Melbourne, Australia: Adjunctive use of CBD safely and effectively reduces severe anxiety in young people, according to clinical data published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Australian researchers evaluated daily CBD administration in a cohort of 31 youth (aged 12-25) with refractory anxiety. Participants self-titrated their daily doses of CBD (between 400 mg and 800 mg) over a 12-week period.
CBD dosing was associated with a “statistically significant reduction in anxiety severity” as measured by the Global Anxiety Impairment and Severity Scale (OASIS). CBD dosing also “demonstrated an acceptable safety profile, with no serious adverse events reported and no clinically significant deviations in blood cell counts.”
The researchers reported, “Approximately 40% of all participants experienced a 50% reduction in OASIS score, and two-thirds experienced a 33% reduction.” They added: “At the end of treatment, the number of participants classified as markedly or severely ill had decreased from 17 (56.7%) to 5 (16.7%).”
The authors acknowledged that the greatest effectiveness of CBD was seen during the last four weeks of treatment, indicating that a longer treatment regimen can potentially lead “to even greater improvements.”
They concluded: “Given that the patients included in our trial were some of the most severe and resistant to treatment and had significant functional impairment and multiple failed treatment attempts, the reduction in anxiety severity observed here suggests that CBD has clinically significant anxiolytic effects. … The findings of this trial suggest that further investigation of CBD for anxiety alongside usual care is warranted.”
Other human trials evaluating the use of CBD for anxiety have yielded inconsistent results. A 2019 placebo-controlled trial reported that daily CBD intake reduced symptoms of social anxiety disorder in adolescents, while a Study 2022 determined that oral doses of CBD were not effective in reducing moderate to severe test anxiety symptoms in college students. A 2018 Brazilian study reported that consuming 300 mg of CBD significantly reduced public speaking anxiety, but higher (600 mg) and lower (150 mg) had no effect.
The full text of the study, “Cannabidiol for treatment-resistant anxiety disorders in youth: an open trial,” appears in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.