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Science in Brief

Analysis of Chocolate Reveals Three Chemicals That May Mimic Marijuana

August 22, 1996|From Times staff and wire reports

Chocaholics take note: There may be a pharmacological basis for your cravings. A chemical analysis by researchers at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego shows that chocolate contains chemicals that may mimic the psychoactive effects of cannabis. In research made public in a letter in the Aug. 22 Nature, Daniele Piomelli and her colleagues found that chocolate contains quantities of three substances from the N-acylethanolamine group of chemicals, which could intensify the pleasurable effects of chocolate. Christian Felder of the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that a 130-pound person would have to ingest the equivalent of 25 pounds of chocolate in one sitting to get any marijuana-like effect. Say, don't Bogart that Hershey bar.

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