Antidepressant and Anxiolytic Effects of Medicinal Cannabis Use in an Observational Trial

Archive of "Frontiers in Psychiatry".“Anxiety and depressive disorders are highly prevalent. Patients are increasingly using medicinal cannabis products to treat these disorders, but little is known about the effects of medicinal cannabis use on symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The aim of the present observational study was to assess general health in medicinal cannabis users and non-using controls with anxiety and/or depression. 

 

Results: Medicinal cannabis use was associated with lower self-reported depression, but not anxiety, at baseline. Medicinal cannabis users also reported superior sleep, quality of life, and less pain on average. Initiation of medicinal cannabis during the follow-up period was associated with significantly decreased anxiety and depressive symptoms, an effect that was not observed in Controls that never initiated cannabis use. 

Conclusions: Medicinal cannabis use may reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in clinically anxious and depressed populations. Future placebo-controlled studies are necessary to replicate these findings and to determine the route of administration, dose, and product formulation characteristics to optimize clinical outcomes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34566726/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.729800/full

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The Endocannabinoid System: A Potential Target for the Treatment of Various Diseases

ijms-logo“The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is primarily responsible for maintaining homeostasis, a balance in internal environment (temperature, mood, and immune system) and energy input and output in living, biological systems.

In addition to regulating physiological processes, the ECS directly influences anxiety, feeding behaviour/appetite, emotional behaviour, depression, nervous functions, neurogenesis, neuroprotection, reward, cognition, learning, memory, pain sensation, fertility, pregnancy, and pre-and post-natal development.

The ECS is also involved in several pathophysiological diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, genetic and pharmacological manipulation of the ECS has gained significant interest in medicine, research, and drug discovery and development.

The distribution of the components of the ECS system throughout the body, and the physiological/pathophysiological role of the ECS-signalling pathways in many diseases, all offer promising opportunities for the development of novel cannabinergic, cannabimimetic, and cannabinoid-based therapeutic drugs that genetically or pharmacologically modulate the ECS via inhibition of metabolic pathways and/or agonism or antagonism of the receptors of the ECS. This modulation results in the differential expression/activity of the components of the ECS that may be beneficial in the treatment of a number of diseases.

This manuscript in-depth review will investigate the potential of the ECS in the treatment of various diseases, and to put forth the suggestion that many of these secondary metabolites of Cannabis sativa L. (hereafter referred to as “C. sativa L.” or “medical cannabis”), may also have potential as lead compounds in the development of cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals for a variety of diseases.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34502379/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/17/9472

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Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Plus Standard Care vs Standard Care Alone for the Treatment of Emotional Exhaustion and Burnout Among Frontline Health Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Free Download JAMA Network Logo Vector from Tukuz.Com“Importance: Frontline health care professionals who work with patients with COVID-19 have an increased incidence of burnout symptoms. Cannabidiol (CBD) has anxiolytic and antidepressant properties and may be capable of reducing emotional exhaustion and burnout symptoms.

Objective: To investigate the safety and efficacy of CBD therapy for the reduction of emotional exhaustion and burnout symptoms among frontline health care professionals working with patients with COVID-19.

Interventions: Cannabidiol, 300 mg (150 mg twice per day), plus standard care or standard care alone for 28 days.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was emotional exhaustion and burnout symptoms, which were assessed for 28 days using the emotional exhaustion subscale of the Brazilian version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel.

Results: A total of 120 participants were randomized to receive either CBD, 300 mg, plus standard care (treatment arm; n = 61) or standard care alone (control arm; n = 59) for 28 days. Of those, 118 participants (59 participants in each arm; 79 women [66.9%]; mean age, 33.6 years [95% CI, 32.3-34.9 years]) received the intervention and were included in the efficacy analysis. In the treatment arm, scores on the emotional exhaustion subscale of the Maslach Burnout Inventory significantly decreased at day 14 (mean difference, 4.14 points; 95% CI, 1.47-6.80 points; partial eta squared [ηp2] = 0.08), day 21 (mean difference, 4.34 points; 95% CI, 0.94-7.73 points; ηp2 = 0.05), and day 28 (mean difference, 4.01 points; 95% CI, 0.43-7.59 points; ηp2 = 0.04). However, 5 participants, all of whom were in the treatment group, experienced serious adverse events: 4 cases of elevated liver enzymes (1 critical and 3 mild, with the mild elevations reported at the final 28-day assessment) and 1 case of severe pharmacodermia. In 2 of those cases (1 with critical elevation of liver enzymes and 1 with severe pharmacodermia), CBD therapy was discontinued, and the participants had a full recovery.

Conclusions and relevance: In this study, CBD therapy reduced symptoms of burnout and emotional exhaustion among health care professionals working with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is necessary to balance the benefits of CBD therapy with potential undesired or adverse effects. Future double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the present findings.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34387679/

“Daily administration of CBD, 300 mg, combined with standard care reduced the symptoms and diagnoses of anxiety, depression, and emotional exhaustion among frontline health care professionals working with patients with COVID-19. Cannabidiol may act as an effective agent for the reduction of burnout symptoms among a population with important mental health needs worldwide.”

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2782994

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Constituents of Cannabis Sativa

“The Cannabis sativa plant has been used medicinally and recreationally for thousands of years, but recently only relatively some of its constituents have been identified.

There are more than 550 chemical compounds in cannabis, with more than 100 phytocannabinoids being identified, including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

These phytocannabinoids work by binding to the cannabinoid receptors, as well as other receptor systems. Also within cannabis are the aromatic terpenes, more than 100 of which have been identified.

Cannabis and its constituents have been indicated as therapeutic compounds in numerous medical conditions, such as pain, anxiety, epilepsy, nausea and vomiting, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

This chapter provides an overview of some of the biological effects of a number of the cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as discussing their known mechanisms of action and evidence of potential therapeutic effects.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33332000/

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-57369-0_1

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The effectiveness of inhaled Cannabis flower for the treatment of agitation/irritability, anxiety, and common stress

Special Issue Springer/Nature BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making -  Explainable-AI | human-centered.ai“An observational research design was used to evaluate which types of commonly labeled Cannabis flower product characteristics are associated with changes in momentary feelings of distress-related symptoms.

Results: In total, a decrease in symptom intensity levels was reported in 95.51% of Cannabis usage sessions, an increase in 2.32% of sessions, and no change in 2.16% of sessions. Fixed effects models showed, on average, respondents recorded a maximum symptom intensity reduction of 4.33 points for agitation/irritability (SE = 0.20, p < 0.01), 3.47 points for anxiety (SE = 0.13, p < 0.01), and 3.98 for stress (SE = 0.12, p < 0.01) on an 11-point visual analog scale. Fixed effects regressions showed that, controlling for time-invariant user characteristics, mid and high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels were the primary independent predictor of increased symptom relief, and that when broken out by symptom type, this effect was only statistically significant for our largest sample of users, those reporting anxiety rather than agitation/irritability or stress. Cannabidiol (CBD) levels were generally not associated with changes in symptom intensity levels. In a minority of cannabis use sessions (< 13%), cannabis users reported anxiogenic-related negative side effects (e.g., feeling anxious, irritable, paranoid, rapid pulse, or restless), whereas in a majority of sessions (about 66%), users reported positive anxiolytic side effects (e.g., feeling chill, comfy, happy, optimistic, peaceful, or relaxed).

Conclusions: The findings suggest the majority of patients in our sample experienced relief from distress-related symptoms following consumption of Cannabis flower, and that among product characteristics, higher THC levels were the strongest predictors of relief.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33526145/

“Our findings suggest that self-directed use of Cannabis flower, especially that with higher THC levels, is associated with significant improvements in at least short-term feelings of distress in many users, likely a contributing factor to its widespread popularity and consumption in the U.S.”

https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-020-00051-z

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The effectiveness of inhaled Cannabis flower for the treatment of agitation/irritability, anxiety, and common stress

Cognetivity publishes MS paper in BMC Neurology Journal - Cognetivity  Neurosciences

“Background: An observational research design was used to evaluate which types of commonly labeled Cannabis flower product characteristics are associated with changes in momentary feelings of distress-related symptoms.

Results: In total, a decrease in symptom intensity levels was reported in 95.51% of Cannabis usage sessions, an increase in 2.32% of sessions, and no change in 2.16% of sessions. Fixed effects models showed, on average, respondents recorded a maximum symptom intensity reduction of 4.33 points for agitation/irritability (SE = 0.20, p < 0.01), 3.47 points for anxiety (SE = 0.13, p < 0.01), and 3.98 for stress (SE = 0.12, p < 0.01) on an 11-point visual analog scale. Fixed effects regressions showed that, controlling for time-invariant user characteristics, mid and high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels were the primary independent predictor of increased symptom relief, and that when broken out by symptom type, this effect was only statistically significant for our largest sample of users, those reporting anxiety rather than agitation/irritability or stress. Cannabidiol (CBD) levels were generally not associated with changes in symptom intensity levels. In a minority of cannabis use sessions (< 13%), cannabis users reported anxiogenic-related negative side effects (e.g., feeling anxious, irritable, paranoid, rapid pulse, or restless), whereas in a majority of sessions (about 66%), users reported positive anxiolytic side effects (e.g., feeling chill, comfy, happy, optimistic, peaceful, or relaxed).

Conclusions: The findings suggest the majority of patients in our sample experienced relief from distress-related symptoms following consumption of Cannabis flower, and that among product characteristics, higher THC levels were the strongest predictors of relief.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33526145/

“Our findings suggest that self-directed use of Cannabis flower, especially that with higher THC levels, is associated with significant improvements in at least short-term feelings of distress in many users, likely a contributing factor to its widespread popularity and consumption in the U.S.”

https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-020-00051-z

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Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders

biomolecules-logo“The potential therapeutic use of some Cannabis sativa plant compounds has been attracting great interest, especially for managing neuropsychiatric disorders due to the relative lack of efficacy of the current treatments.

Numerous studies have been carried out using the main phytocannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD displays an interesting pharmacological profile without the potential for becoming a drug of abuse, unlike THC.

In this review, we focused on the anxiolytic, antidepressant, and antipsychotic effects of CBD found in animal and human studies. In rodents, results suggest that the effects of CBD depend on the dose, the strain, the administration time course (acute vs. chronic), and the route of administration. In addition, certain key targets have been related with these CBD pharmacological actions, including cannabinoid receptors (CB1r and CB2r), 5-HT1A receptor and neurogenesis factors.

Preliminary clinical trials also support the efficacy of CBD as an anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and antidepressant, and more importantly, a positive risk-benefit profile. These promising results support the development of large-scale studies to further evaluate CBD as a potential new drug for the treatment of these psychiatric disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33228239/

https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/10/11/1575

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Treatment of social anxiety disorder and attenuated psychotic symptoms with cannabidiol

See the source image “Anxiety disorders in young people are frequently comorbid with other mental disorders and respond unsatisfactorily to first-line treatment in many cases.

Here, we report the case of a 20-year-old man with severe social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, insomnia and attenuated psychotic symptoms despite ongoing treatment with cognitive behavioural therapy and mirtazapine who was treated with adjunctive cannabidiol (CBD) in doses between 200 and 800 mg/day for 6 months.

During treatment with CBD, he experienced subjective benefits to his anxiety, depression and positive symptoms during treatment that were confirmed by clinicians and by standardised research instruments.

Findings from this case study add to existing evidence in support of the safety of CBD and suggest that it may be useful for young people with treatment refractory anxiety and for attenuated psychotic symptoms.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33028567/

https://casereports.bmj.com/content/13/10/e235307

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Cannabis: An Emerging Treatment for Common Symptoms in Older Adults

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society “Background/objectives: Use of cannabis is increasing in a variety of populations in the United States; however, few investigations about how and for what reasons cannabis is used in older populations exist.

Design: Anonymous survey.

Setting: Geriatrics clinic.

Participants: A total of 568 adults 65 years and older.

Intervention: Not applicable.

Measurements: Survey assessing characteristics of cannabis use.

Results: Approximately 15% (N = 83) of survey responders reported using cannabis within the past 3 years. Half (53%) reported using cannabis regularly on a daily or weekly basis, and reported using cannabidiol-only products (46%).

The majority (78%) used cannabis for medical purposes only, with the most common targeted conditions/symptoms being pain/arthritis (73%), sleep disturbance (29%), anxiety (24%), and depression (17%). Just over three-quarters reported cannabis “somewhat” or “extremely” helpful in managing one of these conditions, with few adverse effects.

Just over half obtained cannabis via a dispensary, and lotions (35%), tinctures (35%), and smoking (30%) were the most common administration forms. Most indicated family members (94%) knew about their cannabis use, about half reported their friends knew, and 41% reported their healthcare provider knowing. Sixty-one percent used cannabis for the first time as older adults (aged ≥61 years), and these users overall engaged in less risky use patterns (e.g., more likely to use for medical purposes, less likely to consume via smoking).

Conclusion: Most older adults in the sample initiated cannabis use after the age of 60 years and used it primarily for medical purposes to treat pain, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and/or depression. Cannabis use by older adults is likely to increase due to medical need, favorable legalization, and attitudes.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33026117/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.16833

“Study Finds Older Adults Using Cannabis to Treat Common Health Conditions”  https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2020-10-07-study-finds-older-adults-using-cannabis-to-treat-common-health-conditions.aspx

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Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence

View details for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image“Anxiety disorders have the highest lifetime prevalence of any mental illness worldwide, leading to high societal costs and economic burden. Current pharmacotherapies for anxiety disorders are associated with adverse effects and low efficacy.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a constituent of the Cannabis plant, which has potential therapeutic properties for various indications. After the recent legalization of cannabis, CBD has drawn increased attention as a potential treatment, as the majority of existing data suggest it is safe, well tolerated, has few adverse effects, and demonstrates no potential for abuse or dependence in humans.

Pre-clinical research using animal models of innate fear and anxiety-like behaviors have found anxiolytic, antistress, anticompulsive, and panicolytic-like effects of CBD. Preliminary evidence from human trials using both healthy volunteers and individuals with social anxiety disorder, suggests that CBD may have anxiolytic effects.

Although these findings are promising, future research is warranted to determine the efficacy of CBD in other anxiety disorders, establish appropriate doses, and determine its long-term efficacy. The majority of pre-clinical and clinical research has been conducted using males only. Among individuals with anxiety disorders, the prevalence rates, symptomology, and treatment response differ between males and females. Thus, future research should focus on this area due to the lack of research in females and the knowledge gap on sex and gender differences in the effectiveness of CBD as a potential treatment for anxiety.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32923656/

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a constituent of the Cannabis plant, which has potential therapeutic properties across many neuropsychiatric disorders. Overall, existing pre-clinical and clinical evidence supports a possible role for CBD as a novel treatment for anxiety disorders.”

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2019.0052

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