New Study on CBD, Anxiety, and Pain implicates Serotonin and other Mechanisms as well as the Endocannabinoid System

A 2019 study has found that CBD’s effect may not be restricted to it’s effect on the endocannabinoid system. CBD also acts on receptors that bind the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT1A) that is involved in anxiety and on receptors that bind vanilloid (TRPV1) that is involved in pain.  The researchers found dose ranges that prevented anxiety-like behaviors and pain behaviors in rats.  The study is complex, but they reported that a range of  5-10 mg/kg had some effect on pain and anxiety.  This is described as a low dose, but it amounts to 340-680mg for a 150 lb human,  much higher than the dose that most people take of hemp-based CBD.  You would need to drink a bottle of CBD oil every 1-3 days to get the effect that they found in this study. Smoking or vaping 1-2 grams of high CBD hemp flower per day would also approach this range.

shutterstock_732789853It had previously been proposed that CBD’s effect on anxiety, pain, and depression are because it affects the endocannabinoid system.  CBD partially binds to the CB1 receptor in a manner that slightly interferes with THC’s ability to bind with the receptor.  It also acts on anandamide – an endocannabinoid produced by the body.  CBD keeps the anandamide from being destroyed – keeping it around longer.

Dr. Gabriella Gobbi’s team at McGill University believe that CBD may become an evidence-based application of cannabis in medicine, offering a safe alternative to THC and opioids for chronic pain, such as back pain, sciatica, diabetic, cancer and post-trauma pain.

What does this mean in practical terms?  It may mean that people taking CBD isolate for pain and anxiety should consider a higher dose if what they are taking doesn’t work. Previous studies have found that CBD is effective at a broader range of doses if it is taken along with other cannabinoids, so full spectrum hemp oil may work at lower doses.


Author: cannabispharmacy

Before Covid I worked with chronic pain patients as a clinical psychologist. Many of them reported significant relief from cannabis and CBD. I was ready to retire anyway, and the pandemic hastened my retirement. I have been studying cannabis for several years and used CBD products for my own chronic pain. THC has been illegal where I live, but was recently approved for medical use.

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