Can Cannabidiol Work Against Anxiety?

The cannabinoid molecule known as Cannabidiol or CBD, found in medicinal hemp plants, is being recognized for its vast spectrum of benefits in the management of different chronic conditions and diseases, among which, conventional treatments have serious adverse effects, leaving thousands of patients without a clear treatment path of these pathologies.

New hypotheses and treatment areas arise when investigating clues that nature provides, nowadays it is known that these cannabinoid molecules have the ability to activate, modulate and even inhibit processes specifically related to our Endocannabinoid System. This capacity is the main reason why it is being analysed in different pathology models.

In the following article, the potential use of Cannabidiol for anxiety management will be its main focus.

How Is Anxiety Defined?

CBD and AnxietyAnxiety is a physiological or psychological state capable of affecting the complete integrity of a person: behaviour, mood, emotions, cognitive processes and may even lead to physical manifestations. Usually, anxiety is known as a feeling of worry or fear, which brings with it stress and discomfort.

In normal situations, this sensation of anxiety is a direct natural reaction derived from external stimuli classified as stressful or negative, capable of producing the sensations already mentioned. However, there comes a point at which these sensations become uncontrollable, even in extreme cases even producing paranoia.

In recent years, due to the great European economic crisis, cases of anxiety have been increasing up to 5% more within the Spanish territory.

Anxiety In Spain And Medical Expenses

Within the Spanish territorial framework, it is estimated that about 6 million Spaniards are affected by this disease, finding 8% more cases in women than in men.

A study published in the magazine Estudios de Economía Aplicada, analysed the direct medical costs that derive from the care for the treatment of this disease, obtaining the worrying figure of 369 million euros.

Due to these factors, the health system is in a state of transition, changing its approach to find new alternatives for the treatment of this disease.

The exponential growth due to the interest in cannabinoid research as novel therapeutic alternatives is presented as a very attractive option, not only for public and private health systems, but also for the patients themselves.

New Evidence For The Use Of Cannabidiol Against Anxiety

Possible Effect of CBD on AnxietyCannabidiol has a pharmacological spectrum widely demonstrated in recent years, evoking an increase in interest in the investigation of its effectiveness against different current neurological disorders.

Its non-psychotropic effects and the high tolerability presented in patients and animal models (in vitro studies) and its anxiolytic dose dependant properties strongly suggest that the use of this phytocannabinoid could be feasible for the treatment or management of neurological disorders such as anxiety.

Therapeutic Relevance Of Cannabidiol Against Anxiety

As with any drug or medication, one of the main aspects of the pharmacological effects that should be studied is its safety and tolerance. CBD is very well tolerated at very high dose ranges in human studies, reaching concentrations as 1500 mg/day taken orally, without motor function or mood altering effects.

On the other hand, the anxiolytic effects of CBD are reported in a study conducted by Campos and his team at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and so they conclude:

"CBD is a safe compound with a wide range of therapeutic applications, including the treatment of psychiatric disorders. These discoveries make this drug an attractive candidate for future clinical trials."

Other studies conclude that the use of CBD in chronic conditions still requires further investigation, specifically, to determine the appropriate concentrations for CBD to produce its anxiolytic effect.

Research protocols in humans support the conclusions and results obtained in animal models, whether in vitro or in vivo, once again concentrated in high doses of said molecule as a method of analysis for the treatment of this disorder.

Conclusions On Medicinal Hemp (CBD) And its Anxiolytic Effect

Thanks to the results found in different research protocols around the world, there is a growing acceptance within the regulatory and bureaucratic frameworks for the use of therapeutic alternatives based on cannabinoids.

Much remains to be investigated and known about the potential and complex mechanisms of action within other types of model conditions and disorders of these molecules. As research is being encouraged with larger clinical trials, the bad reputation of this plant and its cannabinoids is also being de-stigmatized.

Please, visit Medical Hemp for more information on CBD research.

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  1. Los Costes Económicos de los Desórdenes de la Ansiedad en España, Juan Oliva-Moreno, Julio López-Bastida, Ángel Luis Y Montejo. Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Vol 24-3
  2. Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-spectrum therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders, Alline Cristina Campos. Fabricio Araújo Moreira, Felipe Villela Gomes, Elaine Apacerica Del Bel, Francisco Silveira Guimaraes. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. Vol. 367, 2012
  3. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders, Esther M. Blessing, Maria M. Steenkamp, Jorge Manzanares, Charles R. Marmar. Neurotherapeutics. Vol 12: 825 – 836, 2015
  4. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report, Crippa JA, Derenusson GN, Ferrari TB. Journal of Psychopharmacology. Vol 25: 121-130. 2011