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Molecules/Matter & Energy

Marijuana loses its high, plus soy tape, gritty bubbles and more in this week’s news

5:25pm, April 24, 2011
Medical marijuana without the high
Researchers have found a way to quash the high produced by THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Though sought after by recreational users, that dopey sensation is an unwanted side effect for many people who use marijuana for medical effects such as increased appetite or relief from pain and seizures. In addition to hitting the pleasure-inducing cellular baseball mitts known as cannabinoid receptors, THC hits another mitt that normally catches the chemical messenger known as glycine. Modifying THC so it hits only the glycine receptors could provide a means for delivering dopey-free relief, researchers report online April 3 in Nature Chemical Biology. —Rachel Ehrenberg

Sticky soy
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