Cannabidiol Reduces Fear and Anxiety in Various Preclinical Models Interview with:
Carl Stevenson, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
BSc Animal Science Admissions Tutor
Local Group Rep, British Neuroscience Association
School of Biosciences
University of Nottingham
Loughborough, UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders can be serious forms of mental illness that are not always treated effectively by psychological therapies or medications. One strategy to enhance their treatment is to boost the effects of psychological therapy by combining it with medication.

This study reviewed the literature on the effects of cannabidiol, a chemical found in the cannabis plant, in preclinical models of these disorders. Cannabidiol is safe to use in humans and doesn’t cause the ‘high’ associated with cannabis. This means that cannabidiol might be useful for treating certain symptoms without the unwanted side effects linked to medical cannabis.

Our review confirmed that cannabidiol reduces fear and anxiety in various preclinical models, when given on its own or in conjunction with behavioural interventions that model psychological treatment for anxiety-related disorders. This could show that exploring the option of cbd for anxiety could be a step forward in treating the condition. Our review suggested that it can also reduce relapse in some preclinical models of addiction, although research looking at the effects of cannabidiol in substance abuse disorders is still in its infancy. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Cannabidiol reduces fear and anxiety, and possibly also relapse to drug-taking, in preclinical models of anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders. Some recent studies in humans have hinted at beneficial effects of cannabidiol on regulating fear and drug craving in these disorders so follow-up studies are warranted. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Areas for future research include comparing the effects of acute vs repeated cannabidiol treatment in preclinical models and looking at the effects of combining psychological therapy with cannabidiol treatment on patient symptoms. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: One of the co-authors (Francisco Guimarães) is co-inventor of the patent “Fluorinated CBD compounds, compositions and uses thereof. Pub. No.: WO/2014/108899. International Application No.: PCT/IL2014/050023”; Def. US no. Reg. 62193296; 29/07/2015; INPI in 19/08/2015 (BR1120150164927). Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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