I apologise for misjudging the situation. I really appreciate the fact that your prime motivation is learning, a very edifying choice.
With that said, here's what the United Nations Office on Drugs
and Crime has to say about the subject:
"The active ingredient in cannabis
(THC), is only found
in small portions of the cannabis plant, in the flowering tops and in some of the
leaves. THC stimulates cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), located on the surface of
neurons, to produce psychoactive
effects. CBRs are part of the endocannabinoid
system, a communication network in the brain that plays a role in neural
development and function. CBRs are typically activated by a naturally occurring
, anandamide. THC mimics anandamide, binding with the CBRs and
activating the neurons, but the effects of THC are more potent and longer acting
than the endogenous neurotransmitter.
CBRs are widely distributed in the brain, but are particularly prevalent in the hippocampus, cerebellum, prefrontal cortex, and amygdala – brain regions involved in pleasure, cognition, concentration, memory, reward, pain perception, and motor coordination. CBR receptor activation regulates
the release of multiple neurotransmitters, including noradrenaline, GABA, serotonin
. Animal studies have indicated that THC exposure increases the
release of noradrenaline, causing anxiety‐like behavior in rodents. The rewarding effects of cannabis may be due to an increase of serotonin,while GABA is responsible for memory deficits promoted by THC, as well as stress."
In a nutshell, the release of serotonin is more relevant than the release of dopamine when studying the addiction
potential of cannabis. As GhettoChem said, the older generation tends to call it dope because of the "Just Say No" campaign of the 80s and 90s.
I don't quite agree with their final conjecture that the release of GABA correlates with increased stress, otherwise by taking alcohol
, you wouldn't be easing stress, you'd be making it worse.