A new research has found that cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound found in cannabis genus plants can possibly reduce aggressiveness caused due to social isolation. The compound has already garnered tons of appreciation for being highly effective in mental health issues like anxiety, depression, panic attacks, epilpetic fits, but there is little science to backup the medical benefits that CBD offers.
Aggressiveness induced due to isolation is usually treated with antipsychotic drugs or antidepressants, but studies suggest that CBD might be just as effective, or in fact, even better in dealing with anger. Researchers from Brazil performed an experiment to confirm this claim and found out significant results.
Francisco Silveira Guimarães, from the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP-USP), and her fellow researchers injected four groups of mice with different doses of CBD to evaluate if the compound could decrease the intensity of aggressive behaviour in animals that were locked in isolation for days.
A fifth group of mice was introduced which was not given any cannabidiol, this group served as a control group that differentiated from the others.
The mice in the fifth group i.e the control group attacked an intruder mouse after just 2 minutes of it entering into the cage and repeatedly made 20 to 25 attacks.
The mice who had received a dosage equivalent to 5mg/kg of CBD began attacking after nearly 4 minutes with reduced number of attacks – almost dropped to half.
The group who received a dosage of 15mg/kg of CBD showed the least signs of aggressiveness. They began attacking after 11 minutes of the intruder mouse’s arrival with the total number of attacks being averaged out at five.
But the mice given heavy doses of 30mg/kg and 60mg/kg of CBD attacked much sooner with high frequency.
Guimarães stated that the decreasing signs of aggressiveness with increasing dosage of CBD were expected based on the results of earlier studies. The researcher went on to explain that in experiments conducted to investigate the potential of CBD as an antidepressant, higher doses lead to decreased effects after an initial gain. If they had injected a group of mice with higher doses such as 120mg/kg of CBD, they wouldn’t have been able to obtain any useful information about the effect of the drug on aggressiveness at all.
According to the researchers, CBD activates two receptors in the brain which can produce soothing effects that lead to decreased mental health issues.
Despite the fact that CBD is derived from marijuana plants, it does not carry any traits of severe mind altering chemicals like THC. Tetrahydro cannabinoids or THC is the chemical that is responsible for causing hallucinations when people smoke weed or pot. But CBD does not get people high.
Guimarães and colleagues wrote in their studies that CBD reduced c-Fos protein expression, a neuronal activity marker, in the lateral periaqueductal gray (lPAG) during their experiments with mice that were isolated socially and were exposed to a resident intruder, which shows a notable involvement of this part of the brain in the drug effects.
Their findings reveal that CBD may be therapeutically useful for decreasing aggressiveness associated with social isolation and can help in improving mental health. Their findings were published in the
The results have been released in the Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry magazine Progress.