News On The Green: Anatomy Of Anxiety

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Anatomy of Anxiety

Nashville, renowned for its country music scene, also houses Vanderbilt University and grant-funded research that recently leveled up our understanding of the interconnection between anxiety, stress and cannabis. Published in peer-reviewed scientific journal Neuron, “Endocannabinoid Signaling Collapse Mediates Stress-Induced Amygdalo-Cortical Strengthening” follows up on research implicating a “functional coupling” of the amygdala and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) in “the generation of negative affective states,” aka stress that inhibit animals from functioning optimally. To explore this neural pathway’s relationship to stress and anxiety, Vanderbilt researchers formulated and conducted a mouse study of a neurological “circuit” that links the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. The study showed that when mice became stressed, the basolateral amygdala (BLA)-prelimbic prefrontal cortex (plPFC) circuit was activated. Researchers also assessed the endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and its role in mediating signaling. According to a Vanderbilt press release, “This finding demonstrates that the cannabinoid signaling system that suppresses information flow between these two brain regions is critical for setting the level of anxiety in animals.” The release also notes that paper authors Sachin Patel and David Marcus are interested in studying how the cannabinoid signaling system reacts to chronic stress and whether other environmental exposures can regulate behavior by either compromising or enhancing this system.

Lending Flower

verything is set and ready to make a reality of local efforts to extend a medical cannabis-filled hand to out-of-state residents registered in their state’s own medical cannabis program. In “Medical cannabis reciprocity on hold,” Andy Lyman reports that the reciprocity rule that will enable this reciprocal access actually set July 1 as the scheduled start date. New Mexico Political Report quotes Dr. Dominick Zurlo, the state Medical Cannabis Program director, on the reasoning behind that decision: “That’s partly because the seed-to-sale tracking software the state uses is due for an upgrade. Under the new rules, already-qualified cannabis patients from states that have a medical cannabis program could go to any dispensary in New Mexico to register as a reciprocal patient.” If you’re still hungry for the latest in local and national cannabis news—from the new FDA director’s openness to CBD’s value to the fact that cannabis use among seniors (over 65) has doubled and the US Department of Agriculture’s delay of a hemp rule to limit who can test plants for THC percentage—scope out the latest Baked Goods column.

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