Major Depression & Anxiety - GABA Channel
"Terpene rich plants are truly nature's medicine cabinet"
My last blog dove into the effects CBG can have on Opiate withdrawal and how it could potentially be a better alternative to Clonidine for treating withdrawal symptoms. This week I am excited to be talking about Terpenes and how they can treat or at least mitigate Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, sleep irregularities, and cognitive deficit symptoms. I will get into specific terps and how they can help in a different paragraph, right now I want you to understand where the mentioned disease states start.
Your Gaba Channel is responsible for your flight or fight response, when this channel is dysregulated we start to see people with General Anxiety Disorder, Bi-polar Disorder, and depression. This would make sense because imagine if you are in a stressful situation your body is going to naturally react to try and protect you. If we are dysregulated in this channel we would feel major anxiety at the wrong times, or maybe be over reacting to small everyday stressors that it seems most people can handle with ease. This is not because our Gaba Channel is OVER-active it is because it is UNDER-active, in addition to being underactive there could additionally be alterations in the principal receptors Gaba-A.
What is the most common treatment for someone who sees their Doc with these issues? Typically you are prescribed an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) these affect your 5htp1-a receptor responsible for Serotonin Production. We will also assume you are prescribed a Benzodiazepine as well. Benzos such as Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan go directly at your Gaba Channel by “turning it on, and letting it run”
When we take a benzo we allow our Gaba channel to open up and function at max capacity. This allows us to feel relaxed, lowers our inhibition, and really relaxes the Central Nervous System. Hence why mixed with alcohol or other drugs this can be very dangerous. Since Gaba has action on the Central Nervous System this is where we feel the perceived high from the drug. The problem with Benzos is that when you stop taking them your problems are only going to get worse. You can count on no sleep, severe depression and anxiety, and possible seizures. Why not take something that goes at the same Gaba Channel that is natural? Why not take something that will help regulate this issue naturally rather than just putting a band-aid on it. WE ARE NOT BROKEN, WE LACK RESOURCES. Now, read that one more time.
Terpenes are found in all plants; it is the compound that gives plants their pretty smell and color. Different Terpenes are abundantly rich in Cannabis Plants. There are currently around 10,000 different terps around the world and over 200 have been discovered in Cannabis alone. Terpene rich plants are produced when they are grown under stressful conditions. The plant produces Terpenes to help ward off Fungus, mold, pests, and any other foreign invaders. “ The best Lavender in the world is grown in Provence, France. Where they have poor, rocky soil.” Says Ethan Russo (discover Magazine)
Terpenes That Help Lower Anxiety
Linalool is the most abundant Terpene in Lavender and is found throughout most strains of Cannabis. “ In Vivo studies on animal models have verified the anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects of certain essential oils and the interactions of their major components with central nervous system receptors.” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32304038/). The modulation of GABA Neurotransmitter systems are the major mechanisms responsible for sedative, anxiolytic, and anticonvulsant properties. The terpenes that are most popular for their anti-anxiety effect are Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol, and Limonene. All of these modulate GABA to produce anti-anxiety effects and relax the Central Nervous System.
EOs have drawn attention from scientists, practitioners, and therapists for their biological effects such as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti‐inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and antinociceptive properties (Hüsnü Can Başer & Buchbauer, 2016). Human and animal studies have shown that several EOs produce diverse pharmacological responses in the nervous system resulting in anxiolytic, analgesic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant and sedative effects. Therefore, it has been suggested that EOs could be effective for mitigating the symptoms of various mental illnesses including depression, anxiety and dementia. I implore you to do your own research on NIH.Gov and search “terpenes” and “GABA”!
You have natural options out there, don’t be afraid to try something different! My hope for you as a reader is to change the way you think about consuming cannabis and herbs. If our Budtenders were properly trained, every patient would have this info and be able to know what terps they need to help their condition.
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