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Modulation of the endocannabinoid system by sex hormones: implications for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


Ney, LJ and Matthews, A and Bruno, R and Felmingham, KL, Modulation of the endocannabinoid system by sex hormones: implications for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 94 pp. 302-320. ISSN 0149-7634 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.07.006


The endocannabinoid system is an increasingly recognised pharmacological target for treating stress and anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent preclinical developments have implicated the endocannabinoid system in stress responses, emotional memories and fear extinction, all critical to PTSD aetiology. However, preclinical research in endocannabinoid biology has neglected the influential role of sex hormone differences on PTSD symptomology, which is particularly important given that PTSD is twice as common in women as in men. In this review, we compile and consider the evidence that the endocannabinoid system is influenced by ovarian hormones, with application to stress disorders such as PTSD. It is clear that therapeutic modulation of the endocannabinoid system needs to be approached with awareness of ovarian hormonal influences, and knowledge of these influences may enhance treatment outcomes for female PTSD populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cannabinoids, cannabis, endocannabinoids, oestrogens, posttraumatic stress disorder, psychiatric disorders, sex differences, translational medical research, traumatic stress
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Ney, LJ (Mr Luke Ney)
UTAS Author:Matthews, A (Dr Allison Matthews)
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
UTAS Author:Felmingham, KL (Professor Kim Felmingham)
ID Code:128306
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2018-09-12
Last Modified:2019-09-09

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