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Cannabinoids and the Brain$
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Linda A. Parker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035798

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035798.001.0001

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Cannabinoids and Emotional Regulation

Cannabinoids and Emotional Regulation

(p.35) 3 Cannabinoids and Emotional Regulation
Cannabinoids and the Brain

Linda A. Parker

The MIT Press

Marijuana is often used for relaxation, therefore, it is not surprising that the endocannabinoid system is critically involved in the regulation of emotion, anxiety and mood. In preclinical animal models, THC and other CB1 agonists produce a biphasic effect on anxiety, with low doses reducing anxiety (by blocking the release of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate) and high doses promoting anxiety (by blocking the release of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA). As well, CBD reduces anxiety in both preclinical and clinical research, but by a non-CB1 mechanism of action. One of the most promising treatments for cannabinoids is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Considerable preclinical animal research and small-scale clinical trials have shown that activation of the endocannabinod system may promote extinction of aversive memories. The endocannabinoid system regulates the action of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis, which controls the release of stress hormones.

Keywords:   Anxiety, Emotion, Depression, Mood, Sleep, Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD)

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