Leave it to the French to figure out a way to make marijuana healthy for you.

These are the people who drink plenty of wine and eat fatty duck liver without the kind of waistline expansion seen here in the United States. Maybe they're on to something.

A study from the French institute INSERM says the ill effects of marijuana, namely the high, can now be blocked. Science!


Now — of course you're asking — why in the heck would we want to nullify the high? Good question.

The French academics, led by two guys with very Italian names, Pier Vincenzo Piazza and Giovanni Marsicano, say that the high is what gets folks addicted to weed.

It's what helps lead to, in their words, “memory loss” and “a general loss of motivation.”

A high-free THC could do some good — help cancer patients keep their appetites up, aid glaucoma sufferers — while cutting out the bad, theoretically speaking, at least.

We know: For many of you in L.A., the medical marijuana capital of America, the high is the means and the ends.

Still, the Frenchman argue that 20 million people around the world are addicted to weed in a bad way.

They found that a hormonal molecule called pregnenolone can help block your high.

It's naturally produced by humans. But a bit extra can also “protect the brain from the harmful effects of cannabis,” according to a summary of the research.

The study was published in the journal Science today. Researchers experimented with rats and drugs and found this:

Credit: Nanette Gonzalez for LA Weekly

Credit: Nanette Gonzalez for LA Weekly

… The animals that were given pregnenolone recover their normal memory abilities, are less sedated and less incline to self-administer cannabinoids.

Of course, we're not there yet:

There's no pregnenolone pill you can take to negate your cannabis high (thankfully?). Researchers also say that orally administering the molecule does no good for now because it is quickly absorbed before it can block the bud.


We should be able to begin clinical trials soon and verify whether we have indeed discovered the first pharmacological treatment for cannabis dependence.


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