The results present the first clinical evidence of the positive effects of CBD on teenagers suffering with SAD.
Cannabidiol as a treatment option
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a constituent of cannabis. CBD has shown potential in the treatment of chronic pain, nausea, epilepsy and psychosis (Mastaka, 2019). Additionally, CBD has properties that reverse anxiety-like behaviour in humans and animals and as such has been regarded as a potential treatment option for SAD.
A small trial investigating the effects of CBD on participants with SAD who were public speaking (which induces similar anxiety effects to SAD), found that those people who were treated with CBD had reduced anxiety and improved comfort when they were speaking (Bergamaschi et al). The authors recognised the need for a large trial to further test the effects of CBD on anxiety.
Fig 1. Scores of Fear of Negative Evaluation Questionnaire (FNE) in the participants who received CBD and in the participants who received placebo. The participants were evaluated before and after treatment. Error bars represent SDs. * indicates significant difference from pretreatment measurement. Fig 2. Scores of Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) in the participants who received CBD and in the participants who received placebo. The participants were evaluated before and after treatment. Error bars represent SDs. * indicates significant difference from pretreatment measurement.
SAD is characterised by excessive anxiety in social situations, or where a person may feel judged, for example speaking at meetings, or public speaking.
Recreational and medicinal users of illegally available cannabis have reported side effects of panic and anxiety. One constituent of cannabis, D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), causes the euphoria and mind-altering effects of cannabis, but detrimentally, THC has been proven to increase anxiety levels in cannabis users. CBD, which acts very differently on the body to THC, does not have the psychoactive effects of THC, and in contrast CBD has been proven to induce an anti-anxiety effect and works to reduce anxiety.
Masataka and colleagues note that in children and adults, SAD has been shown to be one of the most common psychiatric disorders. Symptoms may begin as early as five years old and peak at the age of twelve. Left untreated the disorder can continue into adolescence and then into adulthood. In Japan it has been reported that there are a million teenagers with SAD who may withdraw into their living spaces for up to six months at a time. Professor Masataka is highly encouraged by the results of his trial of CBD in teenagers with SAD. Indeed, he is hopeful that the results of his present study will contribute to the development of sound scientific evidence and the development of further human clinical trials to advance the scientifically proper use of CBD in patients who are experiencing SAD. Professor Masataka recommends a further clinical trial of robust design, which compares treatment of SAD with CBD and the most commonly used pharmacological treatment option. A well-designed trial of this nature could provide the sound scientific evidence base to further support the safe and effective use of CBD in the treatment of SAD. The potential benefits of treatment with CBD for SAD are evident. Robust clinical trials are clearly needed to identify a definitive scientific evidence base to support treatment of SAD with CBD. In addition, there is a need to identify the most appropriate dosages of CBD in the treatment of this most debilitating of conditions, affecting many people worldwide.
The current research on CBD and anxiety is in its early stages but has already seen promising results. "There is a long body of research showing CBD's effectiveness in animal models and there are new studies being published all the time confirming what we already know; that CBD works to address the symptoms of anxiety and mood disorders," Florida-based psychiatrist Andrew Levinson, MD, tells Health.
CBD oil comes in three major types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and pure CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains the pure, natural form of the hemp plant, which has other cannabinoid compounds like terpenes (which provide aroma and flavor) as well as small amounts of THC—less than 0.3%. CBD and these other compounds work together to produce an "entourage effect," meaning they interact synergistically to enhance the effects of the CBD oil product.
Best CBD oils for anxiety
When looking for a CBD oil to help with anxiety, it's important to do your research. Not all CBD products are alike, so you want to make sure the one you choose best fits your needs. Here are some factors to keep in mind.
So, how does it work? CBD inhibits the inactivation of anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter in the body's endocannabinoid system. This leads to activity on the CB1 receptor and, along with serotonin activity (or "feel-good" hormone receptors), helps reduce symptoms of anxiety.
CBD extract from industrial hemp is legal in the U.S. no matter what spectrum you select. It's recommended you choose brands that use organic hemp grown in the U.S. to ensure it's pure, potent, and safe.
This can be numerous reason such as:
In some situations, low serotonin levels can contribute to the onset of anxiety.
How do I know if I have Social Anxiety?
Serotonin plays a role in your mental health, low levels of serotonin are associated with people who have depression or other mood disorders.
There are several studies that are in favour of CBD being a good alternative to other medical prescriptions for many types of anxiety, not limited to, but including Social Anxiety.
Some individuals are able to manage their anxiety symptoms with CBD instead of SSRI. It is always recommended that you consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your treatment plan.