Table of Contents
What is Anxiety?
The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes which include; increased blood pressure, sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.
Anxiety/anxiety disorders may be classified as follows;
- Specific phobias.
- Social anxiety disorders (SAD).
- Generalized anxiety disorders (GAD).
- Separation anxiety disorders.
- Selective mutism; inability to speak in certain situations or to certain people.
- Panic disorders (PD).
- Agoraphobia; fear of places or situations that may cause panic.
Patients with anxiety may have more than one class of anxiety at any given time.
Anxiety is a serious health concern and can negatively affect a patient’s quality of life. Fortunately, treatments for the condition are readily available. This ranges from Fluoxetil (Prozac), Sertraline (Zoloft), Diazepam (Valium) to name a few.
However, this article is about alternative treatment, particularly, cannabidiol treatment for anxiety.
Is Cannabidiol beneficial in Treatment of Anxiety?
As we know, Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the numerous pharmacologically active compounds present in the plant Cannabis sativa. Over the years, a lot of studies have been carried out on cannabis in a bid to investigate the extent of its pharmacodynamics effects on the body.
So far, preclinicalstudies with rats,supports the claim that CBD possesses anxiolytic properties and is helpful in SAD, PD, GAD, etc. Some studies even suggests that CBD has an advantage over other molecules (like delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-THT) that act via similar chemical pathways by not having the potential to elicit anxiogenic effects at high doses.
According to an article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2015, almost 100% of the preclinical studies reviewed showed that CBD had anxiolytic or panicolytic effects. That is to say, CBD had the ability to combat stress and/or panic.
And that’s not all. The human and clinical studies also showed positive results too. A study done on humans as far back as 1982 revealed that while CBD had no effect on the baseline anxiety, it effectively reversed experimentally induced anxiety and other marijuana like effects caused by THT.
Another double blinded randomized design done in 2011 revealed that individuals pretreated with 600mg CBD before public speaking showed a significantly lower level of anxiety, cognitive impairment and speech discomfort compared with the placebo group. CBD also reduced the incidence of fear memories in healthy volunteers. The list goes on and this in no way exhausts the studies with positive results done on CBD which strongly supports Cannabidiol treatment for anxiety.
CBD is already being used for the management of anxiety. An article published in Harvard Health Publishing in August 2018 says that “CBD is commonly used to address anxiety and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggests that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep”
Despite the positive reports garnered by CBD as treatment for anxiety, more studies are needed to standardize dose and dosage regimen.
Furthermore, in light of its metabolic pathway, CBD potentially will interact with medications metabolized via the same pathway including other orthodox medications used in treatment of anxiety like clobazam. Thus, if avoidable, potential users should ensure to use alone or consult a doctor or pharmacist before using CBD.
Mode of Administration
According to an article from WHO, CBD is generally administered orally in a capsule form or dissolved in an oil. Due to its poor water solubility, bioavailability is low following oral administration. However, it can also be administered via the intranasal or sublingual route.
CBD oil is basically a concentrated solvent extract of the cannabis plant. It is available in the open market. However legal restrictions may affect availability in some countries and states.