A small pilot study conducted by Orygen - an Australian medical center specializing in youth mental health - has shown promising results for the effect of cannabidiol - CBD in relieving anxiety attacks in patients where conventional treatments are not effective.
More and more young adults are experiencing anxiety - it's a form of mental illness in young people.
Cannabidiol reduces the severity of anxiety attacks
The study involved 31 adolescents and young adults up to the age of 25 diagnosed with an anxiety disorder who could not be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapies.
They took a 200 mg capsule of cannabidiol daily for the first week, then a 400 mg capsule in subsequent weeks.
Those in whom no benefits were found could take doses up to a maximum of 800 mg.
The treatment lasted 12 weeks, during which the participants had the opportunity to engage in cognitive-behavioral therapies.
At the end of this program, they reported that their anxiety attacks were 42.6% less.
The pilot study showed that cannabidiol not only helped reduce anxiety symptoms , but was also well tolerated by participants.
The most common side effects were mild fatigue and a feeling of dizziness , but these appeared when the doses were increased and disappeared within a few days.
No side effects such as suicidal thoughts, irritability and sleep problems , which are common in people taking SSRIs - serotonin reuptake inhibitors - were observed, the scientists explained.
Placebo or therapeutic effect?
Although the results are encouraging, they are not enough to confirm the positive effect of cannabidiol on anxiety .
Indeed, the design of this small, open-label study, in which doctors and patients respectively knew that they were giving and receiving cannabidiol, did not make it possible to distinguish between a real cannabidiol effect and a placebo effect.
Doctors at Orygen have already announced that they plan to start a double-blind study involving 200-250 participants, aged 12-25, in the hope that it will confirm the therapeutic effect of cannabidiol on anxiety .
CBD: proven benefits for anxiety and sleep problems?
Cannabidiol - CBD is a substance derived from cannabis .
Cannabis contains many cannabinoid substances, the two most famous of which are cannabidiol ( CBD ) and tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ).
While THC has psychoactive and addictive properties, CBD has no such effects.
Cannabidiol is believed to have anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
A study presented in Medscape , conducted with 2,704 participants aged 21 or older, affected by anxiety, sleep disorders or chronic pain produced interesting results.
Fourteen groups were formed for its purposes: 13 groups of 208 participants each receiving one of 13 oral extracts of cannabidiol .
The interim results have been encouraging:
- Participants reported an average 71% improvement in their quality of life;
- 63% of participants reported feeling a reduction in anxiety;
- 61% experienced an improvement in sleep.
As for the pain relief effects , less than half - 47% of the participants felt an improvement associated with the consumption of CBD.