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Cannabis Reduces Perception of Threat

A post on cannabis detoxification; specifically, cannabinoid modulation of amygdala reactivity to social signals of threat in humans. If Cannabis use reduces the perception, what happens when use stops? Will you have social anxiety?
Cannabis Reduces Perception of Threat
The cannabinoid (CB) system is a key neuro-chemical mediator of anxiety and fear learning in both animals and humans. The anxiolytic effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, are believed to be mediated through direct and selective agonism of CB1 receptors localized within the lateral amygdala, a critical brain region for threat perception.

However, little is known about the effects of THC on amygdala reactivity in humans. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and a well validated task to probe amygdala responses to threat signals in 16 healthy, recreational cannabis users after a double-blind crossover administration of THC or placebo.

New research found that THC significantly reduced amygdala reactivity to social signals of threat but did not affect activity in primary visual and motor cortex. The current findings fit well with the notion that THC and other cannabinoids may have an anxiolytic role in central mechanisms of fear behaviors and provide a rationale for exploring novel therapeutic strategies that target the cannabinoid system for disorders of anxiety and social fear.

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