New data shows that people are most likely to report using CBD products to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as to improve their quality of sleep, but THC also has a role to play in finding “mental equilibrium”.
A team of researchers from the UK and Denmark conducted an online survey of 387 subjects experienced with the use of CBD.
Participants in the survey resided primarily in the UK, Denmark, and the US.
Mitigating Anxiety was the top-ranked reason for the use of CBD with 43 percent of respondents reporting that they take CBD for this reason. Of these, 87 percent said they felt less anxious afterwards.
This was followed by sleep problems – with 43 percent reporting that they used CBD to help them sleep better, to reduce stress (37 percent), and for purposes of “general health and well-being” (37 percent), with 92 percent of those reporting reduced stress levels afterwards.
Seventy percent of those surveyed reported having only initiated the use of CBD within the past 12 months.
Writing in the Journal of Cannabis Research, authors concluded: “CBD is used for a wide range of physical and mental health symptoms and improved general health and well-being. A majority of the sample surveyed in this study found that CBD helped their symptoms, and they often used doses below 50 mg. Out of the four most common symptoms, three were related to mental health.
“Self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems constitute some of society’s biggest health problems, but we lack adequate treatment options. Further research is needed into whether CBD can efficiently and safely help treat these symptoms.”
The survey was led by Dr Julie Moltke, a prescriber of medical cannabis in Denmark and author of A Quick Guide to CBD.
Specialising in pain, stress and mental health, Dr Moltke has carried out extensive work into stress reduction and has seen cannabis help many of her patients find “mental equilibrium”.
She told Cannabis Health that while she has experienced first-hand the benefits of CBD for relieving stress and anxiety, THC also has a role to play.
“Cannabis is an extremely promising drug for the treatment of mental health concerns,” said Dr Moltke.
“I tend to use CBD a lot for anxiety and for stress, but I also work with many people with chronic pain who use medical cannabis containing THC, and there’s no doubt that this also has great effects on their quality of life and anxiety.”
She continued: “The tendency to overthink and worry is removed by cannabis. I have a lot of patients who are really benefiting from the combination of THC and CBD, which seems to establish that mental equilibrium and have a balancing effect on their mental health.”
Although no psychiatric diagnoses are approved for treatment with cannabis-based medicines yet in Denmark, many of Dr Moltke’s patients living with chronic pain and fibromyalgia also display symptoms of anxiety and Complex PTSD (CPTSD), which is caused by social trauma, such as emotional abuse or a traumatic event in childhood.
“Often in young people with fibromyalgia and unexplained chronic pain there is some kind of trauma at the root of their PTSD and mental suffering,” said Dr Moltke.
“This group of patients respond best to medical cannabis because it can help their pain but it also helps balance the endocannabinoid system and treat the chemical imbalances that have been triggered by the trauma.
“We see a lot of people self-medicating with cannabis to treat the symptoms of PTSD and social anxiety, but as we are not authorised to use cannabis for these conditions, we can only look at it as a secondary outcome.”
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