study identifying additional therapeutic opportunities of cannabidiol (CBD), which include the potential to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers found that CBD can significantly reduce the conditioned fear expression and fear generalization and the relative resistance to extinction of the fear memory. Their research suggests the mechanism of action is through CBD’s known effects on increasing the endocannabinoid, anandamide, which activates CB1 and CB2 receptors to disrupt the consolidation of different fear memories. Importantly, the CBD had to be administered immediately after the fearful event to be effective.
PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder, which can lead to impairment in daily functioning and suicidal behavior. The only FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of PTSD are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), sertraline (Zoloft, Pfizer), and paroxetine HCl (Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline), which show variable levels of efficacy, but there is no approved drug for prevention of PTSD after a traumatic event. “These recent findings are consistent with other research identifying that people suffering from PTSD have lower levels of anandamide and indicate that restoring the CB1 signaling could provide a potential role for CBD in PTSD prevention. Research into CBD and its effects on various disease states is mounting, and studies like these support new potential development opportunities for CBD as a pharmaceutical modality.”