilone, and nicotine were compared against each other and combined and compared with a placebo, resulting in the region and deviant-dependent effects. Temporal regions of the brain were not affected by coadministration of nabilone and nicotine, while frontal regions showed improved cognitive function. Future research should continue to develop therapies that combine CB1 agonists while minimizing the need for nicotine in order to develop therapies for the dysregulation of sensory and cognitive processes.
So little is still understood about the interactions of the endocannabinoid system, nicotinic receptors, and the opioid system. If the mechanisms underlying these various systems were well understood perhaps novel therapies could be developed to aid in the treatment of substance abuse disorders. Cannabis poses much less risk for addiction than opioids or nicotine as cannabis does not enact upon the reward system. Cannabis holds promise to lessen the troubles associated with the opioid academic by treating current addicts and preventing future addiction by serving as an adjunct therapy. Further research is needed to validate these hypotheses, but the current data provides hope for more ethical treatment methods.
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