Technische Universität München

The Entrepreneurial University

Cannabinoids (hashish and marijuana) are substances able to elicit psychic changes like those manifested in the course of psychosis. Therefore, these substances are also called psychotomimetics, or psychodelics, or hallucinogens.
When cannabinoids are introduced into the body, its active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) modifies the activity of the brain. THC acts on cannabinoid receptors bringing sensation of euphoria, relaxation and amplified sensory perception. The information concerning the presence of THC in the brain has been transmitted by an endogenous molecule – anandamide. Anandamide is involved in regulation of mood, appetite, pain, cognition and emotions. THC increases dopamine released by compensation of inhibitory effect of GABA neurons. Chronic consumption of cannabinoids could lead to destruction of some neuron receptors in the brain resulting in attention deficits, memory loss, impaired learning ability and psychomotor performance in the user. The growing number of young athletes using cannabinoids despite of the discipline of sport suggests that cannabinoids are not used for doping purpose but rather for social reasons.