GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) | Noun


  1. Gamma Aminobutyric Acid, often abbreviated as GABA, is an Amino Acid that occurs naturally in mammalian cells. It functions to suppress excitability in the nervous and muscular systems. It comprises up to 40% of nerve cell volume. Glutamate is its opposite and it stimulates the nervous system by controlling Dopamine release; it comprises 30 % of cell volume. Imbalances of GABA are responsible for causing or contributing to such disorders as epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, addiction and even schizophrenia. It is sometimes prescribed or used as a dietary supplement to help with anxiety, ADHD, motion sickness and premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Dopamine does not have cannabinoid receptors. Cannabis works because it is capable of blocking GABA, allowing more Dopamine, the body’s “reward” for pleasurable activities, to be released throughout the body. This is not just true for cannabinoids introduced by the consumption of marijuana, it is also true for the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids. The THC in cannabis is responsible for the dopamine increase; CBD has not been found to increase dopamine. The benefits of cannabis for blocking GABA, are short term. Long term, frequent users of marijuana are thought to have reduced levels of Dopamine, however this is reversible after a period of non-usage of cannabis.