Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

The review by Blessing et al. in the journal Neurotherapeutics (2015, Volume 12, pg. 825 – 836) looked at the analysis of 49 preclinical, clinical or epidemiological studies that investigated the effect of CBD on general anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic and social anxiety disorders.  As the authors mention, “Preclinical and clinical studies show that CBD possesses a wide range of therapeutic properties, including antipsychotic, analgesic, neuroprotective, anticonvulsant, antiemetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, and antineoplastic properties”. Specifically, CBD reduced anxiety in a simulated public speaking test, showing similar effects compared to ipsapirone or diazepam (valium). The review shows that oral doses of CBD between 300 mg and 600 mg reduce experimentally induced anxiety in healthy individuals and reduced anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder.

The authors state that despite limited results in healthy subjects, data show that CBD is effective in acutely enhancing fear extinction, making it a potential treatment of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). The review finds that most studies focus on acute CBD dosing but more research is needed to study effects of chronic CBD use. In summary, current scientific studies of CBD show that it is potentially effective to reduce fear, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, panic and social anxiety disorder.

The original review article is freely available at

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