The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in safeguarding against post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a weakening chronic condition of horrendous experiences that cannot be forgotten.A team of scientists examined 46 people near the World Trade Center in New York City during the terrorist attacks of September 11 in an attempt to explain the neurobiological processes underlying the occurrence and development of PTSD.
Researchers discovered that individuals with PTSD had reduced serum concentrations of anandamide (an endogenous cannabinoid molecule) after the attack, compared to those who showed no indications of PTSD. Inherent biological to all mammals, anandamide causes the same THC-activated brain receptors (tetrahydrocannabinol is the compound that causes the high) and other marijuana plant products. The cannabinoid transmitter known as CB-1 is located in the brain and central nervous system and facilitates a wide variety of physiological activities such as emotional processing, adaptation to pressure, and elimination of fear.
However distorted CB-1 triggering leads to decreased fear extinction owing to endocannabinoid deficits (low anandamide serum levels), avoidant brain development, and chronic anxiety, PTSD’s cornerstones. A dysfunctional endocannabinoid system can trigger a lot of elusive conditions like PTSD. At a 2009 research, scientists observed a link between endocannabinoid dysregulation and development of epilepsy, migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel disease and plenty more conditions.
Severe, yet short-term stress causes a spike in endocannabinoid concentrations in healthy people. Researchers see this as a defensive reaction — the temporary increase of anandamide relieves stress and promotes homeostasis by toning down stress hormone production via a mechanism called “pre-synaptic inhibition.” Though there is a distinct impact of chronic stress than its counterpart. Chronic stress can accelerate symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia, while emotional stress causes cancer to spread faster. Studies have shown that chronic stress reduces the binding and expression of CB-1 receptors in the hippocampus, a brain region that has a significant role in the restructuring of brief and long-term memory. This has significant consequences in PTSD treatment.
Chronic stress results in the upregulation of a vital metabolic enzyme — fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) — which has a decisive effect on endocannabinoid signals.
The biosynthesis and development of anandamide involves various enzymes while other enzymes decompose endogenous cannabinoid molecules. FAAH shows widely in anandamide’s metabolic breakdown and several other messenger particles of fatty acids. This is a component of the ordinary, fleeting lifespan of anandamide and its fatty acid cousins.
In genes encoding FAAH, polymorphisms or uncommon amino acid sequence variations are connected with a tendency to drug addiction and proclivity to multiple disorders. Still, it is the abnormal upregulation and/or down-regulation of gene mutations that fuel disease vectors — even more than the genes themselves. Anxiety interferes with the expression of genes.
Chronic stress upregulates FAAH, with reduced endocannabinoid concentrations resulting in more FAAH. In contrast, less FAAH implies more anandamide, and more anandamide means increased signaling of cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabidiol or CBD (a non psychoactive element of cannabis and hemp) amplifies the tone of endocannabinoids by slowing down anandamide reuptake and FAAH enzyme inhibition. This is just one of the many ways promised CBD can cater to PTSD. CBD and several other therapeutic activities that improve the signaling of cannabinoid receptors could turn into revolutionary PTSD treatments. In short, CB-1 receptor transmission has surfaced as a goal for new cannabinoid-based anxiety cures and other psychological disorders associated with strenuous occurrences in life.
Smoking marijuana is one way of increasing the transmission of CB-1 receptors. Many patients with PTSD argue that marijuana calms their nerves like no other medicine can. Some researchers are not in favor of marijuana as a PTSD therapy, primarily due to its psychoactive side effects and capacity to cause addiction. This, however, appears to be based less on scientific facts and more on politically correct bias.
The pharmaceutical industry aims to develop and patent synthetic FAAH inhibitors for the treatment of PTSD and other psychological conditions — the very same conditions for which whole-plant marijuana can accommodate. In conclusion, cannabis is often a solution for individuals facing PTSD and other stress-induced diseases. Some prefer CBD plant extracts, while others prefer THC-dominant strains. PTSD sufferers can not wait too long for whichever advantages synthetic FAAH inhibitors may or may not give. They are in need of immediate assistance.