Endocannabinoid Signalling in Anxiety

Type of project: Basic, Translational, Nutraceutical, Mind and Body

Principal Investigator: Dr. Mathew Hill

Institutions Affiliated: University of Calgary

Students: Kowther Hassan (UGRAD), Haley Vecchiarelli (UGRAD), Kira Leitl (UGRAD), Maya Sohn (UGRAD), 

Andrei Nastase (UGRAD)

Awards funded to project: 5

Background: Stress inhibits endocannabinoid signaling within the amygdala, which results in anxiety. Exactly how this process occurs is not well understood, though this project seeks to explore this phenomenon. These studies have looked at how this processes is affected by features of the environment, whether its different between males and females, and how it might be different in autoimmune conditions. 

Implications: Marijuana has been reported to have anti-anxiety properties by acting on the endocannabinoid system and this project explores the process by which this might occur. While marijuana could be used to achieve these effects, other studies have indicated that exercise would result in similar increases in endocannabinoids, offering a natural option to manage anxiety.