More than 60 percent of CBD users were taking it for anxiety, according to a survey of 5,000 people. Does it help?
Cannabidiol and THC are just two of the plant’s more than 100 cannabinoids. THC is psychoactive, and CBD may or may not be, which is a matter of debate. THC can increase anxiety; it is not clear what effect CBD is having, if any, in reducing it. THC can lead to addiction and cravings; CBD is being studied to help those in recovery.
What is CBD?
For students with generalized social anxiety, a four-minute talk, with minimal time to prepare, can be debilitating. Yet a small experiment in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that CBD seemed to reduce nervousness and cognitive impairment in patients with social anxiety in a simulated public speaking task.
Up in the wee hours of the night, stuck watching videos of puppies? CBD may be promising as a sleep aid; one of the side effects of the Epidiolex trials for epilepsy was drowsiness, according to Mr. MacKillop, a co-author of a review on cannabinoids and sleep. “If you are looking for new treatments for sleep, that may be a clue,” he said.
Sleep can be disrupted for many reasons, including depression. Rodents seemed to adapt better to stressful conditions and exhibited less depressive-like behavior after taking CBD, according to a review in Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. “Surprisingly, CBD seems to act faster than conventional antidepressants,” wrote one of the authors of a new review, Sâmia Joca, a fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies in Denmark and an associate professor at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, in an email interview. Of course, it’s difficult to detect depression in animals, but the studies that Ms. Joca and her colleagues reviewed suggested that in models of chronic stress exposure, the mice and rats treated with CBD were more resilient.
Meanwhile, a 2017 study led by Bonn-Miller found that nearly 7 of 10 CBD products didn’t contain the amount of marijuana extract promised on the label.
“There have been clinical trials in adults, but a lot smaller than the epilepsy studies that have been done in kids,” Bonn-Miller said.
Only one purported use for cannabidiol, to treat epilepsy, has significant scientific evidence supporting it.
CBD oil is legal in 30 states where medicinal and/or recreational marijuana is legal, according to Governing magazine.
Most Other Uses Largely Unproven
There also are concerns about both the quality of CBD oil being produced and its potential side effects, the experts added.
The non-intoxicating marijuana extract is being credited with helping treat a host of medical problems — everything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness.