THC induces fear extinction in humans.

A growing body of scientific literature now indicates that cannabinoids reverse the Pavlovian fear-inducing response in animals. Recently, cannabinoids including THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) have been shown to induce the fear extinction response in humans.

A first-line approach to treat anxiety disorders is exposure-based therapy, which relies on extinction processes such as repeatedly exposing the patient to stimuli (conditioned stimuli; CS) associated with the traumatic, fear-related memory. However, a significant number of patients fail to maintain their gains, partly attributed to the fact that this inhibitory learning and its maintenance is temporary and conditioned fear responses can return. Animal studies have shown that activation of the cannabinoid system during extinction learning enhances fear extinction and its retention. Specifically, CB1 receptor agonists, such as D9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), can facilitate extinction recall by preventing recovery of extinguished fear in rats. However, this phenomenon has not been investigated in humans… These results provide the first evidence that pharmacological enhancement of extinction learning is feasible in humans using cannabinoid system modulators, which may thus warrant further development and clinical testing.

This has vast implications for the millions that suffer from excessive anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fear extinction is a decline in conditioned fear responses, which arise when the memory of a traumatic event is recalled. These events may include physical and emotional trauma from auto accidents, war, childhood sexual abuse, sociopathic spouses, and so on. From the article Mechanisms of Fear Extinction:

Excessive fear and anxiety are hallmarks of a variety of disabling anxiety disorders that affect millions of people throughout the world. Hence, a greater understanding of the brain mechanisms involved in the inhibition of fear and anxiety is attracting increasing interest in the research community. In the laboratory, fear inhibition most often is studied through a procedure in which a previously fear conditioned organism is exposed to a fear-eliciting cue in the absence of any aversive event. This procedure results in a decline in conditioned fear responses that is attributed to a process called fear extinction.

Through fear extinction, the memory of the event itself does not go away, but the paralyzing emotional response to the memory does go away. Consumption of marijuana is a pharmacological enhancement of this undoing of the fear response. This is just another of the amazing medical benefits of the cannabis plant.

It should be easy to see why cannabis remains illegal in the US (except for a gray area in some states). The US government is a sociopathic entity that perpetuates its existence by inducing fear, trauma, and PTSD among its citizens. An example would be the phony & staged 9/11 attacks. Repeated images of the World Trade Center collapses were shown to induce fear. A boogeyman Osama bin Laden was raised up in the minds of Americans to traumatize them further. Even though he died in December 2001, he was kept alive by the government and media until 2011. Marijuana is an antidote to this kind of mental slavery.

Additionally, it has been shown that stimulation of the serotonin 2A receptors also induces fear extinction. This opens up the possibility that many plants and pharmaceutical compounds would be helpful here.

Of course, care should be taken. Cannabis grown outdoors in the USA is likely to be contaminated with radioactivity. Indoor, hydroponic, and foreign-grown varieties are preferred.

    (warning: mild profanity)

    16 thoughts on “THC induces fear extinction in humans.

      • Would it not be the low-Rad Cannabis that would be preferential?
        Cesium existent anywhere in a water column, and all; for instance.

    1. It seems like there is a new accomplishment for marijuana everyday. Interesting that animals are less likely to go back to being afraid of something when marijuana is used in fear extinction therapy. It goes to show that cannabis has cannabinoids with medicinal value that needs further research. We still don’t understand all of the positive aspects to marijuana.

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