Early research shows promising signs that a product made from cannabis known as cannabidiol (CBD) oil may help relieve anxiety. CBD is a type of cannabinoid, a chemical found naturally in marijuana and hemp plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t cause any feelings of intoxication or the “high” you may associate with cannabis. Learn more about the potential benefits of CBD oil for anxiety, and whether it could be a treatment option for you.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in the cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is one of over 100+ cannabinoids that are responsible for the therapeutic properties found in cannabis and hemp. CBD is widely known for its healing components and is used to treat a variety of conditions. It is generally accepted that CBD works best in conjunction with other cannabinoids and terpenes found in these plants. This potent combination — the entourage effect — is what makes the healing properties so exciting.
Relevant studies are summarized in Table Table3.3. In a SPECT study of resting cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in normal subjects, CBD reduced rCBF in left medial temporal areas, including the amygdala and hippocampus, as well as the hypothalamus and left posterior cingulate gyrus, but increased rCBF in the left parahippocampal gyrus. These rCBF changes were not correlated with anxiolytic effects . In a SPECT study, by the same authors, in patients with SAD, CBD reduced rCBF in overlapping, but distinct, limbic and paralimbic areas; again, with no correlations to anxiolytic effects .
Some researchers believe that hippocampal neurogenesis may play a critical role in attenuating symptoms of severe anxiety and/or depression. Although not all 5-HT1A partial agonists may induce hippocampal neurogenesis, there’s evidence to suggest that cannabidiol does. A study published in 2013 assessed the anxiolytic effects of CBD in mice exposed to chronic stress.
It's a little more uniform when the product is absorbed by smoking or vaping the oil, Ward said. But, "there are obvious concerns about smoking something." A 2007 review published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that smoking marijuana resulted in similar declines in respiratory system health as smoking tobacco. A similar review published in 2014 in The American Journal of Cardiology found that marijuana smoke inhalation can increase the chances of heart attack or stroke. Neither review analyzed the effects of vaping cannabis oil alone, so it's unclear if it has the same health risks as smoking other marijuana products.
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