Anxiety & CBD Research Overview
There’s a movement growing around the amazing benefits of CBD to treat various debilitating conditions, including most types of anxiety. Especially with the popularity of alternative treatments over prescription drugs, CBD is quickly gaining a loyal following of users who suffer from anxiety disorders. A comprehensive review of plant-based medicine, called Plant-based medicines for anxiety disorders, part 2: a review of clinical studies with supporting preclinical evidence, gathered all the available data on 21 different plant-based medications, including the particularly effective CBD enriched species of cannabis. Thanks to hard work by researchers like these, we now have a solid understanding of not only what kinds of anxiety CBD treats, but also how it gets the job done. Let’s take a brief overview of all the most important studies you should know.
One of the main symptoms of anxiety problems is an uncontrollable sense of dread or restlessness. As such, anything which can significantly improve mood or mental well-being is a reliable treatment option. We have several reports which clearly indicate CBD is quite adept at calming and enhancing mood. For instance, a report called Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug, used both animal and human models to show CBD has an “anxiolytic-like” effect via increasing neurotransmitter production, such as serotonin and dopamine. Other reports, such as Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report, and Effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on regional cerebral blood flow, may hold the key as to why this happens. CBD was shown to significantly decrease the ECD uptake the left parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, and inferior temporal gyrus, meanwhile, tests show the limbic and paralimbic systems play a critical role in regulating the effect of CBD on mood.
Regardless of what type of anxiety you’re dealing with, it seems that CBD could be doing more than just binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your brain. In fact, a report called The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: involvement of the endocannabinoid system concluded that CBD is also interacting with hippocampal cells, which they believe is a significant part of why CBD has such a potent anti-anxiety effect. A report called Sub-chronic impact of cannabinoids in street cannabis on cognition, psychotic-like symptoms and psychological well-being showed that CBD plays a vital role in regulating any potential adverse effects of marijuana when compared with types high in THC but have little to no CBD. Finally, insomnia is another common problem affecting the overall mental well-being of people dealing with anxiety. Luckily a study called Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature proves that CBD could be the key to dramatically increasing sleep quality as well as reducing daytime sleepiness.
Another primary symptom for most people dealing with anxiety disorders is a significantly increased level of stress. Most research these days credits the anxiolytic-like effect of CBD to interaction with neuro-receptors. One such study is called Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa, which noted CBD improved stress-related issues during standardized stress tests on lab rats. They believe it’s interaction with the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor which helps facilitate this sense of calm. We also have double-blind, randomized testing which concluded CBD is an effective way to relieve stress brought on by public speaking, even in those who suffer from a form of social phobia. The report, called Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients, ultimately found the correct CBD regimen brings stress-related anxiety, induced by public speaking, into line with control groups; a massive improvement. Other reports have made similar conclusions about the effect of CBD on various forms of anxiety. A study called Central anandamide deficiency predicts stress-induced anxiety: behavioral reversal through endocannabinoid augmentation noted the transient anxiety related to acute foot-shock stress, which can often last over 24 hours unchecked, was quickly relieved once CBD was started.
Several other studies about the relationship between CBD and anxiety are only starting to be explored, but nonetheless, provide some fascinating insight into the possibilities of CBD. A report called The anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol injected into the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are mediated by 5-HT1A receptors, showed some of the strongest evidence to date that systemic CBD treatments significantly reduce fear and anxiety in lab rats. It also provides a deeper understanding of what causes this effect, as pretreatment of the 5-HT1A receptor effectively blocked any positive impact of CBD. This goes hand in hand with another report called, Interaction between non-psychotropic cannabinoids in marijuana: effect of cannabigerol (CBG) on the anti-nausea or anti-emetic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in rats and shrews. The team also observed this role of the 5-HT1A receptor, but actually took things a step further to determine cannabigerol (CBG) was the primary antagonist of CBD. Their findings also suggest CBD could be an effective treatment for stress-related vomiting, which is another common symptom of most anxiety disorders.