THC produces a feeling of pleasure by increasing dopamine levels in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAc). The researchers reasoned that if marijuana users took a drug that reduced dopamine activity in those regions of the brain, they would no longer experience a sense of euphoria when taking marijuana. Therefore, their marijuana usage would decrease.
Schwarz and his team gave rats the drug Ro 61-8048, which increases the brain’s level of kynurenic acid (KYNA), a byproduct of the breakdown of tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey and other foods. The researchers found that Ro 61-8048 increased levels of KYNA in the VTA and NAc shell and reduced the ability of THC or WIN 55,212-2, a synthetic THC substitute, to stimulate dopamine production in these regions. KYNA appears to block dopamine receptors.
Read more at: MedicalXpress