The research keeps coming for CBD and anxiety.
We have a deep dive on CBD and the pathways of anxiety here but let's look at new research from 2021 and 2022 on the subject.
The most recent studies only!
Some studies reflect what we already know…
- CBD supports GABA and serotonin in a feedback mechanism (when they are low)
- CBD supports our endocannabinoid system (anandamide specifically) when exhausted
The net net…
various independent studies support the view that CBD could represent a new approach to treating anxiety and mood disorders
Anandamide is our "bliss" molecule and primary stress response buffer. The heart of the endocannabinoid system for mental health.
Learn all about endocannabinoid deficiency here.
Okay…it's 2021 though…there's a new kid in town…epigenetics.
Epigenetics is the layer right above our DNA that turns genes on and off depending on outside influences (mostly).
This is where early trauma gets encoded into our biology (see trauma and mental health) as an example.
using a rodent model of brain iron loading, CBD normalized the methylation levels of mitochondrial DNA in the hippocampus
Basically, too much iron can damage the brain, especially the hippocampus which governs mood switching.
CBD offsets this and even calmed activity on a specific pathway (Dnmt3a) that's tied to anxiety states.
It goes deeper than that!
Histones are complicated machinery that controls how our DNA folds and unfolds so that certain genes can be processed.
This is THE stuff of aging and health. See our review on Yamaka factors and carnosine here.
The histone modifications affected by CBD have been linked to anxiety- and stress-related characteristics in separate preclinical studies.
CBD was able to counter changes in this "instruction code" following stress that would usually lead to anxiety.
See…it's getting interesting now as we can dig into the depths of our machinery with CRSPR.
One note…the researchers found that those pathways were affected differently in different parts of the brain. This is fascinating and speaks to the "feedback" effect of CBD.
THC and other cannabinoids push pathways in one direction (hence the tolerance and side effect profile).
CBD does not!
We see this across every pathway investigated such as:
For instance, in splenic CD4+ T cells from mouse models of multiple sclerosis, CBD treatment (10 mg/kg, i.p.) affected miRNAs in both directions, i.e., it increased the expression of certain ones and decreased the expression of others
See our review of CBD and MS.
All the deep science from 2021 and 2022 for CBD and anxiety is great. What about actual results in us…humans!
A 2021 study looked at current and prior CBD users. The net effect of the use:
Respondents reported that CBD use was effective for stress, sleep problems, and anxiety in those who used the drug for those conditions.
This study was to look more at why people were using CBD and it was different by gender.
Anxiety, sleep, pain, and wellness were the primary answers.
Another study looked at multiple studies with the following conclusion:
Synthesis of the CBD literature indicates it is generally safe and well-tolerated. The most promising preliminary findings are related to the use of CBD in psychotic symptoms and anxiety.
A recent study included more people on the primary endpoints including CBD and anxiety late 2021:
- Participants experienced a 71% improvement in their well-being, on average
- 63% experienced a clinically meaningful improvement in anxiety
- 61% experienced a clinically meaningful improvement in sleep quality
- 47% experienced a clinically meaningful improvement in pain
- 61% reported an effect within one to four hours of taking their product
This is Dec 21 release.
We look forward to more 2022 research on CBD and anxiety.
To dive into the well-established pathways, check out the review here. Also, it's important to understand the best dose of CBD for anxiety here.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.