Annals of Anxiety: Study says when all else fails, you can can turn to CBD for treatment

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How do you help a young person suffering from moderate-to-severe anxiety and who isn’t responding to any other form of treatment such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or antidepressant medication?

A recent study says if you give them up to 800mg/day of CBD for 12 weeks their anxiety will be cut in half. And their depression (70% of people with anxiety also suffer from depression), as well as their social and occupational functioning, will “improve significantly.”

Importantly, a clinical diagnosis of anxiety is much more than what we experience when we have to sit for an exam or go for a job interview; in brief, it means you can’t go about your daily life – you’re afraid to meet friends, engage in activities, and go to school or work. This is what the person is going through:

Panic attacks, irritability, headaches, muscle aches, increased heart rate, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, breathing problems, upset stomach, insomnia, and chronic fatigue are all common effects of anxiety.

Left untreated anxiety can worsen over time. And being under constant stress has ripple effects; for instance, you’ll ‘self-medicate’ (think: addiction), and stress weakens the immune system thus increasing the risk of infection, as well as making them more severe and longer lasting.

The researchers agree their work has limitations. It involved just 31 people (ages 18 to 25) and both the doctors and patients knew that CBD was being taken. However, all participants met the criteria for a DSM-5 anxiety disorder and, crucially, had not experienced an improvement in anxiety from previous interventions. Accordingly, the authors are encouraged by the results:

Given that the patients included in this trial were some of the most severe treatment-resistant with significant functional impairment who had multiple failed treatment attempts prior their participation in our trial, the observed reduction in anxiety severity suggests that cannabidiol has clinically meaningful anxiolytic effects.

You can watch a brief and very positive interview with two of the people who ran the study, here.

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