CBD and Anxiety – A Systematic Review
Anxiety is a broad category of emotional discomfort that triggers the “fight, flight, or freeze” response in the body. The symptoms of anxiety include feeling uneasy and self-conscious, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, muscle tension, sweating, and trembling. These symptoms can be a sign of a variety of medical conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
CBD, a phytocannabinoid in Cannabis sativa, has several properties that make it useful for anxiety. It has diverse central nervous system actions, and its efficacy as an anxiolytic has attracted increasing interest. This systematic review summarizes the evidence from existing studies that support CBD’s use in the treatment of anxiety.
In the human brain, cannabinoids have anxiolytic properties. Physiologically, they modulate the endocannabinoid system, regulating the balance between the excitatory neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA. In high doses, cannabinoids can enhance interactions with CB1 receptors on GABAergic terminals. Lower doses tend to have anxiolytic effects on glutamatergic terminals.
Studies have shown a link between CBD and reduced anxiety symptoms. CBD oil has been found to work on the CB1 receptor in the brain, altering serotonin signals and reducing symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. Serotonin is essential for mental health, and low levels are a main cause of anxiety disorders. SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, block serotonin absorption in the brain. But CBD oil can also work on the serotonin receptor, altering signals between nerve cells.
Cannabinoid receptors play a crucial role in anxiety. These receptors are found in the amygdala, a brain region that regulates anxiety and the fight-or-flight response. Researchers have found that deleting or blocking CB1 receptors increases anxiety. Furthermore, genetically altered mice with reduced production of 2-arachidonoylglycerol are susceptible to anxiety because the CB1 receptors are essential for the production of 2-AG.
The pharmacological control of anxiety is thought to involve the regulation of cannabinoid signaling. Various cannabinoid agonists and antagonists have been demonstrated to exert anxiolytic and anxiogenic effects.
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common psychiatric conditions in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 19.1 percent of adults experience anxiety at some point in their lives. It’s also more common in women than in men. CBD has been shown to be a potential treatment for anxiety, and it binds to receptors in the brain, including cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and serotonin 5-HT1A.
A recent study found that CBD reduced anxiety symptoms without impairing cognitive function. The substance may modulate the mu and delta-opioid receptors, which may be responsible for anxiety-relieving effects. It may also reduce the production of certain proteins, including cytokines, which are involved in anxiety-related neurotransmission.