The Drug That That Banishes Fear

Although reported in typical surface-skimming Business Insider tabloid/SEO-max style, Noah Plaue’s account of anandamide’s potential for humans really is quite interesting…

Promising research shows how to increase a chemical within us that counteracts fear.

Scientists from Duke University and the National Institute of Health studied an endocannabinoid chemical, called anandamide, that is secreted naturally in humans and causes bliss while reducing anxiety. The chemical works similarly to marijuana.

By blocking an enzyme called FAAH that breaks down this chemical, the researchers successfully reduced fear in mice and believe that the same thing could very well work for humans.

As the paper notes, the potential for curing anxiety and stress disorders is truly exciting:

Our mouse data suggest that, by preventing FAAH-mediated degradation, augmenting anandamide in the basolateral amygdala may boost on-demand recruitment of endocannabinoids to facilitate the extinction of traumatic fear memories. Further we report an association between a putative loss-of-function human FAAH gene variant, an amygdala fear-plasticity endophenotype, and reduced trait stress reactivity. The collective results of our study support the endocannabinoid system and FAAH as a key signaling mechanism regulating fear plasticity that is conserved across mouse and man

[continues at Business Insider]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

Latest posts by majestic (see all)

32 Comments on "The Drug That That Banishes Fear"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Jul 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm |

    Finally, my goal of a mutant army of psychotic berserkers is at my fingertips:  Just apply in conjunction with the DARPA “helm of obedience”.

    • unusually unusual | Jul 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm |

      Sounds like a fabulous waste of money and life. I’ll take 10!

  2. Why do people always think “blocking an enzyme… that breaks down [any] chemical” in the body is a good idea…

  3. One by one we overcome the obstacles to remaking ourselves into absolute monsters.

    • Despite all the other things going wrong in the world, it is nice to reflect on our successes.
      Even if they are modest in the short term, it’s nice to see some progress being made.

    • Calypso_1 | Jul 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

      Perhaps it’s just the sociopathic longing to create others in their own image.

  4. Dimedozen | Jul 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

    Wouldnt be ironic if all we were was a genetic experiment. All this talk about growing into a mutant monster. People seem to forget, we are already one. 

  5. Neolives | Jul 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

    I want some. I will no longer fear the government control that is being imposed and I will be a happy cog in the matrix. Finally!

    • Anarchy Pony | Jul 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

      Right, ’cause governments are the only institutions that want to control you. 

      • MoralDrift | Jul 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm |

        although not the only, governments represent the critical indispensable element of control, which is first and foremost by providing legitimacy and second by backing that up with the use of deadly force

    • You’d rather be an unhappy cog?

    • fear is a good thing in many cases. The war on terror is more a war on the human mind than anything.

  6. Scientificalist | Jul 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm |

    You can already buy FAAH inhibitors online extremely cheaply. It’s called URB 597, but is sketchy at best. One man had liver failure due to ingestion of a contaminated batch. And anecdotal reports suggest tolerance gains quickly, and withdrawal effects are noticed after stopping it. It actually suppresses appetite due to working like a CB antagonist. It also reduces cravings for cannabis. This is a very little researched one.. I ‘d say stay away for now.

  7. Camron Wiltshire | Jul 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm |

    I will stick with the plant teachers who already exist in abundance (and are not patentable) for anyone seeking health, healing, knowledge and growth beyond the shackles of repeated socialized trauma and ritual.  Ayahuasca, Cannabis, Psilocybin cubensis etc.   They have negligible side effects and provide a means to reconnect mind, body and spirit as is the goal of an enlightened individual. 

    Over specialization misses the bigger picture again.

    • Calypso_1 | Jul 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm |

      You don’t think plants are patentable?

      • Camron Wiltshire | Jul 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm |

        There is a historical/moral precedent for denying a monopoly on a naturally occurring plant, animal, or organism.  Nothing would surprise me though given the complete lack of regard for the sanctity of life that zombie corporations present.  This article describes the patenting of a naturally occurring rice in India which is beyond ludicrous.

        Next thing you know we will be talking about no fly zones on the Moon….

  8. TruthVybes | Jul 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm |

    Fear is an important aspect of our evolution, without fear we’d more or less become drones. Why not conquer our own fears before relying on medications? I don’t like the sound of it.

    • TruthVybes | Jul 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm |

      I do think there’s potential here, though. Dependency on anything can have a massive drawback that’s all I’m saying. There’s a reason for fear and we have the natural ability to overcome it. Just thinking out loud…

    • Without fear we’d become corpses.

  9. it’s in dark chocolate. 

  10. BedBathSaltsAndBeyond | Jul 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

    Frankly, I think this is amazing. I’ve suffered for years from anxiety, and people with anxiety problems are generally really jumpy, nervous, and afraid of everything most of the time. Doctors prescribe Anti-Depressants for anxiety generally, which does the trick just fine and no one would really know by talking to me that I used to have SEVERE anxiety attacks daily for several years before going on medication. 

    I’m just very curious to see what this new medicine will do for anxiety patients. Anti-Depressants work fine, but there is a laundry list of side effects (I’ve made it through fairly unscathed though, knock on wood), and they aren’t really meant for anxiety. They just happen to be the best thing the doctors have a the moment to treat anxiety. This could make a lot of people’s lives much easier.

    • Have you tried marijuana? The chemical in this article is an endogenous cannabinoid with a neurochemical profile similar to THC. 

      • Ironically, marijuana tends to crank my paranoia up exponentially.

        That’s not a good thing, because on a day to day basis, I already admit that I’m paranoid and I worry that I’m not paranoid enough.

  11. LitanyAgainstFear | Jul 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm |

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.

  12. 6Blackie6 | Jul 12, 2012 at 5:56 am |

    I have a fear of drugs… I’m not sure what to do next!

Comments are closed.