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cannabis and anxiety research

Working with a psychotherapist to manage your anxiety will give you a better handle on your condition in the long run.

Proactive coping strategies, learned through counseling, support groups, as well as self-help books and educational websites, can create lasting change without the negative components of extended marijuana use.

May develop cannabis hyperemesis syndrome

Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil

Higher Levels of Psychiatric Disorders

Symptoms may increase

This is paradoxical and can be difficult to diagnose, as marijuana has been used to decrease nausea and vomiting in cancer treatment. Sufferers sometimes find relief in hot baths and showers, but ultimately, abstinence from marijuana is necessary for long-term improvement.

May reduce stress

The articles selected for this review were identified up to January 2020 through searches in the electronic databases OVID MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, and PsycINFO.

In an alternative to the typical rat-model studies above, one study utilised male C57BL/6 JArc mice [69]. When CBD was administered acutely, there was no change in the percentage of time in the open arms or ratio of open-arm entries was observed. Neither was any change in the total number of EPM arm entries. In contrast, Schleicher et al. (2019) [70] found that in male and female C57BL/6J mice who were injected with 20 mg/kg CBD for 6 weeks there was a significant decrease in the time spent in the open arms [70]. Conversely Zieba et al. (2019) [71] found that acute administration of CBD increased time in open arms of EPM in male Fmr1 KO mice. The same mice were all given both doses with at least three days between tests. When given the higher dose (20 mg/kg), they were found to spend a longer amount of time in open arms compared to when they received the lower dose (5 mg/kg) (p < 0.005 and p < 0.05, respectively) [71].


In respect to the animal model research, there is strong evidence suggesting that an anxiolytic effect occurs after the administration of a small acute dose of CBD [60, 61, 63]. Results however differed depending on whether CBD was acutely or chronically administered, as well as the animal model used. This was demonstrated by Rubino et al. (2007) [67] and Schleicher et al. (2019) [70], who both observed no change in anxiety behaviour in the open field test, but significant changes in behavior in the elevated plus maze.

The following search terms were used to locate animal models as well as epidemiological and intervention studies:

Long et al. (2010) [69] tested mice injected with THC in an OF test. The ratio of central to total distance travelled (distance ratio) and the time spent in the central zone were taken as measures of anxiety. It was noted that when the maximum dosage of 10 mg/kg was given, there was a significant decrease in the time spent in the central area and a decrease in the distance ratio. This was consistently demonstrated when THC was given daily over 21 days, with a significantly decreased overall distance travelled on day 15 and on day 21, the latter of which was also observed when doses of 1 mg/kg and 3 mg/kg were given.

Chief Investigator: Professor Paul Amminger (Orygen)

This is a collaboration between the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney; and Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.

This study is a single-centre, 12-week open-label trial of CBD for anxiety disorders. Participants are young people aged 12 – 25 years with a DSM-5 diagnosis of an anxiety disorder who do not respond to evidence-based standard treatment (e.g. CBT or CBT plus SSRIs/SSNRIs). CBD is administered on a fixed–flexible schedule adjusted up to a maximum dose. Each participant will be offered biweekly CBT for 12 weeks (5 sessions). The trial is being conducted at the Headspace Glenroy facility according to Good Clinical Practice guidelines, overseen by the trial sponsor, Orygen – The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health study service unit.

Project Coordinators: Dr Maximus Berger (Orygen) & Emily Li (Orygen)