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How should I take CBD for anxiety?

Increasingly people are finding relief from anxiety with CBD.

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Studies suggest that CBD can have a positive impact on anxiety and stress

Living through a pandemic has made us all, understandably, a lot more anxious and increasingly people are finding relief in CBD.

Whether we’re worried about finances and or concerned for our health, what’s being termed Covid-anxiety has hit the population in a major way, with dedicated anxiety helplines even extending their hours of operation to accommodate demand.

Now, many people are turning to CBD to help them manage their anxiety – but is it effective? And, if so, how much should we be taking?

 

Is it effective?

It would appear so, yes. 

A recent two-year review of the research so far has shown that CBD can have a significant positive impact on anxiety and stress.

The report, which examined worldwide clinical papers from 2019 and 2020, was produced by Florida-based Nutrition Formulators and published in the peer-reviewed Innovare Journal of Medical Science. 

When focused specifically on anxiety, the studies showed that CBD reduced anticipator anxiety, such as speaking in public, by affecting the part of the brain that processes emotional information.

How does it work?

According to the authors of one 2015 review, CBD works by interacting with the cannabinoid type 1 receptor, the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, and other receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviours.

In a more recent 2020 study, researchers evaluated CBD’s effects on 397 adults with a variety of ailments.

Those who received CBD treatment for anxiety or depression reportedly experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily functions and reduce pain and anxiety or depression symptoms.

How should I take it – and much should I take?

There are a variety of CBD products on the market, so which you choose will depend largely on when and why you’re feeling anxious.

Methods include the oral route, through tinctures, oils and gummies, or more topical remedies, such as balms and creams.

For anxiety, you will probably be more suited to an oral administration method, as this will enter the bloodstream, but here too there is a world of difference between products.

The effects of orally administered CBD, such as oils, edibles, or capsules, begin working within 30 minutes to 2 hours, as they have to work their way through the digestive system. 

Products such as gummies are pleasant-tasting and discreet, meaning you can use them to relieve anxiety throughout the day. Alternatively, you could take a drop of oil in the morning with some food.

Smoking or vaping CBD oil  on the other hand, results in more immediate effects, which may help people during especially stressful events, such as giving a speech.

In terms of dosage, as with using CBD for any issue or ailment, the key is to start low and go slow.

There is a misconception that you will only get the desired effect using a higher dose, but this is far from the truth; micro-dosing can be just as effective. 

Studies have shown that between 300mg and 600mg a day is affective for controlling the symptoms of anxiety, but this is dependent on a number of factors, such as the type of CBD used and the consumer’s own health, weight and metabolism.

 

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Cantourage Clinic now offers discounts to Armed Forces community

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Cantourage Clinic, is hoping to improve access to cannabinoid therapies for members of the Armed Forces community, after committing to the Armed Forces Covenant. 

The CQC-registered clinic, which launched in the UK this year, is now offering a permanent 10 per cent discount on consultations for veterans and their direct family members.

This is in addition to making donations to the veteran’s mental health charity, Combat Stress, following its recent commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant. 

The Armed Forces Covenant is a government-run obligation pledging support to those who have served in the UK Armed Forces.

In honour of Armed Forces Day on the 25 June, Cantourage Clinic has also now reduced the cost of initial consultations for all patients from £99 to £49 for the month of June. Members of the Armed Forces community will receive a further 10 per cent discount off this price.

A donation of £1 from each consultation will be made to COMBAT STRESS – a UK charity dedicated to helping servicemen and women in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions.

Shortage of mental health staff within the NHS and military is an ongoing issue.

Reports from a study conducted by the Royal College of Psychiatry and published in the BMJ last year, highlighted that England has just one consultant psychiatrist for every 12,600 people.

With at least 1.5 million people waiting for mental health treatment, sufferers are being forced to contact emergency services or crisis services whilst they await treatment, with one in 10 ending up at an emergency department.

According to data presented by the British Journal of Psychiatry (2018), the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans (7.4 per cent) is almost double that of the UK public (4 per cent) – and even higher among veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Effective mental health services and treatment options is, therefore, an important consideration in the support of veterans and those close to them.

PTSD often has a long-lasting and debilitating effect on the affected individual and a wider impact on those close to them.

It often co-occurs with other mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression and insomnia. A growing body of evidence supports the potential of medical cannabis in the treatment of PTSD and co-occurring conditions.

Recent data shows that cannabis use is on the rise among veterans diagnosed or experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

A recent study found that participants with a diagnosis of PTSD who used cannabis were 2.57 times less likely to no longer meet the criteria for PTSD at the end of the one-year study period.

In another study, participants with PTSD reported improvements in sleep quality among other therapeutic effects of cannabis use.

Cantourage hopes its 10 per cent discount on initial and follow-up consultations to all veterans and their direct families will help to improve the accessibility of treatment to those affected by PTSD and related conditions.

Cantourage’s new offer was launched ahead of Armed Forces Day on 25 June.

Lead psychiatrist Dr Anup Mathew said: “I’m extremely proud be part of an organisation such as Cantourage Clinic which acknowledges and understands that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, along with their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the society they serve with their lives.

“Especially in view of recent and on-going conflicts, we should never forget the sacrifices the Armed Forces community have made and continue to make for all of us.”

Gabriel Newman, CEO at Cantourage Clinic

Gabriel Newman, CEO at Cantourage Clinic, said: “We are delighted to show our support to the brave community of veterans. All over North America, there are programmes in place to equip military servicemen and women with improved access to cannabis.

“The benefits of substituting Opioids or Benzodiazepines for medical cannabis have been widely reported, studies have shown that patients experienced ‘fewer adverse side effects’ and ‘better symptom management’ in comparison to opiate-based drugs.

“Cantourage Clinic is the UK’s first medical cannabis clinic to directly support the Armed Forces Covenant. We are proud to be leading the way in providing education and support to help improve the quality-of-life for military veterans in the UK.”

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US study to explore best CBD/THC ratio for anxiety

To date not much is known about the specific ratio of cannabinoids that works best to alleviate symptoms. 

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A new study aims to shed light on the best ratio of CBD and THC to treat anxiety symptoms.

While multiple studies have established the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating anxiety, far less is known about the specific ratio of cannabinoids that works best to alleviate anxiety symptoms. 

A new study – led by Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), the Releaf App, which allows patients to track their symptoms and usage and CannaMD, a network of medical cannabis prescribers – aims to explore the subject.

Researchers plan to recruit up to 1,000 medical cannabis patients to track patient-reported experiences while consuming medical cannabis purchased at dispensary locations across the state of Florida.

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Eligible study participants will use MoreBetter technologies to answer standardised anxiety-related questions via a smartphone for a 45-day period to track details of their cannabis use and associated outcomes related to symptom relief and side effects. 

MoreBetter technologies are widely used by researchers, healthcare professionals, and cannabis product manufacturers to collect data on the performance of cannabis and CBD products, as reported by cannabis patients and consumers.

“Given the increased anxiety and stress that has been reported over the past few years, this is a timely study,” says Tyler Dautrich, COO of MoreBetter Ltd, the company behind Releaf App. 

“Working with groups like FGCU and CannaMD enables us to collect localised real-world data outcomes, which will ultimately help improve the experience for registered cannabis patients in Florida.” 

Representing one of Florida’s largest networks of medical cannabis physicians, CannaMD’s chief medical researcher, Jessica Walters, agrees: “Identifying specific CBD/THC ratios that work best for anxiety is a critical area of study with immediate real-world applications for a large percentage of the patients we see every day.”

As Dr Martha Rosenthal explains: “Approximately one-third of Americans will suffer from a significant anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, and many turn to medical cannabis to alleviate their symptoms.

“This study will expand our knowledge on the effects of medical cannabis on symptoms of anxiety, patient patterns of use, and the correlation of medical cannabis with other anxiolytic drugs and practices.”

This study marks the first in an ongoing collaboration between FGCU, MoreBetter, and CannaMD to advance medical cannabis research in the state of Florida and contribute to evidence-based literature regarding the use and efficacy of cannabis products statewide. 

 

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New data supports use of medical cannabis for anxiety and depression 

The study is thought to be the largest to date examining medical cannabis for anxiety and depression

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New data supports use of medical cannabis for anxiety and depression 
The symptom improvements seen were sustained for at least one year.

A Canadian survey has found evidence to suggest that medical cannabis is associated with sustained improvements in anxiety and depression.

In what is thought to be the largest dataset of its kind, Canadian researchers surveyed over 7,000 patients authorised to access medical cannabis products.

According to their findings, published in the journal Psychiatry Research, patients with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression report sustained improvements following the use of cannabis.

anxiety: A banner advert for the medical cannabis clinics

Authors reported “statistically significant improvements” between subjects’ baseline and follow up scores on validated measurements of anxiety and depression. 

Greater improvements were seen in patients who were actively seeking medical cannabis to treat these particular conditions. 

Furthermore, according to the study, the symptom improvements seen were sustained for at least one year.

Building the evidence

The survey is thought to be the largest to date, exploring the effects of medicinal cannabis on anxiety and depression.

Findings from the UK also indicate that patients are finding it helpful for symptoms of these conditions.

The UK Patient Registry, which now includes data from around 2,000 patients, showed statistically significant improvements in anxiety, pain and sleep quality scores following treatment with medical cannabis.

Meanwhile data from the observational study, Project Twenty21, shows cannabis may be more effective at improving mood during the first three months of treatment, than some commonly prescribed antidepressants.

The authors concluded: “To our knowledge, this study is the largest completed to date examining the impact of medical cannabis use on anxiety and depression outcomes utilising longitudinal data and validated questionnaires.

“It provides evidence on the effectiveness of medical cannabis as a treatment for anxiety and depression that otherwise is not currently available, demonstrating that patients who seek treatment with medical cannabis for anxiety and depression can experience clinically significant improvements.”

They added: “This study offers reasonable justification for the completion of large clinical trials to further the understanding of medical cannabis as a treatment for anxiety and depression.”

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