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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.

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