We already know that humans have their own endocannabinoid system designed to regulate many bodily functions using numerous cannabinoid receptors that interact with compounds such as THC and CBD found in cannabis. It is being
The brain activity patterns and neural circuits modulated by these brain-derived cannabinoids have been largely unknown, but new research shows that our bodies are able to respond to specific situations independently of external cannabinoid use. It turns out that it can actually release its own cannabinoid molecules.
According to the new mouse study Northwestern Medicine paper published in journal cell report, the amygdala, an important emotional center in the brain, releases its own cannabinoid molecules under stress. When released, these molecules work to reduce stress alerts coming in from the hippocampus, which controls memory and emotion in the brain.
The findings add further evidence to the claim that the brain contains innate cannabinoid molecules that are key to our bodies’ natural coping responses to stress. Additionally, this study shows that impairment of this endogenous (the body’s own) cannabinoid signaling system in the brain may predispose people to developing stress-related psychiatric disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This may indicate that there is a possibility.
Still, further research is needed to elucidate exactly how these mechanisms work in the human brain. Said Corresponding study author Dr. Sachin Patel.
Understanding the human body’s self-produced cannabinoids and stress
“Exposure to stress poses a risk for the development or worsening of psychiatric disorders, from generalized anxiety disorder and major depression to post-traumatic stress disorder,” the authors write in the introduction. “Understanding stress-induced molecular, cellular, and circuit-level adaptations provides important insights into how stress is translated into affective pathology and provides new therapeutic approaches in the treatment of stress-related disorders. The target may be revealed.”
Scientists at Northwestern Medicine used a new protein sensor that can detect the presence of these cannabinoid molecules in real time at specific brain synapses, showing that specific high-frequency patterns of amygdala activity can cause the molecules to be produced. It showed that there is. Additionally, this sensor showed that the mouse brain releases these molecules in response to several different types of stress.
The scientists also removed the target of these cannabinoids, cannabinoid receptor type 1, which worsened the mice’s ability to cope with stress and lack of motivation. After scientists removed the receptor targets for endocannabinoids at the hippocampal-amygdala synapse, the mice adopted a more passive, stationary response to stress. The preference for drinking sweetened sucrose water was also lower after exposure to stress.
“Understanding how the brain adapts to stress at the molecular, cellular, and circuit level provides important insights into how stress is translated into mood disorders,” said Patel Gilman and Lizzie Gilman. “This may provide insight and potentially reveal new therapeutic targets for the treatment of stress-related disorders.” , professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and psychiatrist at Northwestern Medicine.
The endocannabinoid system is one of the major signaling systems that has been identified as a potential drug development candidate for stress-related psychiatric disorders, Patel said. This system is an active, complex cell signaling network that involves a combination of endocannabinoids, enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors, and through an array it regulates feeding, anxiety, learning, memory, reproduction, metabolism, growth, development, and much more. helps regulate biological functions. Actions that affect the entire nervous system.
This hypothesis is important in determining where future research will lead this ongoing conversation, Patel said.
“Determining whether increasing levels of endocannabinoids can be used as a potential treatment for stress-related disorders is a logical next step from this study and our previous work,” Patel said. said. “Clinical trials are underway in this area and may be able to answer this question in the near future.”