Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries, as a sleep aid, a pain and nausea reducer, to relieve anxiety and other mood problems. In the mid-1960s, scientists identified the first cannabinoid. Since then, scientists have gone on to identify more than 80 individual cannabinoids and continue to investigate them for their potential symptom-relieving and disease-fighting abilities.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid constituent of Cannabis sativa that lacks the psychoactive effects of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD has broad therapeutic properties across a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, stemming from diverse central nervous system actions [11, 12]. In recent years, CBD has attracted increasing interest as a potential anxiolytic treatment [13–15]. The purpose of this review is to assess evidence from current preclinical, clinical, and epidemiological studies pertaining to the potential risks and benefits of CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders.
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.
Anti-inflammatory: Many individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders have severe inflammation, particularly neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation is associated with many causative underpinnings including: air pollution, brain injuries, viruses, and even standard aging. This increase in inflammation can lead to glial cell and cytokine abnormalities, each of which could contribute to anxiety disorders. CBD has been shown to reduce neuroinflammation, which in turn may directly improve anxiety, as well as cognitive function and mood.
Results from the study indicated that CBD administration increased neuronal proliferation and neurogenesis in the hippocampal region. It is also thought that CBD’s modest affinity for cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 may contribute to hippocampal neurogenesis. Stimulation of the CB1/CB2 receptor sites upregulates endocannabinoid signaling and leads to neuronal growth.
A wealth of marketing material, blogs and anecdotes claim that cannabis oils can cure whatever ails you, even cancer. But the limited research doesn't suggest that cannabis oil should take the place of conventional medication, except for in two very rare forms of epilepsy (and even then, it's recommended only as a last-resort treatment). And, experts caution that because cannabis oil and other cannabis-based products are not regulated or tested for safety by the government or any third-party agency, it's difficult for consumers to know exactly what they're getting.
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