Anxiety disorder is a far more common problem than was once thought. 25% of Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime. It can affect people in their teenage years, through middle age and later. Anxiety disorder appears to affect twice as many women as men, though there may not actually be that wide a disparity between the sexes. Psychologists believe that men are far less prone to report or even acknowledge having a problem of this nature.
For years, anxiety was dismissed as a psychosomatic phenomenon. However, repeated studies have shown that this disorder has a real, physical basis. Experts believe that anxiety is caused principally by a malfunction in the brain chemistry, wherein the brain sends and receives false “emergency signals”. Researchers have recently identified a genetic factor that appears to influence anxiety in women. Combining DNA analysis, brain activity recordings, and psychological testing, investigators at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that women with the same gene variant had similarly high scores on anxiety tests. These women also had similar electroencephalograms (EEGs), recordings of the brain’s electrical activity that indicated tendencies toward an anxious temperament. This study was reported in the journal Psychiatric Genetics.
The marijuana plant cannabis is known to have therapeutic effects, including improvement of anxiety disorders…
Despite the increasing prevalence and acceptance of medical cannabis use amongst the general public, the evidence required by physicians to use cannabis as a treatment is generally lacking. Research on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids has been limited worldwide, leaving patients, health care professionals, and policy-makers without the evidence they need to make sound decisions regarding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids.
Case studies report that many of the symptoms and complications of Anxiety Disorder can be alleviated by medical cannabis use…
Case Study USA January 2019 – Use of cannabidiol in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders
Objective: Cannabidiol (CBD) has a proposed novel role in the management of anxiety owing to its actions on the endocannabinoid system. The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the current evidence on the safety and efficacy of CBD in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders.
Data Sources: A literature search was conducted on PubMed, Google Scholar, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts from database inception through June 2019. A bibliographic search of relevant articles was also conducted.
Study Selection: Articles published from case reports, case series, or randomised controlled trials on human subjects were included in the review if the examined the safety and efficacy of CBD therapy in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders.
Data Extraction: Two reviewers independently extracted the following data from the articles: year of publication; study design; patient characteristics (sex; type of anxiety disorder; use of concomitant anxiolytic therapy); dosing strategy and route of CBD administration; and safety and efficacy outcomes.
Results: Eight articles were included in the review: 6 small, randomized controlled trials; 1 case series; and 1 case report. These studies examined the role of CBD in the anxiety response of healthy volunteers; in generalized anxiety disorder; in social anxiety disorder; and in the anxiety component of post-traumatic stress syndrome. No articles that evaluated CBD in panic disorder, specific phobia, separation anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder were identified. In the studies, CBD was administered orally as a capsule or as a sublingual spray and as either monotherapy or adjunctive therapy. Doses varied widely, with studies employing fixed CBD doses ranging from 6mg to 400mg per dose. Various anxiety assessment scales were used in the studies to assess efficacy, with CBD demonstrating improved clinical outcomes among the instruments. In general, CBD was well-tolerated and associated with minimal adverse effects, with the most commonly noted adverse effect being fatigue and sedation.
Conclusion: CBD has a promising role as alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders. However, more studies with standardized approaches to dosing and clinical outcome measurements are needed to determine the appropriate dosing strategy for CBD and its place in therapy.
Research from the Lambert Initiative, University of Sydney July 2021
Exploring how cannabinoids can be used to treat anxiety by lead author of the study, Dr Lindsey Anderson
Pharmacologists at the University of Sydney have found tantalising clues as to why low dose CBD products containing a full-spectrum of cannabinoids seem to have therapeutic impacts at relatively low doses.
Associate Professor Johnathon Arnold from the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics said their study shows cannabinoids in a cannabis extract interact to produce much higher concentrations of cannabidiol acid (CBDA) in the bloodstream than when CBDA is administered alone as a single molecule.
“Our study has shown how this operates pharmacologically for the first time Hemp extracts provide a natural vehicle to increase the absorption of CBDA into the bloodstream via the interaction of cannabinoids at specific transport proteins in the gut”, he said.
Low dose CBD products appear to reduce anxiety, but it remains unclear how these products produce these results.
Lead author of the study, Dr Lindsey Anderson, said: “Our results suggest CBDA might play a greater role in the effects of these low dose CBD products than previously thought. Our own preclinical studies show CBDA reduces anxiety. This result provides us with a pathway to explore why some cannabis extracts yield pharmacological effects in humans at lower doses.
Abstract Journal of Cannabis Research, February 2021 (United Kingdom)
Background: Public and medical interest in CBD has been rising, and CBD is now available from various sources. Research into the effects of low dose CBD on outcomes such as anxiety have been scarce, so we conducted an online survey of CBD users to better understand patterns of use, dose, and self-perceived effects of CBD.
Methods: The sample consisted of 387 current or past-CBD users who answered a 20-question online survey. The survey was sent out to CBD users through email databases and social media. Participants reported basic demographics, CBD use patterns, reasons for use, and effect on anxiety and stress.
Results: The 387 participants consisted of 61.2% females, mostly between 25 and 54 years old (72.2%) and primarily based in the UK (77.4%). The top four reasons for using CBD were self-perceived anxiety (42.6%), stress (37%), and general health and wellbeing (37%). Fifty-four per cent reported using less and 50mg CBD daily, and 72.6% used CBD sublingually. Respondents reported that DCBD use was effective for stress and anxiety in those who used the drug for those conditions.
Conclusion: This survey indicated that CBD users take the drug to manage self-perceived anxiety, stress, and other symptoms, often in low doses, and these patterns vary by demographic characteristics. Further research is required to understand how low doses, representative of the general user, might impact mental health symptoms like stress and anxiety.
Case Study USA January 2019
A large retrospective case series at a psychiatric clinic involving clinical application of CBD for anxiety as an adjunct to usual treatment, to determine whether CBD helps improve anxiety complaints in a clinical population. The retrospective chart review included monthly documentation of anxiety in 103 adult patients.
Side effects and tolerability of CBD treatment were assessed through spontaneous patient self-reports and were documented in case records. Any other spontaneous comments or complaints of patients were also documented in case records and included in this analysis.
The average age for patients with anxiety was 34 years. Most patients were men.
The results demonstrated a positive response to anxiety over time. Patient records displayed a decrease in anxiety scores. The anxiety scores decreased within the first month and then remained decreased during the three month study duration.
Conclusion: Formal studies on efficacy and dose finding are much needed. Some urgency exists, given the explosion of lay interest in this topic and the rush to market these compounds. Current understanding of the physiology and neurologic pathways points to a benefit with anxiety-related issues. The results of the clinical report support the existing scientific evidence. CBD appears to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications. Furthermore, CBD displays promise as a tool for reducing anxiety in clinical populations.
The system of our body doesn’t know whether a drug is legal or illegal; controversial or prescribed! The only thing our body responds to is the effect that a drug has on it.
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Once you discover the documented benefits tens of thousands of patients around the world have received from the medicine, you too will realise how this can potentially change and improve the lives of you and your family.
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