Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: The Facts | cannabisMD

Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: The Facts

NIH

National Institute of Health

Cannabinoids are derived from the cannabis plant and hold a group of chemicals including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabinoids and it has been said that it has the potential to reduce the amount of anxiety a person has. The endocannabinoid system consists of anandamide and 2-AG, along with two cannabinoid receptors. This paper focuses on the current knowledge on herbal, synthetic and endocannabinoids that can be used to reduce anxiety responses such as fear. The paper will also look at how to harness the therapeutic potential of medical marijuana for people with different forms of anxiety, while limiting the side effects that are associated with smoking cannabis.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

Main Points

  • CBD found to reverse THC effects
  • CBD found to reduce anxiety

CBD found to reverse THC effects

It has been seen that THC and CBD have the opposite effects on brain function. This is because CBD is either an antagonist or an inverse agonist in the cannabinoid 1 receptor. There has been numerous studies in preclinical trials that CBD can in fact reduce the effects of THC on human behaviour.

CBD found to reduce anxiety

The previous has led scientists to believe that CBD can reduce the effects of the generalized anxiety disorder and improve the quality of life in people who ingest it. This might have to do with CBD’s ability to inhibit cytochrome P450-mediated drug metabolism which can increase THC blood and concentrations in the brain. CBD exerts anti anxiety effects in rodent models and in patients with social phobia. This might be linked with receptor 5-HT1A and not through benzodiazepine receptors. CBD has also been shown to decrease amygdalar responses to fearful stimuli. This mechanism is essential for the anti anxiety effect to work in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD).

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