A group of scientists from the French Institute of Health and Medical Research may have discovered the buzzkill in hormone form. It’s called Pregnenolone, and a new study suggests it may be released as a natural response to counteract the mental effects of marijuana. Researchers discovered the effect by administering massive doses of marijuana to lab rats. Monitoring the rats’ brains, they discovered elevated quantities of Pregnenolone being metabolized in response to the marijuana, which in turn reduced many of the mental effects of the drug. The same effect was replicated in human cell lines, indicating the human brain might show the same response.
It’s not the first time researchers have isolated the intoxicating effects of marijuana or found ways to counteract them, but this study has drawn particular interest because of its mechanism. Unlike synthesized compounds, Pregnenolone occurs naturally in the body, which potentially means doctors could stimulate the body into producing more of it in response. According to the researchers, it could open the door to a new generation of addiction treatments or on-the-stop intoxication remedies. According to AFP, the group will begin human trials in a year and a half.