Involvement of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in drug addiction
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Addictive drugs like THC, opioids, nicotine, ethanol, and psychostimulants are commonly used to induce pleasant states. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role in these motivational or brain rewarding processes. Behavioural aspects like drug-taking, drug-seeking and drug-relapse behaviour may indicate rewarding effects. It is known that the CB1 receptor antagonist Rimonabant can block all these different forms of behaviour. Nowadays, Rimonabant is used as anti-obesity drug and can cause smoking cassation. However, multiple side effects of Rimonabant have been found ranging from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia. Therefore, additional research is needed to clarify the safety of the use of Rimonabant.