A new study led by Chenchen Song at the University of Birmingham and published by Frontiers in Pharmacology found CBD provides both acute and long-term effects to reduce fear memory, something that could be beneficial for treating PTSD and certain phobias. Using an animal model, researches injected rats with 10mg CBD and found it reduced freeze behavior of rats that had been expose to strong fear conditioning. This freeze response is the common reaction to fear when near prey animals, but rats were less likely to be fearful under the same conditions at a later date when they had been given CBD. In comparison, some rats were given MK-801, a N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor agonist which impairs the extinction of fear, and other rats were given D-cycloserine, a partial agonist which neither increase or decreases freezing.
The study also found that while CBD reduced freezing significantly for rats who had undergone strong fear conditioning, it actually impaired fear extinction in rats that had only undergone weak fear conditioning. Discussion of the research reads, “In the more translationally-relevant stronger conditioning setting, CBD both acutely inhibited fear expression and enhanced extinction to produce longer lasting reductions in fear... These observations provide further support for the potential translational use of CBD in conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and specific phobias.”