Australian not-for-profit research organization Orygen reported yesterday that the use of cannabidiol for anxiety in their Cannabidiol Youth Anxiety Pilot Study resulted in a 42.6% reduction in self-reported “anxiety severity and impairment.”
The organization, which specializes in studies such as this one focusing on mental health solutions for young people, recruited 31 participants with treatment-resistant anxiety between the ages of 12-25 for this pilot study, treating them for a period of 12 weeks with cannabidiol as well as biweekly cognitive behavioral therapy.
The starting dose was 200mg of CBD a day, which was then increased to 400mg after one week, and the study allowed for as much as 800mg a day for those who did not show significant improvements at the lower doses.
Two scales were used to assess anxiety symptom severity throughout the study period, including the self-rated Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (the aforementioned 42.6% improvement) and the clinician-facing Hamilton Anxiety Rating, which indicated a stronger reduction in symptoms of 50.7%.
Chief Investigator of the study, Professor Paul Amminger, explained that “The problem with current treatments for anxiety is that they only work in about half of the people to whom they are offered,” later adding, “There’s a lot of hope that a novel compound which is benign, like cannabidiol, could ease mental health problems.”
The study’s project manager, Emily Li, pragmatically added that several participants “reported that because of the effect of the CBD, they no longer needed to use illicit substances to self-medicate.”
Considering the definitively positive results of this experiment, the study’s designers are calling for a randomized controlled trial, which would further explore and possibly legitimize cannabidiol as a clinical intervention for treatment-resistant anxiety.