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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The Effectiveness of Cannabis Flower for Immediate Relief From Symptoms of Depression

 Logo of yjbm“Scientific research on how consumption of whole, natural Cannabis flower affects low mood and behavioral motivations more generally is largely nonexistent, and few studies to date have measured how common and commercially available Cannabis flower used in vivo may affect the experience of “depression” in real-time.

Results: On average, 95.8% of users experienced symptom relief following consumption with an average symptom intensity reduction of -3.76 points on a 0-10 visual analogue scale (SD = 2.64, d = 1.71, p <.001). Symptom relief did not differ by labeled plant phenotypes (“C. indica,” “C. sativa,” or “hybrid”) or combustion method. Across cannabinoid levels, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels were the strongest independent predictors of symptom relief, while cannabidiol (CBD) levels, instead, were generally unrelated to real-time changes in symptom intensity levels. Cannabis use was associated with some negative side effects that correspond to increased depression (e.g. feeling unmotivated) in up to 20% of users, as well as positive side effects that correspond to decreased depression (e.g. feeling happy, optimistic, peaceful, or relaxed) in up to 64% of users.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that, at least in the short term, the vast majority of patients that use cannabis experience antidepressant effects, although the magnitude of the effect and extent of side effect experiences vary with chemotypic properties of the plant.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32607086/

“In conclusion, almost all patients in our sample experienced symptom relief from using Cannabis to treat depression and with minimal evidence of serious side effects in the short run.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7309674/

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Can Physical Activity Support the Endocannabinoid System in the Preventive and Therapeutic Approach to Neurological Disorders?

ijms-logo“The worldwide prevalence of neurological and neurodegenerative disorders, such as depression or Alzheimer’s disease, has spread extensively throughout the last decades, becoming an enormous health issue.

Numerous data indicate a distinct correlation between the altered endocannabinoid signaling and different aspects of brain physiology, such as memory or neurogenesis. Moreover, the endocannabinoid system is widely regarded as a crucial factor in the development of neuropathologies. Thus, targeting those disorders via synthetic cannabinoids, as well as phytocannabinoids, becomes a widespread research issue.

Over the last decade, the endocannabinoid system has been extensively studied for its correlation with physical activity. Recent data showed that physical activity correlates with elevated endocannabinoid serum concentrations and increased cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) expression in the brain, which results in positive neurological effects including antidepressant effect, ameliorated memory, neuroplasticity development, and reduced neuroinflammation. However, none of the prior reviews presented a comprehensive correlation between physical activity, the endocannabinoid system, and neuropathologies.

Thus, our review provides a current state of knowledge of the endocannabinoid system, its action in physical activity, as well as neuropathologies and a possible correlation between all those fields. We believe that this might contribute to finding a new preventive and therapeutic approach to both neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32545780/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/12/4221

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Effects of Chronic Cannabidiol Treatment in the Rat Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress Model of Depression

biomolecules-logo“Several neuropharmacological actions of cannabidiol (CBD) due to the modulation of the endocannabinoid system as well as direct serotonergic and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic actions have recently been identified.

The current study aimed to reveal the effect of a long-term CBD treatment in the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) model of depression.

Adult male Wistar rats (n = 24) were exposed to various stressors on a daily basis in order to induce anhedonia and anxiety-like behaviors. CBD (10 mg/kg body weight) was administered by daily intraperitoneal injections for 28 days (n = 12). The effects of the treatment were assessed on body weight, sucrose preference, and exploratory and anxiety-related behavior in the open field (OF) and elevated plus maze (EPM) tests. Hair corticosterone was also assayed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

At the end of the experiment, CBD-treated rats showed a higher rate of body weight gain (5.94% vs. 0.67%) and sucrose preference compared to controls. A significant increase in vertical exploration and a trend of increase in distance traveled in the OF test were observed in the CBD-treated group compared to the vehicle-treated group. The EPM test did not reveal any differences between the groups. Hair corticosterone levels increased in the CBD-treated group, while they decreased in controls compared to baseline (+36.01% vs. -45.91%). In conclusion, CBD exerted a prohedonic effect in rats subjected to CUMS, demonstrated by the increased sucrose preference after three weeks of treatment.

The reversal of the effect of CUMS on hair corticosterone concentrations might also point toward an anxiolytic or antidepressant-like effect of CBD, but this needs further confirmation.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32455953/

https://www.mdpi.com/2218-273X/10/5/801

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Two-weeks treatment with cannabidiol improves biophysical and behavioral deficits associated with experimental type-1 diabetes.

Neuroscience Letters“The prevalence rates of depression and anxiety are at least two times higher in diabetic patients, increasing morbidity and mortality.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been identified as a therapeutic agent viable to treat diverse psychiatric disorders. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the effect of CBD treatment (once a day for 14 days starting two weeks after diabetes induction; at doses of 0, 3, 10 or 30 mg/kg, i.p.) on depression- and anxiety-like behaviors associated with experimental diabetes induced by streptozotocin (60 mg/kg; i.p.) in rats.

Levels of plasma insulin, blood glucose, and weight gain were evaluated in all experimental groups, including a positive control group treated with imipramine. The rats were tested in the modified forced swimming test (mFST) and elevated plus maze (EPM) test. Besides, the levels of serotonin (5-HT), noradrenaline (NA) and dopamine (DA) in two emotion-related brain regions, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HIP) were evaluated using high-pressure liquid chromatography.

Our results showed that CBD treatment (only at the higher dose of 30 mg/kg) reduced the exaggerated depressive- and anxiogenic-like behaviors of diabetic (DBT) rats, which may be associated with altered 5-HT, NA and/or DA levels observed in the PFC and HIP. Treatment with CBD (higher dose) also induced a significant increase in weight gain and the insulin levels (and consequently reduced glycemia) in DBT rats. The long-term CBD effects gave rise to novel therapeutic strategies to limit the physiological and neurobehavioral deficits in DBT rats.

This approach provided evidence that CBD can be useful for treating psychiatry comorbidities in diabetic patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32360935

“Treatment of diabetic rats with cannabidiol induced antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like behaviors.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304394020302901?via%3Dihub

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CBD modulates DNA methylation in mice prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of mice exposed to forced swim.

Behavioural Brain Research“Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotomimetic component of Cannabis sativa plant, shows therapeutic potential in psychiatric disorders, including depression.

The molecular mechanisms underlying the antidepressant-like effects of CBD are not yet understood. Previous studies in differentiated skin cells demonstrated that CBD regulates DNA methylation, an overall repressive epigenetic mechanism. Both stress exposure and antidepressant treatment can modulate DNA methylation in the brain, and lead to gene expression changes associated with depression neurobiology.

We investigated herein if the antidepressant effect of CBD could be associated with changes in DNA methylation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HPC) of mice submitted to the forced swimming test (FST).

Altogether, our results indicate that CBD regulates DNA methylation in brain regions relevant for depression neurobiology, suggesting that this mechanism could be related to CBD-induced antidepressant effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32348868

“Cannabidiol (CBD) shows antidepressant-like properties in mice.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432820303260?via%3Dihub

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Decreased sensitivity in adolescent versus adult rats to the antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol.

SpringerLink“Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid with great therapeutic potential in diverse psychiatric disorders; however, its antidepressant potential has been mainly ascertained in adult rats.

OBJECTIVES:

To compare the antidepressant-like response induced by cannabidiol in adolescent and adult rats and the possible parallel modulation of hippocampal neurogenesis.

RESULTS:

Cannabidiol induced differential effects depending on the age and dose administered, with a decreased sensitivity observed in adolescent rats: (1) cannabidiol (30 mg/kg) decreased body weight only in adult rats; (2) cannabidiol ameliorated behavioral despair in adolescent and adult rats, but with a different dose sensitivity (10 vs. 30 mg/kg), and with a different extent (2 vs. 21 days post-treatment); (3) cannabidiol did not modulate anxiety-like behavior at any dose tested in adolescent or adult rats; and (4) cannabidiol increased sucrose intake in adult rats.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings support the notion that cannabidiol exerts antidepressant- and anorexigenic-like effects in adult rats and demonstrate a decreased potential when administered in adolescent rats. Moreover, since cannabidiol did not modulate hippocampal neurogenesis (cell proliferation and early neuronal survival) in adolescent or adult rats, the results revealed potential antidepressant-like effects induced by cannabidiol without the need of regulating hippocampal neurogenesis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32086540

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-020-05481-4

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