Anxiety and Cannabinoids

Anxiety is the second most common condition for which medicinal cannabis is prescribed in Australia. Berger et all 2022 noted that CBD, a non-inteoxicating cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa, reduced anxiety severity in doses of 300-800 mg per day in several small trials. At the present time, larger trials involving CBD at varying doses are still lacking.

Sachedina et al 2022 described a retrospective study of patients utilizing medical cannabis for anxiety and depression outcomes. There were statistically significant improvements between baseline and follow-up scores for both the GAD-7 and PHQ-9, with larger improvements seen for patients who were actively seeking medical cannabis to treat anxiety or depression. From 12 months on, those reporting anxiety had an average decrease in GAD-7 scores that was greater than the minimum clinically important difference of 4.

In bergers review it was noted there is less evidence to support the use of THC-dominant formulations for anxiety disorders, and patients taking THC-dominant formulations are restricted in their ability to drive.

Despire Berger’s comments that CBD may be more valuable than THC for anxiety-related conditions, there is still a good number of patients who use THC to reduce their fear/anxiety. Lo et al 2022 puts a little meat on the bone for this conversation. They describe how low levels of THC (in this instance, 20-30mg THC) facilitates fear extinction.

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