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Research CBD and the Pathways of Anger, Rage, and Aggression

cbd and the pathways of rage, anger, and irritability

 

Anger seems like such a complicated and hard-to-pinpoint target in the brain.

 

There are key players however which shape our response in terms of aggression and anger.

 

We'll dig down into both serotonin and acetylcholine (among others).

 

compare cbd isolate options 

 

More importantly, we'll see how CBD affects these pathways and if there's research showing an impact on anger and aggression.

 

These are the areas we'll cover: 

  • The neurochemistry of anger and aggression
  • Serotonin and anger or aggression
  • Sex hormones and anger
  • Acetylcholine and anger or aggression
  • Stress and anger
  • Genes tied to anger and aggression
  • How CBD affects the pathways of anger and aggression based on research
  • How much CBD for anger and rage
  • What's the best CBD for anger and rage

 

Let's get started!

The neurochemistry of anger and aggression 

First, let's not vilify anger or aggression.

 

There's an evolutionary imperative and reason for them to exist.

 

We probably wouldn't be here if our ancestors didn't have them.

 

Anger and aggression are important responses to fight or flight situations where we need to fight.

 

Or not survive!

 

The issue is when our anger response is too strong.

 

New research is pointing to two key players in shaping this response: 

  • Serotonin - our master regulator of basically all human behavior
  • Acetylcholine - the trigger for fight/flight and adrenaline release as well as rest and digest

 

Newer research is really pointing to serotonin as the key player and we're not surprised.

 

Serotonin, as we mentioned above, is involved in all human behavior.

 

Check out CBD and serotonin pathways to really dig into.

 

You can generally think of serotonin as a social stress buffer in the context of keeping calm.

 

That's why there's really interesting research on Tryptophan, the precursor to CBD (see here).

 

Serotonin is generally tasked with modulating other downstream neurotransmitters and its effect can be different depending on the brain area.

 

We've seen just about every response under the sun from serotonin being too high or too low: 

  • Sadness and crying
  • Confidence 
  • Insecurity
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Homicidal and suicidal thoughts
  • Anger and aggression

 

The last one is our focus here.

 

The other player is acetylcholine.

 

Acetylcholine is very fascinating.  Check out CBD and acetylcholine.

 

On one hand, it's tied to wakefulness, alertness, focus, etc (due to its downstream effect on dopamine and eventually adrenaline).  These all appear to be excitatory.

 

On the other hand, it's the primary neurotransmitter for the rest and digest system.  

 

These seem to be opposite in action!

 

The key is balance with powerful players like serotonin and acetylcholine.

 

Let's look at the specifics of each with anger and aggression.

Serotonin and anger or aggression 

First, our master regulatory for mood and behavior.

 

What happens with serotonin function (very important) goes too low?

 

There are many studies on this front generally through tryptophan depletion since it's the primary fuel of serotonin.

 

The results are pretty standard: 

Lowered serotonin levels after ATD lead to increased aggression 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6395384/

 

ATD is short for acute tryptophan depletion.

 

What about if serotonin goes too high?

 

There's a focus on MAO, a key enzyme and gene which breaks down serotonin (as well as other important neurotransmitters).

 

When people have a variant of this gene where MAO pathways don't work as well (leading to too much serotonin), the results: 

Non-pathological variations in serotonin transmission caused by an upstream variable number tandem repeat (uVNTR) polymorphism of the MAOA gene have been associated with aggression as well  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6395384/

 

Interestingly, this trait appears stronger in males and after trauma or childhood abuse.

 

This MAO gene occurs on the X chromosome which is why males may be more impacted.

 

As for homicidal or suicidal thoughts, we covered this in detail at our CBD and homicidal thoughts.

 

This was especially prevalent in men and with OCD elements to personality.

 

Check out CBD and OCD.

 

So...the net take away is that serotonin is a powerful shaper of social response and mood.

 

It really comes down to balance which is where the endocannabinoid system comes into play.

 

We'll look at that later.

 

Let's take a quick detour to our sex hormones!

Sex hormones and anger 

We're all pretty familiar with roid rage...essentially, uncontrolled anger from too much testosterone or a chemical similar to it.

 

By definition, steroidal hormones like testosterone drive activity.

 

These hormones affect so many other pathways including neurotransmitters that excess would definitely upset the apple cart.

 

What many people don't know about is estrogen.

 

We did a full review on CBD and perimenopausal anger and irritability.

 

Many people don't realize that estrogen is a powerful promoter of serotonin!

 

During monthly cycles, changes due to pregnancy, and at perimenopause (not to mention puberty), drops in estrogen can lead to drops in serotonin and we know from above how that plays out.

 

On the flip side, progesterone is a calming agent that directly drives GABA, our brain's brake pedal (we'll discuss later).

 

Check hormone levels and don't discount their effects on anger.

 

Next up, acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine and anger or aggression 

Acetylcholine manages dopamine.  Dopamine breaks down into adrenaline.

 

Now...imagine too much adrenaline production?  It's hard to have anger without triggering this pathway in fact.

 

You just wouldn't care enough to get angry!

 

When you're in the heat of anger or aggression, it's almost like you're on autopilot...not really in control of your reaction or how you feel.

 

This points to the fight or flight system and guess what runs that show?

 

Adrenaline...technically norepinephrine.

 

"Fight" is literally in the name.

 

Most systems in the brain work on push-pull mechanisms.  

 

The opposing force to this fight or flight system is the rest and digest system.  

 

Acetylcholine is THE messenger for this system so what happens if it's not functioning correctly?

 

Interestingly, the only real good drug we know of to boost acetylcholine is nicotine. 

 

In fact, it fits into the same receptor as acetylcholine which is how it works.

 

Check this out: 

Preclinical and clinical studies of nicotinic effects on mood, anxiety, aggression, and related behaviors, such as irritability and agitation, suggest that smokers may use the nicotine in tobacco products as an attempt to self-medicate symptoms of affective disorders. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486625/

 

Acetylcholine's effect appears to be very strong with anger in response to stress.

 

We can't forget about stress in terms of anger.  

 

Let's go there now.

Stress and anger 

What's the relationship between stress and anger or aggression?

 

Direct!

 

Cortisol is our main stress hormone.  

 

The relationship between cortisol and serotonin is very important.

 

It is likely that under chronic stress or depression, the capacity for increase in serotonin transporter has reached its limit due to the chronically elevated blood cortisol level.  

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12467090/

 

So...more cortisol for longer periods of time means less serotonin.

 

Cortisol is so important for anxiety, depression, and just about every mental health issue.

 

We covered it in detail at our CBD and cortisol review.

 

The impact of cortisol (via stress) on serotonin can be seen here: 

A significant increase in serotonin uptake (+37% + 14, M + SD) was observed in the control group, whereas neither the generalized anxiety disorder nor the major depression group exhibited changes in serotonin uptake upon incubation with cortisol.  

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12467090/

 

Interestingly, anger may be a mechanism to turn off cortisol: 

When we get angry, the heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone production increases, cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases, and the left hemisphere of the brain becomes more stimulated. 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100531082603.htm

 

Think of anger or aggression as an internal trigger point to action.

 

In terms of evolution, there is a threat that starts the fight or flight process.

 

Stress accompanies this to get us ready and to call us to action (since it's serious).

 

When it's working correctly, the rest/digest side comes in after to calm things down (acetylcholine).

 

One more key player that starts the whole rage ball rolling.

 

Corticotropin releasing factor.

 

This is the flood gate for stress response.

 

We know it well from our studies of SSRIs and why they actually can increase anxiety and depression for the first 2 weeks (see CBD and CHR or how exactly do SSRIs work).

 

There's a great walkthrough here: 

https://www.nicabm.com/how-anger-affects-the-brain-and-body-infographic/

 

The key clue from our SSRI studies is this...serotonin is the master regulator or translator for this cascade!

 

There are actual physical areas of the brain that also control this reaction.

 

Let's now travel to brain areas tied to anger and aggression as there are clues there later for CBD.

Brain areas tied to anger and aggression 

Interestingly, the circuit here resembles one for anxiety.

 

You have two main areas at play: 

  • Amygdala - the seat of emotional coloring and response  - fear and anger
  • Prefrontal cortex - rational thought and constraint on amygdala's signals

 

This is really a battle between one of the oldest parts of our brain (amygdala) and the newest parts of our brain (prefrontal cortex) in terms of evolution.

 

Our animal, "reptilian" brain versus the new shiny human parts.

 

Both are needed for survival but there may be an imbalance in anger or aggression issues.

 

A new study on people with rage issues found less connection between the frontal cortex and other areas for reading social cues: 

People with intermittent explosive disorder (IED), or impulsive aggression, have a weakened connection between regions of the brain associated with sensory input, language processing, and social interaction. 

https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/news/people-with-anger-disorder-have-decreased-connectivity-between-regions-of-the-brain

 

This is the so-call "white matter" superhighway of the brain that connects various regions.

 

In fact, the particular connection is between the old (limbic) and new (cortex) areas we talked about above: 

The team discovered a direct correlation between a history of impulsive aggressive behavior and gray matter volume in the frontolimbic region of the brain-an area known to play a central role in the regulation of emotions. 

https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/neurosciences-articles/individuals-with-rage-disorder-have-smaller-volumes-in-brain-areas-linked-to-emotion

 

We've covered this in detail at our CBD and mechanisms for anxiety.

 

Why some people respond with fear while others respond with anger may involve other nuisances and circuits.

 

Let's see if genes back up anything we've seen above.

Genes tied to anger and aggression 

Most behavior is a result of shared expression of genes and the environment.

 

In fact, the environment can turn genes on and off through a middle-person layer called epigenetics.

 

What about genes tied to anger and aggression or rage?

 

As with most things, the relationship follows: 

According to a meta-analysis on data from 24 genetically informative studies, up to 50% of the total variance in aggressive behavior is explained by genetic influences. 

https://www.jax.org/news-and-insights/jax-blog/2015/december/the-genetics-of-violent-behavior#

 

Three gene families really stand out here: 

  • Serotonin transporter genes
  • MAO genes
  • Dopamine genes

 

These are really two sides of the same coin.

 

Serotonin transporter genes control the rate of availability for serotonin.

 

MAO is that enzyme that breaks down serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

 

Essentially, we're talking about proper levels of our mood regulator (serotonin) and fight or flight response (adrenaline which breaks down from dopamine).

 

For example with serotonin: 

University of Pittsburgh researchers have found that behaviors such as anger, hostility, and aggression may be genetic, rooted in variations in a serotonin receptor gene. 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070309103136.htm

 


Here's where it gets interesting (albeit depressing)...early trauma or stress can turn these genes on and off: 

the exposure to peripubertal stress affected the connectivity between amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex accompanied by a parallel increase of MAOA expression in the frontal cortex in adulthood.  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6008527/

 

Let's break that down because it's important.

 

In the study with rats, they caused traumatic stress before puberty.

 

This led to more MAO expression which means less serotonin and dopamine.  

 

We've seen this effect from early trauma across a range of mental health issues such as bipolar, autism, schizophrenia, ADHD, etc.

 

The increase in MAO may be the cause!

 

The final set deals with dopamine pathways.

 

Remember that dopamine breaks down to norepinephrine (the precursor to adrenaline).

 

Where serotonin governs impulse control, dopamine drives focus and the fight or flight response (downstream).

 

MAO sits at the intersection of both of these so it's no wonder it's called the "warrior" gene.

 

One last stop...the gut.

The gut microbiome and anger 

You're probably thinking...was the gut have to do with anger?

 

Look at this study results after adding a probiotic (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175 (PF) )

 

The probiotic combination significantly reduced psychological distress as measured by the HSCL-90 scale (with significant reductions in global severity index, somatization, depression, and anger-hostility scores), 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4259177/

 

Anger and hostility scores.  From a probiotic?

 

Yes.  The gut is the largest source of serotonin in the body and we now (finally) know there's a direct connection between the gut microbiome (the bacteria and other living organisms in our gut) and the brain.

 

Via the vagus nerve which just happens to be the primary pathway of...acetylcholine!

 


Yes, our rest and digest part of the autonomous nervous system.

 

It just happens to be the opposing force to adrenaline and fight/flight with the emphasis on fight.

 

We won't be surprised if the research points to the gut imbalances and anger/rage directly within the next few years.

 

Just look at the effects of vagus nerve stimulation on anger: 

Our results reveal that the sham group experienced significantly increased anger responses after hearing traumatic stressors, compared to baseline (p<0.05), whereas the active group did not show a significant anger response (p=0.18). 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332029274_Noninvasive_Vagal_Nerve_Stimulation_Effects_on_Anger_Response

 

Basically, in a double-blind group, they showed disturbing images to two groups, one with vagus nerve stimulation right after and another with a fake procedure.

 

The vagus nerve group did not respond with anger while the other group did!

 

Very interesting.  Again, acetylcholine is the main messenger of the vagus nerve.

 

Check out vagus nerve hacks here: 

https://selfhacked.com/blog/32-ways-to-stimulate-your-vagus-nerve-and-all-you-need-to-know-about-it/

 

Longer breathing durations (especially on the exhale) may be a key between meditation, yoga, 4-7-8 breathing, etc.

 

You can do this any time of the day to build vagus nerve tone!

 

shop and compare isolate cbd online

 

Now, let's finally turn to CBD.

How CBD affects the pathways of anger and aggression 

We'll first look at the pathways above before looking at studies on CBD and anger directly.

 

Let's focus on the following: 

  • CBD and serotonin balance for anger and rage
  • CBD and sympathetic nervous system - adrenaline for anger and rage
  • CBD and GABA function for anger and rage
  • CBD and stress response for anger and rage
  • CBD and cortisol for anger and rage
  • Research tied to CBD for anger and rage

 

Let's get started!

 

  • CBD and serotonin balance for anger and rage
  • CBD and sympathetic nervous system - adrenaline for anger and rage
  • CBD and GABA function for anger and rage
  • CBD and stress response for anger and rage
  • CBD and cortisol for anger and rage
  • CBD and white matter
  • CBD and brain repair or neurogenesis for anger and rage
  • Research tied to CBD for anger and rage

 

Let's get started.

CBD and serotonin balance for anger and rage 

As we mentioned, serotonin balance is key to anger and rage.

 

Interestingly, this pathway may be CBD's biggest effect on the body.

 

We've written extensively about this at our CBD and serotonin or CBD versus SSRI reviews.

 

Technically, CBD is called a negative allosteric modulator of serotonin.

 

What on earth does that mean?

 

Many substances will push a given pathway in one direction...up or down.

 

For example: 

  • SSRI antidepressants increase serotonin.
  • Benzos increase GABA

 

Both build tolerance and addiction is a major concern for benzos but these are due to the one-directional push of both.

 

The brain pushes back.

 

CBD works as a feedback mechanism so it can have different results depending on the state of the system.

 

This is important with a master regulator like serotonin because too high is just as bad as too low (see serotonin syndrome).

 

As for CBD and serotonin, some key takeaways as it pertains to anger and irritability.

 

For example: 

Our study shows that cannabidiol can inhibit aggressiveness and that it does so by facilitating the activation of two receptors: the 5-HT1A receptor, responsible for the effects of the neurotransmitter serotonin 

https://neurosciencenews.com/cbd-aggression-14607/

 

5-HT is the technical term for serotonin!

 

Think of anger as a spectrum from irritability to full-on rage with aggressiveness being an underpinning.

 

Fight or flight!  Aggressiveness skews this more to "fight" rather than "flight".

 

Those researchers blocked serotonin pathways and the effect went away.

 

Remember how we saw that the prefrontal cortex (our rational brain) wasn't able to keep the amygdala (fear and threat detection older part of the brain) in check?

 

Research on its antidepressant effects (see CBD and depression) point to strengthening this balance: 

Antidepressant-like effect of cannabidiol injection into the ventral medial prefrontal cortex-Possible involvement of 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6673235/

 

This "circuit" is very important.

 

One example:


Anger provocation increases limbic and decreases medial prefrontal cortex connectivity with the left amygdala in reactive aggressive violent offenders


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6732149/

 

Our favorite study on CBD and serotonin looked at its effect on pain and anxiety (a "flight" expression of the circuit above).

 

The results: 

repeated treatment with low-dose CBD induces analgesia predominantly through TRPV1 activation, reduces anxiety through 5-HT1A receptor activation, and rescues impaired 5-HT neurotransmission under neuropathic pain conditions. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319597/

 

There's the 5HT again...serotonin.

 

The keyword there is "rescue" serotonin.  

 

Again, check out the CBD and serotonin review...very interesting.

 

What about the whole fight or flight system?  The sympathetic nervous system?

CBD and sympathetic nervous system - adrenaline for anger and rage 

We can look at all the tell-tale signs of fight or flight for clues to CBD's effect here. 

  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Skin conductance (electic charge)

 

All are tied to fight or flight responses and are intimately tied to an anger response.

 

What does CBD do there?

 

First, blood pressure: 

A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/

 

A study on public speaking for people with social anxiety is a great proxy for this.

 

The full review is at our CBD and public speaking review but let's focus on the physical effects of acute stress (raised heart rate, bp, skin conductance, etc).

 

Interestingly, there was a slight improvement with the CBD (versus control) group their interpretation of these physical changes was very different: 

Although physiological measures have not shown significant differences among the groups, the self-report of somatic symptoms (BSS) increased significantly only for the SAD patients who received placebo during the test. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/

 

This means that their heart rate and bp did rise during the public speaking (as expected) but it did not bother them as much.  Significantly so.  

 

This speaks to our stress response system which we'll discuss below.  The threshold at which point we "lose control" is adjusted.

 

This effect is strongest when the system is pushed by stress: 

In vivo, CBD treatment does not appear to have any effect on resting blood pressure or heart rate, but does reduce the cardiovascular response to various types of stress.  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579247/

 

Check out CBD and PTSD (an overwhelming recurrence of the fight/flight response) or CBD and anxiety.

 

Let's look at the gas and brake pedal.

CBD and Glutamate or GABA function for anger and rage 

Glutamate is the gas pedal of the brain.  Too much of it can lead to anxiousness, irritability, and other negative emotional states.

 

Check out CBD and glutamate to look at the mental health aspects.

 

A perfect example of this is with autism irritability and rage.

 

A study looked at NAC which acts like a glutamate sink (absorbs excess) and found the following: 

They found that irritability was significantly decreased in the children who received NAC.  

https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/new-treatment-for-irritability-in-autism

 

Check out the full review on NAC here (very fascinating!).

 

As for GABA, the opposing brake-pedal, this has implications in a calming fight (anger) or flight (anxiety).

 

We've covered CBD and GABA here.

 

The net effect: 

Agents that modulate GABA-ergic activity have been shown to significantly reduce aggressive symptoms 

https://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1176/jnp.17.2.252

 

CBD's action on GABA is similar to serotonin.

 

It functions as a feedback mechanism (allosteric negative modulator).

 

This is a big part of its effect on anxiety (see CBD and GABA for anxiety).


CBD substantially reduces the frequency, duration, and severity of seizures and ameliorates the impaired social interaction behaviors of DS mice. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5651774/

 

Seizures are partially a result of a more severe imbalance between glutamate and GABA.  

 

That just happens to be how CBD originally came to fame...seizures!

 

Along these lines, consider magnesium glycinate (blocks glutamate).

 

Let's turn our attention to stress...a trigger for anger.  How do we put the safety on?

CBD and stress response for anger and rage 

This may be one of CBD's biggest effects for both anger and anxiety.

 

Addressing the initial stages which involve stress.

 

Now, we have to dig a little deeper to see CBD's method of operation here.

 

Let's introduce the anandamide.  It's one of the two most prevalent endocannabinoids naturally occurring in our brain.

 

In general, it acts as a wet blanket on activity in the nervous system.  Essentially, it operates like a stress response buffer.

 

By stress, we mean anything that pushes a given pathway one way or another.

 

Anandamide primarily acts on CB1 receptors.  That's its main area of activity.

 

In fact, studies have looked at activity there and aggression: 

he results of these CB1 and CB2 receptor KO studies suggest that decreased activation of this receptor system may be linked to emergence of aggressive behavior in certain animals. Conversely, stimulation of CB1 and CB2 receptors appears to exert pacifying effects. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5880947/

 

So, if the receptor is knocked out, aggression.  If the receptor is activated, calming effects.

 

After all, anandamide is called the "bliss" molecule and named after the Hindu goddess of bliss.

 

CBD blocks an enzyme (FAAH) which breaks down anandamide.

 

The net effect is that more anandamide is available in the brain.

 

This is key to many effects: 

 

Almost any mental health issue is affected since stress response is a key element.

 

In fact, check out the woman who lacks FAAH genetic activity and how she can't feel pain, anxiety, depression (and we're guessing...anger).

 

Way upstream, there's a cascade effect of steps that lead to anger and rage.

 

Early in the process is a release of corticotropin-releasing hormone.  This sets off the stress response.

 

We covered CBD and corticotropin-releasing hormone in detail but a quick take away: 

Interestingly, cannabidiol at low (5 mg/kg) and intermediate doses (15 mg/kg) successfully blocked the effects induced by acute stress on corticotropin-releasing factor, pro-opiomelanocortin, and glucocorticoid receptor gene expression.  

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30324842/

 

It's like CBD is a safety switch before the trigger can be pulled.

 

Check out CBD and stress for more info.

 

CRH then leads to the release of our primary stress hormone...cortisol.

 

Let's go there now.

CBD and cortisol for anger and rage 

Cortisol is the hormone that drives the physical changes behind anger.  That "white blinding light" effect and need to act.  

 

We covered CBD and cortisol here since it's critical for anxiety and all mental health issues.

 

After all, it's the chemical messenger of stress!

 

What about CBD's effect? 

Another crossover study showed that plasma cortisol levels decreased more significantly when given oral CBD, 300 to 600 mg, 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/

 

Another study measured cortisol effects under stress (when it really matters) for people with a high risk of psychosis (stress is known to trigger onset).

 

The results: 

One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed a significant effect of group (HC, CHR-P, CHR-CBD (p = .005) on cortisol reactivity as well as a significant (p = .003) linear decrease. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7113209/

 

To decode this...CB significantly reduced cortisol response during stress compared to the placebo group.

 

Also, check out our review on tryptophan.  Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin and also feeds in our stress response system.

 

Let's now turn our attention to the structural effects of anger in the brain.

CBD and white matter 

Remember how there was impaired communication between brain areas in the "anger" circuit?

 

The cortex and the amygdala?

 

This so-called "white matter" is very important as it links various areas of the brain.  A superhighway if you will.

 

There's interesting research on how CBD can reverse the damage to this superhighway caused by heavy THC (cannabis) use.

 

We've covered why CBD is a must if you use cannabis or THC here but the net take away: 

Our findings suggest a restorative effect of CBD on the subicular and CA1 subfields in current cannabis users, especially those with greater lifetime exposure to cannabis. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4925620/

 

This effect was most pronounced in the hippocampus, a key controller for mood.

 

Maybe the most important connection is between the cortex (rational brain) and the amygdala (emotional center).

 

Remember, fear and anger start in the amygdala but need to be gated through our newer brain areas (is this really a threat??).

 

A study looked at brain scans from people observing fearful faces (a key threat detection tool).

 

The results with CBD were fascinating: 

CBD but not Δ9-THC disrupted forward connectivity between these regions during the neural response to fearful faces. 

https://academic.oup.com/ijnp/article/13/4/421/712253

 

The net effect was this...the fearful faces had less impact in terms of how they were perceived.

 

Threat detection dropped from Defcon 1!

 

Remember, anger may just be a different response to a threat with anxiety being the other one.

 

That term in the end...anxiolytic...just means anti-anxiety.

 

We've covered CBD's effect on this "circuit" in detail at our CBD and the mechanisms of anxiety.

 

Let's touch on an interesting piece to CBD's effect on long term mental health.

CBD and brain repair or neurogenesis for anger and rage 

This is very important for long term change in terms of anger or rage.

 

Anger over prolonged periods actually damages areas of the brain.  Think of anger as a heightened state of stress in the brain.

 

In fact, researchers are pinpointing the way in which anger does this.

 

For example: 

As VEGFR2 can promote neurogenesis and vasculogenesis in the hippocampus and frontal lobe, these results suggest that anger emotional stress can result in decreased neurogenesis. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4769761/

 

Neurogenesis is the keyword there.  It's a term that means repairing and building new brain and/or connections.

 

This is now at the heart of addiction and mental health in general.

 

Not only do we need this for changing behavior (the root basis for cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, etc) but also keep up with the burden of stress which is constantly causing damage.

 

Anger actually downregulates this very important process.

 

Interestingly, if you did down into SSRIs (boost serotonin), their real effect is on neurogenesis with a downstream pathway called BDNF (See CBD and BDNF).

 

Check out how SSRIs really work.

 

As for CBD and neurogenesis?

 

Preclinical studies have shown CBD to induce synaptic plasticity and facilitate hippocampal neurogenesis,29,30 with some evidence suggesting that the proneurogenic action of CBD via the hippocampus may underlie its anxiolytic effects 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5908414/

 

There's since been more research which you can find at our CBD and brain repair here.

 

There's that word again...anxiolytic.  Anti-anxiety.  The second response to threats from anger.

 

Plasticity is really important for anger response.  In fact, rigidness of thinking and expectation is a key component of anger and rage.

 

This last piece actually gives us some insight into how much CBD to use.

How much CBD for anger and rage 

There are two different levels that come up in research.

 

For more acute situations (public speaking for social anxiety, people with psychosis, etc), the doses are usually higher at 600-800 mg.

 

This might be for a situation where a person is in full rage.

 

Longer-term, however, research shows that the neurogenesis peaks at about 300mg.

 

This is critical to balancing key systems we discussed above.

 

It always makes sense to start slow and test how a person feels at about 50 mg.

 

But what kind of CBD?

What's the best CBD for anger and rage 

Some basic requirements to start with: 

  • Organically grown hemp in the USA by an FDA registered farm
  • CO2 processed
  • 3rd party tested
  • No THC 
  • No Pesticides
  • No Solvents
  • No Heavy metals
  • No Bacteria 
  • No Mold

 

We actually test ours twice since our whole family uses it.

 

Then there's the question of CBD isolate versus CBD full spectrum.

 

All the research above and throughout the site (dozens of NIH studies) are based on CBD isolate, CBD by itself.

 

We went through the whole comparison of CBD isolate and full spectrum here.

 

More importantly, roughly 40-60% of the population has histamine issues and this goes up as we get older and for women.

 

Histamine is key to the allergy response but more importantly, its excitatory in the brain.

 

That's the wrong direction.

 

This is why you can feel extremely agitated when you have an allergic response.

 

Finally, we have to be able to afford these levels.

 

The key there is cost per mg of CBD.

 

We price our 6000mg bottle at the lowest cost per mg on the market before discounts up to 30%.

 

If you read the founder's story here, we've been there and we want to make CBD as available to as many people as possible.

 

There's a CBD cost comparison review here.

 

Interestingly most of the supplements sold for anger focus on serotonin and GABA where CBD has a powerful effect and more importantly, a balancing effect.

 

We don't want to push these powerful pathways in one direction (like SSRIs or benzos).

 

Be well and take care of each other.

 

shop cbd isolate oil online

Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!

The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.

 

 

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