Prescription Marijuana Without "Intoxicating" Effect in Research Stage - NBC Southern California

Prescription Marijuana Without "Intoxicating" Effect in Research Stage

Keun-Hang Susan Yang at Chapman University is conducting the experiments

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    Prescription Marijuana Without "Intoxicating" Effect in Research Stage
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    Voters in Arizona passed a bill that will legalize medical marijuana.

    New research has come to light that suggests at some point in the future, marijuana may become a prescription drug with no intoxicating effects.

    According to the OC Register, a Chapman University scientist conducted two studies that show the chemicals in marijuana that produce euphoria can be separated from those that reduce nausea.

    This is many years away from testing and use in humans, but Keun-Hang Susan Yang is very optimistic about possibilities in the future. She says this could be great news for chemotherapy patients, as separate research indicates that marijuana helps with nausea caused by chemotherapy.

    "One of the things marijuana does is to reduce vomiting and nausea problems," said Yang, a professor who specializes in bioscience and computational biology. "People found out that THC (tetraydrocannabinol) is a problem because of the psychological actions of it. But CBD (cannabidiol) alone can potentially be used for treatment of this condition."

    In two separate papers Yang published this year, she shows that both CBD and THC alone can reduce vomiting by "blocking serotonin receptors in the brain."

    Yang and her colleagues tested the idea on animal cells, and found that when a cell was bathed in THC, the chemical effectively blocked electrical receptors, which plays a role in vomiting and nausea in the human body.

    Yang says eventually she wants to conduct controlled experiments in humans. She knows that it will take time, but hopes that eventually her group can "neutralize marijuana's troublesome psychoactive effects while taking advantage of its potential medical benefits."