Cannabidiol (CBD), a Cannabis sativa constituent, is a pharmacologically broad-spectrum drug that in recent years has drawn increasing interest as a treatment for a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. The purpose of the current review is to determine CBD’s potential as a treatment for anxiety-related disorders, by assessing evidence from preclinical, human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies. We found that existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely; however, few studies have investigated chronic CBD dosing. Likewise, evidence from human studies supports an anxiolytic role of CBD, but is currently limited to acute dosing, also with few studies in clinical populations. Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.
These preliminary findings piqued Blessing's interest. For instance, she points to a 2011 study of a few dozen people, some of whom had social anxiety disorder, who were asked to speak in front of a large audience. Researchers compared anxiety levels in people after they took CBD, compared to those who got the placebo or nothing at all. (The participants didn't know if they'd been given the drug or the placebo.)
The relative representativeness of the small sample size and the use of a single dose of CBD can perhaps be regarded as a limitation of our study, as it does not allow the assessment of the effects of chronic treatment with CBD on sleep. In the study by Chagas et al. (2014b), for example, CBD was chronically administered for 6 weeks to patients with Parkinson’s disease and REM sleep behavior disorder. Since the effects of CBD are biphasic (Zuardi et al., 2017), the use of a single dose also limits the interpretation of the present findings. Moreover, monitoring changes in sleep using a conventional polysomnography presents some intrinsic limitations, as it is insufficient alone to detect drug-induced changes of the sleep EEG. For this purpose, a spectral analysis or a similar procedure is also needed. Conversely, the use of preclinical polysomnography to characterize drug-induced sleep disturbances has been increasingly recommended in the regulatory context (Authier et al., 2016). Finally, it is essential to evaluate the effects of CBD in a larger sample and in individuals diagnosed with sleep disorders in addition to healthy volunteers.
To compare the efficacy of the aforestated agents in reducing anxiety associated with the simulated public speaking task, researchers collected measures using the VAMS (Visual Analogue Mood Scale) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Comparatively, ipsapirone (5mg) reduced anxiety induced by the simulated public speaking task, whereas CBD (400 mg) only decreased anxiety after the task. Valium (10 mg) reduced anxiety before and after the simulated public speaking task, but didn’t decrease anxiety during the speaking.
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All this means that scientists can still only obtain marijuana-derived CBD from farms licensed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (which until this year meant only one farm owned by the University of Mississippi). As for whether you should have a preference for CBD that comes from hemp, marijuana, or a pure synthetically produced version, there are some theories that THC—and even the smell and taste of cannabis—might make CBD more effective, but Bonn-Miller says these ideas have yet to be proven.
It is unclear as to what the optimal dosage of CBD is for anxiety disorders. Most literature suggests that a single 600 mg dose of CBD is sufficient to alleviate anxiety. However, the source from which you attain your CBD may make a major difference. Various companies are selling CBD formatted with nanotechnology and/or co-factors (to maximize bioavailability) and a significantly lesser dose may be required than agents without specialized formatting.
These cannabinoid-rich extracts can pose risks to patients who consume them. The exact composition of different available oils is frequently unknown. They are not checked for quality by external certified laboratories for the presence of residual solvents, or contaminants such as microbes, pesticides, heavy metals or mycotoxins. The lack of standardisation of both the cannabis starting material and oils makes it impossible to fully evaluate their therapeutic effects over time and, hence, their medicinal value.
Initial data also suggests that CBD has other far-reaching medical applications. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that “CBD was shown to offer benefits including acting in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent.” This means CBD could be used as “potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia.”
My dad has severe advanced stage Dementia. Will CBD oil help him at this point? He is now refusing to eat any solid food, but will accept most drinks.In addition, he has lost a great deal of weight even though they're giving him Mega Shakes containing a full meals worth of proteins, etc. He gets at least 4 of these a day..some which he refuses. Is his Dementia too far gone for CBD oils to help him?
A geneticist, Kane studies cannabis from a unique perspective—he probes its DNA. He’s an affable, outdoorsy guy with a bright face and eyes that wander and dart inquisitively when he talks. He has studied chocolate and for many years the sunflower, eventually mapping its genome, a sequence of more than three and a half billion nucleotides. Now he’s moved on to marijuana. Though its sequence is much shorter, roughly 800 million nucleotides, he considers it a far more intriguing plant.
What do you think about CBD? Why offer those alternatives (which are good for everything, it is patently true not just “provable”, while it is probable). I have chronic pain and scoliosis as well as stiffness and fatigue from schizophrenia medication, and CBD is both antipsychotic and minimizes anxiety, as well as assists pain which allows me TO meditate or exercise. I can’t even do those half as effectively without medical marijuana products. Whatever they are proven to do, pot and pot components are thankfully getting proven and studied more rigorously and informatively.
Their CBD oil is high-quality due to their unique CO2 extraction process which contains no pesticides, solvents, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, they have all their products tested by third-party laboratories. According to customers, their star product has been great for sleep disorders, anxiety, pain relief and for taking on stress, although it’s important to note that not everyone may experience the same results.
But all was not well. Harper has continued to experience health issues related to her condition. And seven months after starting to use CBD oil, Harper’s seizures returned— although not as frequently as before. Penny uses eleven iPhone reminders to keep track of Harper’s daily regimen of medications and food, and she records all of Harper’s seizures in a thickly bound black book. But as her parents continue to closely monitor Harper’s health and adjust her medications accordingly, her doctors are tightly limited in the advice they can offer when it comes to CBD oil. “There’s no research on this product, so they don’t say it’s good or bad. They just say, ‘Don’t stop giving it,’” Penny told me.
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Currently available pharmacological treatments include serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressant drugs, and partial 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)1A receptor agonists. Anticonvulsants and atypical antipsychotics are also used to treat PTSD. These medications are associated with limited response rates and residual symptoms, particularly in PTSD, and adverse effects may also limit tolerability and adherence [7–10]. The substantial burden of anxiety-related disorders and the limitations of current treatments place a high priority on developing novel pharmaceutical treatments.
CBD for sleep has shown to hold significant benefits, with findings suggesting CBD to have powerful anxiolytic effects in both animal and human test subjects. In a human study, researchers investigated the possible anxiolytic action of CBD in experimentally-induced anxiety in healthy volunteers, using the simulated public speaking (SPS) model. When CBD and a placebo were administered to two test groups with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), they found that levels of anxiety in the group who were given the placebo were far higher than those who received CBD; whom performed similarly to healthy controls in some measures.
Anxiety and stress now seem to be incredibly prevalent in mainstream society. These common insomnia culprits are known to keep you tossing and turning at night. A study demonstrated that CBD reduced stress in people prior to public speaking. CBD has also been shown to be an effective treatment in treating generalized anxiety. CBD acts on the serotonin receptors in the brains of animals. Increasingly, promising studies are coming out regarding CBD and this major issue. Maybe it’s finally time to stop beating yourself up about your stress.
Throughout the SPST, researchers utilized the Visual Analogue Mood Scale (VAMS), Negative Self-Statement scale (SSPS-N), and physiological measures (blood pressure, heart rate, skin conductance) to determine the anxiolytic efficacy of CBD. Results indicated that those receiving the CBD exhibited significantly less anxiety, cognitive deficits, speech discomfort, and decreased alertness on the VAMS measure. Contrastingly, the individuals receiving the placebo exhibited high anxiety, cognitive deficits, high alertness, and overall discomfort on the VAMS.
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Reflecting upon the experience, I also realize that it could’ve been nothing more than a placebo effect. The placebo effect creates significant neurochemical changes as well, so maybe by expecting the BioCBD+ to do something, it ended up provoking a neurophysiological response – who knows. The one thing that I remembered from the experience was that my brain felt as if it was being “massaged from the inside.”
Kimberly is the reference editor for Live Science and Space.com. She has a bachelor's degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her favorite stories include animals and obscurities. A Texas native, Kim now lives in a California redwood forest. You can follow her on Twitter @kimdhickok.
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