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Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Alternative for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From Bench Research to Confirmation in Human Trials

Rafael M. Bitencourt1,* and Reinaldo N. Takahashi2

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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.

Keywords: post-traumatic stress disorder, endocannabinoid system, cannabidiol, aversive memories, fear conditioning paradigm



Anxiety Relief Without The High? New Studies On CBD, A Cannabis Extract

April 23, 20184:59 AM ET

Heard on Morning Edition

Allison Aubrey

As more states legalize marijuana, there's growing interest in a cannabis extract — cannabidiol, also known as CBD.

It's marketed as a compound that can help relieve anxiety — and, perhaps, help ease aches and pains, too.

Part of the appeal, at least for people who don't want to get high, is that CBD doesn't have the same mind-altering effects as marijuana, since it does not contain THC, the psychoactive component of the plant.

"My customers are buying CBD [for] stress relief," says Richard Ferry, the retail manager of Home Grown Apothecary in Portland, Ore., where recreational marijuana use is legal under state law, with some restrictions.

Another rationale Ferry's heard from clients about their CBD use: "Their mother-in-law is in town, and they just want to chill out!"

"CBD has gotten a lot of buzz," Ferry says, as he displays an array of CBD products, including capsules and bottles of liquid CBD oil that users dispense under the tongue with a dropper. "I think there's good evidence to suggest that CBD could be an effective treatment of anxiety and addiction" and other disorders, says Dr. Esther Blessing, a psychiatrist and researcher at New York University. So far, evidence of the substance's anti-anxiety effect comes from animal research and from very small, short-term human studies that suggest CBD exhibits anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties

These preliminary findings piqued Blessing's interest. For instance, she points to a 2011 study of a few dozen people, some of whom had social anxiety disorder, who were asked to speak in front of a large audience. Researchers compared anxiety levels in people after they took CBD, compared to those who got the placebo or nothing at all. (The participants didn't know if they'd been given the drug or the placebo.)

Enlarge this image

GW Pharmaceuticals makes Epidiolex, a medicine containing pharmaceutical-grade CBD. Last week, a panel of FDA advisers recommended approval of the drug to treat severe seizure disorders in children.

Kathy Young/AP

And what did the scientists find? "People who took CBD reported significantly less anxiety" compared to those who got the placebo, Blessing says. "It's really interesting."



5.17.18 | The Chalkboard

WE’RE SEEING CBD everywhere right now and we know you are too. Although you may feel at max-capacity on new wellness trends, you should make room in your wellness repertoire for this one – CBD is here to stay. Here’s why…

When we met the two young, female founders of Sagely Naturals and learned they were about to launch a targeted line for stress and anxiety, we knew we wanted to partner right away. Stress is a leading topic in our wellness coverage lately (if you haven’t noticed), and learning to navigate life’s most stressful seasons is a non-negotiable for vital health. We tried Sagely’s new Tranquility capsules every day for a week and could feel a major difference in our mood right away (although the Sagely’s ladies have taught us that CBD’s best results are cumulative!). The capsules are formulated with a targeted dose of (THC-free) full-spectrum CBD oil and functional ingredients like L-theanine, ashwagandha, lavender and chamomile. The clean ingredients work synergistically to address stress and anxiety on a molecular level.

The new line also includes a topical CBD cream with marula and lavender and a potent CBD roll-on with aromatherapeutic essential oils.

Earlier this week, we hosted a gathering of LA editors and influencers inside Venice’s Love Yoga to try Sagely Naturals’ new line for the first time. Before a refreshing breathwork session with Love Yoga’s Kyle Miller, we learned a ton from our chat with founders Kaley and Kerrigan – including the fact that CBD is non-addictive and doesn’t require upping the dosing over time.

Watch for more next week as we share the CBD-infused bites at our event from Haute Chefs LA and learn more about CBD for stress from the founders below…

CBD + SERATONIN. According to anecdotal evidence and science, CBD tackles stress like a 300-pound football player. The molecule ensures there are more mood-regulating chemicals like serotonin available for the body to use. While CBD doesn’t create these chemicals, it makes them more accessible so the brain and body can use them more efficiently, and return to a state of balance in a completely natural way.

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON CBD. CBD also stimulates neurogenesis or the growth of cells in the brain. Studies have revealed that in people who are really anxious or depressed the hippocampus shrinks, but after introducing CBD, neuro-imaging showed an increase in the size of this part of the brain.

CBD IS NOT THC. CBD is derived from cannabis, but it will not get you high like smoking a joint would. The psychoactive effects of cannabis come from another chemical, THC. CBD is non-intoxicating, and contains unique healing properties that THC doesn’t. CBD actually has an antipsychotic effect (did you know that if you’ve ingested too much THC, taking some CBD can actually help you become less high?)



Does CBD oil work for chronic pain management?

By Jon Johnson Last updated Fri 16 March 2018

Reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT

People have used CBD traditionally used for thousands of years to treat various types of pain, but the medical community have only recently begun to study it again.

Here are some of the possible benefits of CBD oil:

Arthritis pain
Elderly man's hand, one hand holding the thumb of the other due to arthritis pain.
CBD oil is popular for easing pain associated with arthritis.
A study in the European Journal of Pain used an animal model to see if CBD could help people with arthritis manage their pain. Researchers applied a topical gel containing CBD to rats with arthritis for 4 days.

Their researchers note a significant drop in inflammation and signs of pain, without additional side effects.

People using CBD oil for arthritis may find relief from their pain, but more human studies need to be done to confirm these findings.

Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the entire body through the nerves and brain.

Muscle spasms are one of the most common symptoms of MS. These spasms can be so great they cause constant pain in some people.

One report found that short-term use of CBD oil could reduce the levels of spasticity a person feels. The results are modest, but many people reported a reduction in symptoms. More studies on humans are needed to verify these results.

Chronic pain
The same report studied CBD use for general chronic pain. Researchers compiled the results of multiple systematic reviews covering dozens of trials and studies. Their research concluded that there is substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.

A separate study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine supports these results. This research suggests that using CBD can reduce pain and inflammation.

The researchers also found that subjects were not likely to build up a tolerance to the effects of CBD, so they would not need to increase their dose continually.

They noted that cannabinoids, such as CBD, could offer helpful new treatments for people with chronic pain.

Other uses
In the United States, CBD oil has varying legality across different states and at a federal level, yet it currently has a range of applications and promising possibilities.

While many studies have suggested CBD oil is helpful for pain, more research is necessary, especially in long-term studies with human subjects.

However, CBD oil does show a lot of potential for pain relief. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it can be used to help manage chronic pain in many cases.

CBD oil is especially promising due to its lack of intoxicating effects and a possible lower potential for side effects than many other pain medications.

People should discuss CBD oil with their doctor if they are considering using it for the first time.

Current News


Cannabidiol induces a rapid and long-lasting antidepressant effect in rodent model of depression

Jan 02, 2019 04:25 am
A substance found in cannabis may be a faster-acting antidepressant than conventional medications. A new study, published in the journal Molecular Neurobiology, has found that cannabidiol (CBD) induces sustained antidepressant-like effects in mice. “Depression is a serious mental illness which affect more than 300 million people worldwide, being considered the first cause of disability in many ...
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Cannabis Extract Helps Reset Brain Function in Psychosis

Jan 01, 2019 02:50 pm
Summary: A new study reports a single dose of the cannabis extract CBD can help reduce brain function abnormalities in those with psychosis. The findings provide evidence of how cannabidiol acts in the brain to help reduce psychotic symptoms. Source: King’s College London. Research from King’s College London has found that a single dose of ...
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Check out Hemp Across Human History in This Timeline

Dec 31, 2018 02:34 pm
Hemp didn’t just fall out of the sky because Congress re-legalized it in 2018 US Farm Bill this week. Hemp as a fuel, food, fiber—and medicine—remains one of mankind’s oldest, dearest friends. Now it’s set to be a $22 billion US industry. Take a walk with us down through the eons in this timeline of hemp and human ...
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