Never Fear Cannabis Is Here! How Cannabis Can Help With Fear, Anxiety, and Other Psychiatric Disorders

Nearly 19 million Americans suffer from a  psychiatric disorder which could include disorders such as specific phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Many veterans returning from war have found cannabis to be a relief from PTSD.  Below you will studies where science has studied the effects of cannabis compounds when applied to psychiatric disorders.  Please feel free to share and I encourage all to do their own research as well ~ Cherry Girl

The Endocannabinoid System in the Processing of Anxiety and Fear and How CB1 Receptors May Modulate Fear Extinction 
The endocannabinoid system recently emerged as an important modulator of many neuronal functions. Among them, the control of anxiety and acquired fear represents nowadays one of the most interesting fields of research.  Finally, a neurobiological model possibly able to implement the role of the endocannabinoid system in these processes will be proposed.

CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors Modulate Kinase and Phosphatase Activity During Extinction of Conditioned Fear in Mice
Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) play a central role in both short-term and long-term extinction of auditory-cued fear memory.  We propose that the endogenous cannabinoid system modulates extinction of aversive memories, at least in part via regulation of the activity of kinases and phosphatases in a brain structure-dependent manner.

Extinction of Emotional Response As A Novel Approach of Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders 
The patogenesis of anxiety may be related to the process of an extinction of aversive memories… Studies on molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for individual fear extinction may serve as the basis of search for more effective forms of clinical treatment… ligands stimulating endogenous cannabinoid system… these substances stimulate different central mechanisms, they appear to act synergistically, to improve the behavioural therapy.

Enhancing Cannabinoid Neurotransmission Augments the Extinction of Conditioned Fear
the findings in the present study suggest that augmenting eCB-mediated neurotransmission by inhibition of eCB transport or breakdown may provide a novel mechanism for enhancing the extinction of fear. As such, eCB reuptake inhibitors may serve as useful adjuncts in the treatment of anxiety disorders (such as PTSD, panic disorder, and OCD) as well as drug addiction and other disorders that respond to behavioral treatments utilizing extinction processes.

The Endogenous Cannabinoid System Controls Extinction of Aversive Memories
Acquisition and storage of aversive memories is one of the basic principles of central nervous systems throughout the animal kingdom. In the absence of reinforcement, the resulting behavioural response will gradually diminish to be finally extinct.  We propose that endocannabinoids facilitate extinction of aversive memories through their selective inhibitory effects on local inhibitory networks in the amygdala.

The Endocannabinoid system and Extinction Learning
As several human psychiatric disorders, such as phobia, generalized anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appear to involve aberrant memory processing and impaired adaptation to changed environmental conditions, the hope has been fuelled that the endocannabinoid system might be a valuable therapeutic target for the treatment of these disorders.

Bringing the War Back Home: Mental Health Disorders Among 103,788 US Veterans Returning From Iraq and Afghanistan Seen at Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities
Co-occurring mental health diagnoses and psychosocial problems were detected early and in primary care medical settings in a substantial proportion of OEF/OIF veterans seen at VA facilities. Targeted early detection and intervention beginning in primary care settings are needed to prevent chronic mental illness and disability.

Psychosis and Trauma. Theorical Links Between Post-Traumatic and Psychotic Symptoms
The links between psychotic and psycho-traumatic symptoms are complex and multidirectional; this co-occurrence is a factor of seriousness. The clinician, while paying attention to these symptoms, has to distinguish the structure of the personality of the subject to articulate the psychotherapy and the pharmacological treatment. Further investigational studies may determine whether antipsychotics will enhance treatment response in PTSD patients with psychotic features.

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