The Effect of Cannabidiol on Cardiac Responses to Fear Conditioning, Mental Sedation and State-dependent Learning
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Samenvatting thesis Impaired extinction is thought to be an important component in persistence of anxiety disorders. Ideal treatments for anxiety disorders should thus focus on both relieving symptoms as well as aiding in fear extinction, without having adverse side effects. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive constituent of Cannabis Sativa, has sparked interest, because of its putative anxiolytic properties and its potential effect on fear extinction, while exerting few side effects. The current study used a VR fear conditioning paradigm to measure conditioned fear responses in three phases: extinction, retention and reinstatement. Physiological fear was measured using HR responses to startle probe stimuli. Subjects received a capsule with either 300 mg of CBD or a placebo. No significant main effects of drug or significant interactions between drug and cue/context were found. This indicates that CBD did not affect fear extinction, retention and reinstatement. Furthermore, performance on the CPT-AX was tested to determine whether CBD exerted mental sedation, a side effect found by Crippa et al. (2004). No significant interactions were found, indicating that, in the current dose, CBD does not cause mental sedation. Performance of the 15-WT was also tested, to determine whether CBD induces state-dependent-learning. No significant interactions were found, indicating that CBD in the current dose does not induce state-dependent learning.