Treatment for PTSD
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a derivative of the cannabis plant and is being studied for a multitude of illnesses including neurological and psychoactive disorders. One of these currently being studied is anxiety. Cannabis receptors are in many parts of the body and are known as the Endocannabinoid System. Researchers are beginning to understand how the compound CBD could be used for the treatment of a variety of anxiety diagnoses. The study that is currently underway involves 50 participants with a form of PTSD and alcoholism. The trial is to see how CBD alters the amount of alcohol is consumed. Patients with either be given CBD or a placebo and alcohol intake will be monitored afterward. The hope is that the treatment will reduce the number of drinks per day and aid in lowering stress.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
In 2011, the Journal of Psychopharmacology published the findings of a trial involving CBD to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD). The study showed that those treated with 400 milligrams of CBD had significantly reduced anxiety and side effects from anxiety. It is thought that the CB1 receptor alters serotonin signaling. This could completely change the way we look at anxiety and depression. Since the two disorders are frequently diagnosed together, curing one can help the other. Another study that was conducted on SAD with CBD was shown to help with reducing stress in public speaking. The results showed a major reduction in anxiety specifically for public speaking.
5-HT1A plays a major role in anxiety and depression studies are finding. Spanish researchers found that the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A can be altered with cannabidiol. Usually, this receptor is treated with SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. By blocking the receptor from reabsorbing serotonin, it is absorbed by synapses. CBD seems to produce the same effect on the receptor. SSRIs can have very difficult side effects that CBD doesn’t seem to produce. This would be a huge leap forward for anxiety and depression treatments.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Brazilian researchers studied the effects of CBD for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The double blind trial was successful in finding a reduction of stress by the patients. This was confirmed by brain scans showing cerebral flow patterns consistent with lower stress levels. More studies are currently underway for treatment of GAD.
Therapies for anxiety and depression that exist currently can have many negative side effects. Researching healthier and more effective treatments for patients are the focus of future clinical trials. CBD is showing a surprising positive result for anxiety and depression. A new path for patients could be cannabidiol.