Cannabidiol (CBD) is a drug being studied for its ability to treat many psychiatric disorders. The current review looked at whether CBD could be used to treat anxiety-related disorders by assessing evidence from preclinical, human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies. The review found strong evidence that CBD can be used to treat panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when given acutely. However, there isn’t a lot of information about how well CBD works when taken over a long period and how well it works with chronic CBD dosing.
Potential Treatments with CBD
Likewise, evidence from human studies supports an anxiolytic role of CBD but is currently limited to acute dosing, with few studies in clinical populations. Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with the need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations. How Can CBD Help Manage Anxiety? | Stay Honest. https://www.stayhonest.org/how-can-cbd-help-manage-anxiety/
37.5% of people said they use CBD to reduce stress levels. 92.2% said it worked for them, making it the third-most popular reason for using CBD. However, no studies are looking at how CBD affects stress levels. This might be because stress is not a disease that is classified by international disease classification (WHO | Burn-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases 2019). With more than 12.8 million working days lost because of work-related stress, anxiety, or depression in the UK (Hse 2019), the relationship between CBD and stress is an essential area for further research. Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users…https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-021-00061-5
The study “Social media surveillance for perceived therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) products” looked at social media comments about CBD products and found that people talked about the therapeutic effects of CBD for stress and nausea the most, even though those symptoms are not currently addressed in the research literature. (Tran and Kavuluru 2020).
CBD is thought to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates many vital functions like mood, sleep, and appetite. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. For example, CBD has been shown to increase levels of anandamide, a natural endocannabinoid that regulates pain in the brain (Zanelati et al., 2015). CBD has also been shown to reduce anxiety in animal models (Crippa et al., 2004; Resstel et al., 2009).
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the mammalian central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system.
The ECS is involved in a wide range of physiological processes, including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and in mediating the pharmacological effects of cannabis. The ECS is also involved in mediating some of the physiological and cognitive effects of exercise.
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system has led to new research into the potential therapeutic use of cannabinoids for a variety of medical conditions, including pain, anxiety, inflammation, and addiction.
More Research Study
A small 2010 study, “Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients,” found that CBD oil helped reduce cognitive and physiological stress measures in humans (Bergamaschi et al., 2011). In this study, 24 subjects were given either 600 mg or 1200 mg of CBD oil or a placebo before undertaking a public speaking test. The 600 mg CBD group showed lower self-reported anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort during the speech task compared to the placebo group. The authors suggested that CBD’s anxiolytic effects might be mediated by 5-HT1A receptors, as CBD oil increased cerebral blood flow in regions rich in this receptor (Bergamaschi et al. 2011).
In a 2015 survey, “Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems,” 2,400 CBD users, 37.5% reported using CBD for perceived stress, with 92.2% reporting reduced stress levels (Blessing et al. 2015). In this study, CBD effectively reduced anxiety and improved sleep quality in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Blessing et al., 2015).
In conclusion, CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety in animal models “5-HT1A receptors are involved in the cannabidiol-induced attenuation of behavioral and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats” (Crippa et al., 2004; Resstel et al., 2009). In addition, CBD oil decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol in rats (Zanelati et al., 2015). CBD has also been shown to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Blessing et al., 2015).
The authors of a 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis examined CBD’s anxiolytic effects in humans (Shannon et al., 2017) “Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence,” concluded that CBD is a promising treatment for anxiety disorders, but more research is needed to determine the therapeutic doses and long-term effects of CBD on stress and anxiety.