Cannabidiol: Anti-Anxiety Component of Cannabis sativa

weight lossCannabis sativa is perhaps most well known for the psychoactive phytochemical Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. However, Cannabis sativa contains a large number of cannabinoids and most are not psychoactive. Evidence suggests that cannabidiol, one of the cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa, has anti-anxiety effects in animals. For example, in healthy subjects cannabidiol is able to block the anxiety normally caused by administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Many studies have also reported that cannabidiol is able to exert an anti-anxiety effect in animal models of anxiety. In humans, some studies have shown that cannabidiol is able to reduce anxiety in humans with clinically diagnosed anxiety disorders. In particular, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorders appear to respond positively to cannabidiol administration. Cannabidiol is available is purified form such that it can be taken orally without the associated Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

cannabis sativa anxiety depression cannabidiol

Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid found naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant. There are over 100 cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa, and most are not psychoactive. Cannabidiol interacts with cannabis receptors but the pharmacology of the compound is not fully understood. Some evidence suggests that cannabidiol may antagonise the normal interaction of cannabinoids with the cannabinoid receptor in the brains of animals. Image shows the structure of cannabidiol. Image from: By Harbin – Own work, Public Domain, https:// w/ index.php?curid=7712509.

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Zuardi, A. W., Shirakawa, I., Finkelfarb, E. and Karniol, I. G. 1982. Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by Δ 9-THC in normal subjects. Psychopharmacology. 76(3): 245-250
de Mello Schier, A. R., de Oliveira Ribeiro, N. P., e Silva, A. C. D. O., Hallak, J. E. C., Crippa, J. A. S., Nardi, A. E. and Zuardi, A. W. 2012. Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug. Official Journal of the Brazilian Psychiatric Association. 34 (1): 104-117

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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