The Link Connecting Marijuana and Serotonin - Part 2

Photo Credit: BrainsRusDC (https://bit.ly/3086XCG)

Photo Credit: BrainsRusDC (https://bit.ly/3086XCG)

In our previous post we established the link between Marijuana and serotonin. Now, let’s see what this means in relation to its effects on the body. Researchers suspect the relationship between marijuana and serotonin is what makes it responsible for elevating mood, and benefiting anxiety and depression. Serotonin is an important regulator of mood, emotion, and stress, and when its levels are insufficient, it could cause mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.

One study from 2016 found a drug similar to CBD blocked enzymes that break down endocannabinoids in mice, which resulted in an antidepressant effect. When the mice received a chemical that blocks serotonin, these effects went away, suggesting CBD’s effects on mood may be linked to the serotonergic system. Back in 2006, when the cannabinoid receptor blocker rimonabant was introduced into the market to combat obesity, it was found that these blockers also unintentionally blocked serotonin, thereby causing depression and anxiety in those who took the medication. A study from 2015 also found genetically altered mice who did not have CB1 receptors in their serotonin neurons exhibited increased anxiety. Lastly, a 2011 study found heightened levels of natural cannabinoids increased the efficacy of antidepressants, and that blocking CB1 receptors prevented the antidepressants from working at all.

This concludes our posts on the relationship between serotonin and cannabis, and what this means for us. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

The Link Connecting Marijuana and Serotonin - Part 1

Photo Credit: BrainsRusDC (https://bit.ly/3086XCG)

Photo Credit: BrainsRusDC (https://bit.ly/3086XCG)

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter able to regulate various functions like mood, emotion, appetite, and sleep, and it is found within the brain, GI tract, and blood platelets. It may be closely linked to the endocannabinoid system, which may explain why cannabis is able to benefit those suffering from anxiety and depression. Studies have shown cannabinoids can increase the activity levels of serotonin neurons, and cannabis increases the release of serotonin. In 2007, one study found 20% of the serotonin neurons in mice contained cannabinoid receptors, and endocannabinoids like anandamide were found in areas of the brain where serotonin is usually found. Another study from 2004 found THC increased serotonin levels in mice. Additionally, when their CB1 receptors were blocked, serotonin levels decreased. CBD could also indirectly activate serotonin receptors, and researchers suspect many of CBD’s therapeutic effects, like its ability to benefit anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and provide neuroprotection, pain relief, and nausea relief, could be linked to its activation of a subtype of serotonin receptor.

So now that we know the different ways cannabis interacts with serotonin, what does this mean for its effects on the body? You’ll found out in our next post! This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.