Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Scientists discover how to eliminate marijuana ‘high’

See also

A naturally occurring neurosteroid has been found that eliminates the high produced by the psychoactive compound in marijuana by an international team of researchers led by Monique Vallée and Pier Vincenzo Piazza from the Université de Bordeaux in France that was published in the Jan. 2, 2014, issue of the journal Science.

The neurosteroid precursor pregnenolone is synthesized in the inner brain of humans and mice. Pregnenolone reduces the activity of the type-1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and effectively removes the capacity for marijuana or the psychoactive compound in marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol) from producing the intoxicating effects associated with marijuana.

The researchers tested mice and rats with a THC content that was 1,500 percent higher than that required to get the mice and rats high. Mice and rats being stoned was determined by their increased feeding behavior and memory impairment. The high dose of THC also produced an increase in pregnenolone content in the animal’s brains by 3,000 percent.

The researchers conclude that one function of pregnenolone is to prevent excessive stimulation of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain by naturally occurring endocannabinoids and by THC.

The addition of a cannabinoid receptor antagonist prevented the test animals from getting high because the chemical produced a large increase in pregnenolone that effectively prevented access to cannabinoid receptors by THC in marijuana.

The research indicates that the medicinal use of marijuana can be modified to eliminate the high associated with THC and that a chemical pathway to treat addiction to marijuana has finally been established.



  • Israel, Hamas clash in Gaza
    Hamas claims to have captured an IDF soldier on the bloodiest day of the conflict
  • Missing bodies
    38 bodies have not been found from the MH17 debris field in eastern Ukraine
    World News
  • Peeping Toms in NSA?
    Has the NSA seen you naked? Edward Snowden says it's not unlikely
  • Autism study
    The newest, largest study on autism suggests that it mostly has to do with genetics
  • McIlroy takes Open
    Rory McIlroy hangs onto the lead and wins the 2014 British Open
  • $23 billion payout
    A jury sides with the widow of a smoker, tobacco company shells out $23 billion

Related Videos:

  • Buzz Aldrin and the American flag on the moon
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Orbital Sciences rocket brings supplies and experiments to space station
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518318477" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Liftoff Apollo 11
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>