HomeNewsStudy Suggests CBD Trumps THC For Anxiety Relief

Study Suggests CBD Trumps THC For Anxiety Relief

A study out of University of Colorado Boulder indicates cannabidiol (CBD) may be more effective in managing anxiety than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Claimed to be the first randomized trial investigating how legal, commercially available cannabis impacts anxiety symptoms, 300 people participated in the study – 42 weren’t cannabis users and 258 had tried it at some stage.

As possession or distribution of commercially available cannabis on college campuses – even for research purposes- is illegal at a federal level, participants needed to purchase products from a designated dispensary and consume it off campus. Researchers also needed to use a mobile laboratory (pictured above) that was driven to each participant’s home for testing them prior to and directly after they smoked cannabis during the 4 week study.

The group who had used cannabis previously at some point were assigned to use one of three flower products:

  • A THC-dominant product (24% THC and 1% CBD), or
  • A CBD-dominant product (1% THC, 24% CBD)
  • or a “balanced” product with 12% CBD and 12% THC.

Participants were directed to consume the cannabis products as much and as frequently as they wanted to and used the designated products on average three times per week.

The results? While all groups reported decreased anxiety, those consuming CBD-dominant products showed the most improvement of all.

“Our study suggests that CBD products may be able to relieve anxiety in the moment for adults who use them, and possibly longer-term, in a way that is meaningful and doesn’t necessarily produce the same risks or harms of THC or prescription medications,” said the study’s senior author Cinnamon Bidwell, who is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, and the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University.

While acknowledging more data is needed before conclusive recommendations can be made, Ass. Prof. Bidwell said the results were “promising news”.

The researchers noted those using CBD-dominant products were less likely to experience paranoia immediately after use than those in the two other cannabis groups. Also, CBD has greater anti-inflammatory properties than THC and Ass. Prof. Bidwell. Bidwell says CBD-dominant products may reduce anxiety by reducing inflammation in the brain and nerves.

The study has been published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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