By Alex Williams
Oct. 27, 2018
Cannabidiol is being touted as a magical elixir, a cure-all now available in bath bombs, dog treats and even pharmaceuticals. But maybe it’s just a fix for our anxious times.
Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Alternative for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From Bench Research to Confirmation in Human Trials
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by poor adaptation to a traumatic experience. This disorder affects approximately 10% of people at some point in life. Current pharmacological therapies for PTSD have been shown to be inefficient and produce considerable side effects. Since the discovery of the involvement of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system in emotional memory processing, pharmacological manipulation of eCB signaling has become a therapeutic possibility for the treatment of PTSD. Cannabidiol (CBD), a phytocannabinoid constituent of Cannabis sativa without the psychoactive effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, has gained particular attention. Preclinical studies in different rodent behavioral models have shown that CBD can both facilitate the extinction of aversive memories and block their reconsolidation, possibly through potentialization of the eCB system. These results, combined with the currently available pharmacological treatments for PTSD being limited, necessitated testing CBD use with the same therapeutic purpose in humans as well. Indeed, as observed in rodents, recent studies have confirmed the ability of CBD to alter important aspects of aversive memories in humans and promote significant improvements in the symptomatology of PTSD. The goal of this review was to highlight the potential of CBD as a treatment for disorders related to inappropriate retention of aversive memories, by assessing evidence from preclinical to human experimental studies.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic psychiatric condition that may develop after experiencing a potentially traumatic event. The disorder manifests itself at different levels, through symptoms such as sleep disturbances; changes in cognition (e.g., repeated recall of the event), mood (e.g., depression, anxiety), and emotion (e.g., psychological instability); and reduced social skills. Through the fourth edition of the DSM-IV, post-traumatic stress was classified as an anxiety disorder; however, the latest edition, DSM-V, includes PTSD in a new category called “trauma- and stress-related disorders.”. In this brand-new category, we consider disorders with poor adaptation to a traumatic experience. Maladaptive responses to trauma may trigger, among others, PTSD (Passie et al., 2012; Berardi et al., 2016). At some point in their lives, approximately 10% of people will be affected by PTSD, resulting in an enormous economic and social impact. This impact is aggravated by the scarcity of psychological and, above all, pharmacological approaches to PTSD treatment (Hidalgo and Davidson, 2000; Yule, 2001; Jurkus et al., 2016). At present, approved treatments for PTSD involve anxiolytics and antidepressants, which are inefficient and have considerable side effects (Berger et al., 2009; Shin et al., 2014; Bernardy and Friedman, 2015). The eCB system can provide more efficient and better tolerated alternatives to the standard treatments for PTSD. The eCB system plays an important role in the regulation of emotional behavior and is essential for synaptic processes that determine learning and emotional responses, especially those related to potentially traumatic experiences (Castillo et al., 2012; Riebe et al., 2012). Among the possible alternative approaches, the use of components from Cannabis sativa such as CBD is particularly promising. Recent reviews have reported promising results of CBD treatment of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including PTSD (Mechoulam, 2005; Izzo et al., 2009; Passie et al., 2012). What began as a possibility discovered in a study of an animal model of aversive conditioning (Bitencourt et al., 2008) gained strength through results obtained in humans (Das et al., 2013). Because the compound has been proved to be well tolerated by humans, both in overall safety and possible side effects (Bergamaschi et al., 2011), CBD is now considered a new therapeutic possibility for treating PTSD.
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Scientific and clinical research—much of it sponsored by the US government—underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders. CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and its anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. Further evidence suggests that CBD is safe even at high doses.
Project CBD responds to inquiries from all over the world. Almost everyone wants to know where to get CBD-rich products and how to use them for maximum benefit. After decades in which only high-THC cannabis was available in North America and beyond, CBD-rich strains and products are now available to all prospective users.
“CBD-rich” versus “CBD dominant:” By “CBD-rich,” we mean a cannabis strain or product that has equal amounts of CBD and THC, or more CBD than THC (usually at least 4 percent CBD by dry weight.). By “CBD-dominant,” we mean strains or products that are CBD-rich but have very little THC content.
Article Source: Project CBD