Neurobiology of marijuana abuse

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1992 May;13(5):201-6. doi: 10.1016/0165-6147(92)90064-d.


Marijuana has a long history of abuse yet, as described here by Mary Abood and Billy Martin, there is little evidence that animals will self-administer the primary psychoactive constituent, tetrahydrocannabinol, or that marijuana stimulates brain reward pathways. While marked tolerance develops to marijuana, it has been difficult to demonstrate physical dependence, and until recently the mechanisms by which cannabinoids produced their behavioral effects were poorly defined. The development of new synthetic analogs played a critical role in the characterization and cloning of the cannabinoid receptor. Insight into cannabinoid receptors may lead to a better understanding of marijuana abuse in humans and provide new therapeutic strategies for several disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior / drug effects
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cannabis*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System / drug effects
  • Neurobiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / physiopathology*