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cbd brain

Background: Accumulating evidence suggests that the non-intoxicating cannabinoid compound cannabidiol (CBD) may have antipsychotic and anxiolytic properties, and thus may be a promising new agent in the treatment of psychotic and anxiety disorders. However, the neurobiological substrates underlying the potential therapeutic effects of CBD are still unclear. The aim of this systematic review is to provide a detailed and up-to-date systematic literature overview of neuroimaging studies that investigated the acute impact of CBD on human brain function. Methods: Papers published until May 2020 were included from PubMed following a comprehensive search strategy and pre-determined set of criteria for article selection. We included studies that examined the effects of CBD on brain function of healthy volunteers and individuals diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, comprising both the effects of CBD alone as well as in direct comparison to those induced by ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of Cannabis. Results: One-ninety four studies were identified, of which 17 met inclusion criteria. All studies investigated the acute effects of CBD on brain function during resting state or in the context of cognitive tasks. In healthy volunteers, acute CBD enhanced fronto-striatal resting state connectivity, both compared to placebo and THC. Furthermore, CBD modulated brain activity and had opposite effects when compared to THC following task-specific patterns during various cognitive paradigms, such as emotional processing (fronto-temporal), verbal memory (fronto-striatal), response inhibition (fronto-limbic-striatal), and auditory/visual processing (temporo-occipital). In individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis and patients with established psychosis, acute CBD showed intermediate brain activity compared to placebo and healthy controls during cognitive task performance. CBD modulated resting limbic activity in subjects with anxiety and metabolite levels in patients with autism spectrum disorders. Conclusion: Neuroimaging studies have shown that acute CBD induces significant alterations in brain activity and connectivity patterns during resting state and performance of cognitive tasks in both healthy volunteers and patients with a psychiatric disorder. This included modulation of functional networks relevant for psychiatric disorders, possibly reflecting CBD’s therapeutic effects. Future studies should consider replication of findings and enlarge the inclusion of psychiatric patients, combining longer-term CBD treatment with neuroimaging assessments.

Conflict of interest statement

Keywords: Cannabis (marijuana); cannabidiol; delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol; functional MRI; neuroimaging.

Copyright © 2021 Batalla, Bos, Postma and Bossong.

Cbd brain

Animal studies, and self-reports or research in humans, suggest CBD may also help with:

Cannabidiol (CBD) is often covered in the media, and you may see it touted as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. You can even buy a CBD-infused sports bra. But what exactly is CBD? And why is it so popular?

The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or manufactured in a laboratory. One of hundreds of components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a “high” by itself. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

People taking high doses of CBD may show abnormalities in liver related blood tests. Many non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), have this same effect. So, you should let your doctor know if you are regularly using CBD.

How is cannabidiol different from marijuana, cannabis and hemp?

The Farm Bill removed all hemp-derived products, including CBD, from the Controlled Substances Act, which criminalizes the possession of drugs. In essence, this means that CBD is legal if it comes from hemp, but not if it comes from cannabis (marijuana) – even though it is the exact same molecule. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical marijuana license, which is legal in most states.

“Many people — mostly women — are using CBD to augment or replace another medication, particularly anxiety medications,” said Dr. Sarah Lichenstein, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and the study’s lead researcher. “But we know so little about how this substance affects our nervous system, and because research on this topic has been done mostly on men, we know almost nothing about the influence of sex. Determining the effects of a single dose of CBD in women is an essential early step toward establishing guidelines to maximize the safety and efficacy of the many products with this ingredient currently being sold with untested medical claims.”

Women’s Health Research at Yale announced funding to investigate how the presumably non-intoxicating cannabis ingredient cannabidiol (CBD) affects the brain, and if it affects women and men differently. CBD use is growing in popularity exponentially, yet the safety and effectiveness of this non-regulated category of products are unknown.

Anxiety disorders are twice as prevalent among women than men, affecting one in three women over a lifetime. Such disorders are linked to higher unemployment rates, interpersonal difficulties, major depression, higher suicide rates, and substantially higher health care costs. The most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety are benzodiazepines, which are twice as likely to be prescribed to women than men and are associated with significant risk for abuse and fatal overdose when combined with opioids or alcohol.

CBD presents a potentially promising alternative to benzodiazepines, and its use has exploded in recent years — 64 million Americans reporting that they tried CBD in 2019. Some research has shown the capacity for CBD to reduce anxiety. But even though retailers in all 50 states sell more than 1,000 CBD-infused products — from tinctures, gummies, and topical creams to capsules, pet products, and bath bombs — little is known about their biochemical properties, how they might work, and how they might work differently for women and men.

With funding from WHRY, Dr. Lichenstein is conducting a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to determine neurological and subjective responses to CBD in women, in collaboration with Drs. Sarah Yip and Ayana Jordan. Her team will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine brain activity viewed through blood flow into key areas of the brain associated with stress, anticipating that CBD’s effects will be heightened among female participants in comparison to data on male participants from the vast majority of current published research on this topic. In addition, using established questionnaires and pulse and blood pressure measurements, Dr. Lichenstein’s team will test baseline levels of anxiety and subjective and physiological effects of CBD. With these data, the researchers plan to secure additional funding to establish whether there is a scientific basis for the use of CBD as a treatment for women with anxiety disorders.