The relationship between cannabis and anxiety is an interesting one. Large concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is often tied to bouts of paranoia and anxiety, but it’s been well-documented that cannabidiol (CBD) can counteract this affect.
With that said, a group of Brazilian researchers published an article in the 2011 Journal of Psychopharmacology that further investigates the relationship between cannabidiol (CBD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Their results suggest that CBD could offer a way for people suffering from SAD to manage their symptoms.
Brazilian Researchers Investigate CBD, Anxiety In Humans
Affecting 12% of Americans in their lifetime, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is the most common form of anxiety and one of the most psychiatric disorders in general. People who suffer from SAD experience anxiety that is triggered by “perceived or actual scrutiny” from others.
In order to test the relationship between cannabidiol (CBD) and anxiety, the Brazilian research team recruited 10 people with a diagnosis of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). They then used functional neuroimaging to gauge the amount of bloodflow in various parts of the brain, noting the effects of CBD.
“These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.” – Dr. J.A. Crippa
In the first session, half received an oral dose of 400 mg of cannabidiol (CBD) and the other half were treated with placebos. These roles were reversed in the second session so that all 10 particpants were treated with CBD at some point.
According to the results of the study, cannabidiol (CBD) was associated with a significant decrease in subjective anxiety. Cerebral bloodflow after CBD treatment also seems to point to an anxiolitic (anti-anxiety) effect in the areas of the brain that control emotions.
Expanding on what this could all mean is Dr. J. A. Crippa, who led the Brazilian research team. “These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas,” Crippa explains.
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