Wednesday 17 January 2018

Marijuana-like brain chemical controls pain

YOU may never have touched an illicit drug in your life – but in times of extreme pain and fear, it is marijuana-like chemicals in the brain that kick in to help you survive.

Researchers in Galway made the connection during their investigations into how our survival defences come to the fore in times of pain and fear.

Researchers showed that marijuana-like chemicals have a role in keeping pain under control during periods of fear.

"The body can suppress pain when under extreme stress, in part through the action of marijuana-like substances produced in the brain," researchers said.

Scientist Dr David Finn of University College Galway explained: "This important survival response can help us cope with or escape from potentially life-threatening situations."

Irish Independent

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