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Early exposure to cannabis boosts young brains' sensitivity to cocaine, rodent study finds

Cannabis use makes young brains more sensitive to the first exposure to cocaine, according to a new study on rodents led by scientists at Columbia University and the University of Cagliari in Italy. By monitoring the brains of both adolescent and adult rats after giving them synthetic psychoactive cannabinoids followed by cocaine, the research team identified key molecular and epigenetic changes that occurred in the brains of adolescents—but not adults. This discovery reveals a new interplay between the two drugs that had never previously been directly observed in biological detail.  These findings, reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provide new understanding of how the abuse of cannabis during teenage years may enhance the first experience with cocaine and lead to continued use among vulnerable individuals.  Read more....

 

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