A study published by de Mello Schier et al. (2014) reviewed the literature involving administration of CBD to animal models of anxiety. The studies reviewed by researchers assessed animal performance with measures such as: forced swimming tests (FST), elevated plus mazes (EPM), and Vogel conflict tests (VCT). In all cases, administration of CBD to animal models reduced anxiety and improved mood – as evidenced by behavioral performance.
The review of evidence documented an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD in both healthy volunteers and animal models. What’s more, CBD significantly reduced feelings of anxiety among those diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Although the specific anxiolytic mechanisms of CBD aren’t fully elucidated, researchers recommend additional trials of CBD for panic disorder, OCD, social phobia, and PTSD.
CBD inhibited escape responses in the ETM and increased DPAG escape electrical threshold , both proposed models of panic attacks . These effects partially depended on 5-HT1AR activation but were not affected by CB1R blockade. CBD was also panicolytic in the predator–prey model, which assesses explosive escape and defensive immobility in response to a boa constrictor snake, also partially via 5-HT1AR activation; however, more consistent with an anxiogenic effect, CBD was also noted to decrease time spent outside the burrow and increase defensive attention (not shown in Table Table1)1) [75, 86] . Finally, CBD, partially via CB1Rs, decreased defensive immobility and explosive escape caused by bicuculline-induced neuronal activation in the superior colliculus . Anticompulsive effects of CBD were investigated in marble-burying behavior, conceptualized to model OCD . Acute systemic CBD reduced marble-burying behavior for up to 7 days, with no attenuation in effect up to high (120 mg/kg) doses, and effect shown to depend on CB1Rs but not 5-HT1ARs [71, 74, 88].
CBD products that don't contain THC fall outside the scope of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) Controlled Substances Act, which means CBD products are legal to sell and consume as long as they don't have THC. That's likely one of the reasons why CBD products, including CBD oil, are becoming more socially acceptable and increasingly popular. In 2016, Forbes reported that CBD products are expected to be a $2.2 billion industry by 2020.
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