A new study from researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands may have major implications for cannabinoid-based PTSD treatments as it examines the endocannabinoid anandamide and its role in fear extinction.
Endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, are cannabinoids that are produced naturally by the human body, while phytocannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are produced by plants.
Anandamide was first described in 1992 and has a molecular structure that is similar to THC.
The research team, led by Leiden University Professor of Molecular Physiology Mario van der Stelt, identified a chemical that reduces the production of anandamide by inhibiting the production of an enzyme that triggers its production, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH).
The team studied what would happen if they were to reduce the amount of anandamide produced by the brain rather than reducing FAAH.
Though the method did not completely block anandamide production, researchers were able to test the role of the endocannabinoid.
“Research like this brings us one step closer to discovering the plant’s potential for healing, says Hemp, Inc. CEO Bruce Perlowin. “We aim to fulfill the growing demand for hemp due to its cannabinoids and their highly acclaimed and diverse medicinal qualities, especially since there is more research supporting the purported potential for cannabis to treat and manage PTSD symptoms for veterans.”
Perlowin says that there are countless benefits that veterans can reap from the plant, whether it be cannabinoids used for alleged medicinal and wellness applications or growing cannabis for its range of biodiverse uses.
There are millions of trauma survivors and military veterans who use cannabis to manage PTSD symptoms, but scientists are still working on discovering the keys to the healing process.
According to Hemp, Inc., understanding the role of anandamide in combating PTSD will help provide insight into how THC and its ability to mimic the effects of anandamide might help patients.