Researchers at Western University in Ontario conducted a study to determine why marijuana can make one person happy while another paranoid. The study, published in Scientific Reports, was conducted using rats to view the varying psychological reactions to marijuana.
The researchers noted that the type of impairment or reaction depends partly on which part of the brain is the most sensitive to THC, according to Huff Post. If the front part of the brain is the most sensitive, the effects can be described as happy, pleasurable, rewarding and joy. Should the back portion of the brain be more sensitive feelings of paranoia, fear and anxiety can arise.
Researcher Steven R. Laviolette, PhD. said, “It’s a very new finding. Once we figure out what molecular pathways are causing those effects in different areas, then in the long-term we can work on modulating THC formulations so they don’t activate those specific pathways. That’s the really long-term goal of what we’re trying to do here.”
Lavoilette also said, “There is not too much known about why there are such differences in response to THC. We know a lot about the long-term and short-term effects…But there is very little known about the specific areas in the brain that are responsible for independently controlling those effects.”
The results of this study have prompted Lavoilette and his team to conduct the study on humans. They want to determine if similar results will be seen in human brains.