The University of Nottingham reviewed research on CBD for anxiety. The academics found substantial evidence to suggest that CBD has potential to treat anxiety disorders.
Notts Tv reported on the findings, and spoke to lead researcher Dr. Carl Stevenson, a behavioral neuroscientist at the School of Biosciences at Nottingham University.
More specific studies needed
The review concludes that we need more research. Unfortunately, that’s the way most studies seem to end. However, they do point towards areas the next team of researchers can explore.
The latest review compared the results of past studies investigating CBD for anxiety to see whether compiling knowledge could result in a new conclusion. But Dr. Stevenson says there are still many missing links. For example, how would CBD for anxiety affect people in the long-term? Would it affect emotional memory processes, and if so, in what way? Could this be transferred to addictive memory? There isn’t enough evidence to draw conclusions yet.
How CBD affects emotions and memory is unclear
Dr. Stevenson says that if research can determine just how CBD affects emotional memory and emotions, scientists could move ahead and investigate its potential as a treatment for anxiety as well as substance abuse disorders.
He highlights the fact that not all cannabis compounds produce a high. CBD in particular does not have the side-effects of THC. One of the things he like about it is its safety, and he comments on a vast potential for medicinal use across a range of disciplines.
While anti-anxiety medications can cause very unpleasant side effects, CBD seems to be side effect free.
Anxiety affects 60 million people in Europe and in America. 20% of the population suffers from the debilitating effects of the disorder. Prescription medication as part of the standard treatment methodology includes antidepressants, which in some cases, makes the symptoms of anxiety even worse.
It’s a well-known fact that smoking cannabis can cause anxiety and paranoia, but CBD doesn’t have that effect on one’s cognition. In fact, CBD or cannabidiol is anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and is believed to counter the effects of THC.
Levels of THC and CBD
Because the plant can very easily cross-pollinate and strains can very easily be modified, or hybrids created, the recreational market has developed strains very high in THC and low in CBD.
Nowadays, we read news stories about people ending up in psychiatric wards after smoking cannabis. Many authorities believe that this is happening because there is so little CBD in the potent strains of cannabis currently for sale.
High THC cannabis can aggravate anxiety, but CBD helps for anxiety. Both compounds come from cannabis, but once we understand this, we can see that these effects aren’t as contradictory as they may seem.
CBD for anxiety – is there more?
The idea of using CBD as a psychiatric medication is not a novel one. Other research is investigating its role in breaking addiction cycles, trying to find out if it helps for psychosis, and investigating its role in helping people with PTSD.
The new study is a literature review, and its conclusions aren’t unique, but it does underline the conclusion that testing CBD for anxiety is a valid direction for future research. Who will pursue this? Time will tell.