Regardless of the type of substance-dependent addiction — whether alcohol, opiates, nicotine, or cannabinoids — the brain pathway is the same: the dopamine system. This system is also responsible for curiosity, desire, learning, and actions. Various substances lead to increased neurotransmitter release.
The endocannabinoid system acts as a damper on this system. System stabilization is inhibited by the high-affinity binding of delta (9)-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to CB1 receptors. The psychotropic component of cannabis naturally accounts for 1%–2% of the active substance. However, this proportion has now increased to 10%–20% as a result of selective breeding. At the same time, the proportion of cannabidiol (CBD), the nonpsychoactive counterpart, has fallen.
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