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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A single dose of cannabidiol modulates medial temporal and striatal function during fear processing in people at clinical high risk for psychosis

 Translational Psychiatry“Emotional dysregulation and anxiety are common in people at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR) and are associated with altered neural responses to emotional stimuli in the striatum and medial temporal lobe.

Using a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group design, 33 CHR patients were randomised to a single oral dose of CBD (600 mg) or placebo. Healthy controls (n = 19) were studied under identical conditions but did not receive any drug. Participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a fearful face-processing paradigm. Activation related to the CHR state and to the effects of CBD was examined using a region-of-interest approach.

During fear processing, CHR participants receiving placebo (n = 15) showed greater activation than controls (n = 19) in the parahippocampal gyrus but less activation in the striatum. Within these regions, activation in the CHR group that received CBD (n = 15) was intermediate between that of the CHR placebo and control groups.

These findings suggest that in CHR patients, CBD modulates brain function in regions implicated in psychosis risk and emotion processing. These findings are similar to those previously evident using a memory paradigm, suggesting that the effects of CBD on medial temporal and striatal function may be task independent.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32921794/

“This study is the first to demonstrate that a single dose of CBD modulates activation of the medial temporal cortex and striatum during fear processing in CHR patients. In showing that CBD modulates function of the neural circuitry directly implicated in psychosis onset, these results add to previous evidence that CBD may be a promising novel therapeutic for patients at CHR. Our results also support further investigation of the potential utility of CBD outside of the CHR field in other populations, such as in those with anxiety.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-020-0862-2

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Endocannabinoid-Epigenetic Cross-Talk: A Bridge toward Stress Coping

ijms-logo“There is no argument with regard to the physical and psychological stress-related nature of neuropsychiatric disorders. Yet, the mechanisms that facilitate disease onset starting from molecular stress responses are elusive.

Environmental stress challenges individuals’ equilibrium, enhancing homeostatic request in the attempt to steer down arousal-instrumental molecular pathways that underlie hypervigilance and anxiety.

A relevant homeostatic pathway is the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

In this review, we summarize recent discoveries unambiguously listing ECS as a stress coping mechanism.

As stress evokes huge excitatory responses in emotional-relevant limbic areas, the ECS limits glutamate release via 2-arachydonilglycerol (2-AG) stress-induced synthesis and retrograde cannabinoid 1 (CB1)-receptor activation at the synapse. However, ECS shows intrinsic vulnerability as 2-AG overstimulation by chronic stress rapidly leads to CB1-receptor desensitization.

In this review, we emphasize the protective role of 2-AG in stress-response termination and stress resiliency. Interestingly, we discuss ECS regulation with a further nuclear homeostatic system whose nature is exquisitely epigenetic, orchestrated by Lysine Specific Demethylase 1.

We here emphasize a remarkable example of stress-coping network where transcriptional homeostasis subserves synaptic and behavioral adaptation, aiming at reducing psychiatric effects of traumatic experiences.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32872402/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/17/6252

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Meet Your Stress Management Professionals: The Endocannabinoids

Trends in Molecular Medicine (@TrendsMolecMed) | Twitter“The endocannabinoid signaling system (ECSS) is altered by exposure to stress and mediates and modulates the effects of stress on the brain.

Considerable preclinical data support critical roles for the endocannabinoids and their target, the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, in the adaptation of the brain to repeated stress exposure.

Chronic stress exposure increases vulnerability to mental illness, so the ECSS has attracted attention as a potential therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of stress-related psychopathology.

We discuss human genetic studies indicating that the ECSS contributes to risk for mental illness in those exposed to severe stress and trauma early in life, and we explore the potential difficulties in pharmacological manipulation of the ECSS.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32868170/

https://www.cell.com/trends/molecular-medicine/fulltext/S1471-4914(20)30177-5?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1471491420301775%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

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Insights on cannabidiol’s antiallodynic and anxiolytic mechanisms of action in a model of neuropathic pain

PAIN Impact Factor Increase to 6.029 - IASP“Recent studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) could have a great therapeutic potential for treating disorders such as chronic pain and anxiety. In the target article, the authors propose that CBD modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses allodynia and anxiety-like behaviour in a rat model of neuropathic pain. Furthermore, this study shows an antinociceptive effect mediated by TRPV1 and partially by 5-HT1A receptors, as well as an anxiolytic effect mediated by 5-HT1A receptors.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32766463/

https://journals.lww.com/painrpts/Fulltext/2019/10000/Insights_on_cannabidiol_s_antiallodynic_and.10.aspx

“Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain”  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30157131/

 

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Effects of ∆ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on aversive memories and anxiety: a review from human studies

Medscape | BMC Psychiatry - Content Listing“Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may stem from the formation of aberrant and enduring aversive memories. Some PTSD patients have recreationally used Cannabis, probably aiming at relieving their symptomatology.

Here, we seek to review and discuss the effects of THC on aversive memory extinction and anxiety in healthy humans and PTSD patients.

Results: At low doses, THC can enhance the extinction rate and reduce anxiety responses. Both effects involve the activation of cannabinoid type-1 receptors in discrete components of the corticolimbic circuitry, which could couterbalance the low “endocannabinoid tonus” reported in PTSD patients. The advantage of associating CBD with THC to attenuate anxiety while minimizing the potential psychotic or anxiogenic effect produced by high doses of THC has been reported. The effects of THC either alone or combined with CBD on aversive memory reconsolidation, however, are still unknown.

Conclusions: Current evidence from healthy humans and PTSD patients supports the THC value to suppress anxiety and aversive memory expression without producing significant adverse effects if used in low doses or when associated with CBD. Future studies are guaranteed to address open questions related to their dose ratios, administration routes, pharmacokinetic interactions, sex-dependent differences, and prolonged efficacy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32842985/

“Altogether, the findings encourage future controlled studies evaluating the effects of low doses of THC to attenuate aversive/traumatic memory expression in PTSD patients.”

https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-020-02813-8

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