Project Description

ANXIETY

Definition

Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behaviour, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over anticipated events, such as the feeling of imminent death. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat; whereas anxiety is the expectation of future threat.

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue and problems in concentration. Anxiety can be appropriate, but when it is too much and continues too long, the individual may suffer from an anxiety disorder.

People facing anxiety may withdraw from situations which have provoked anxiety in the past. There are different types of anxiety. Existential anxiety can occur when a person faces angst, an existential crisis, or nihilistic feelings. People can also face test anxiety, mathematical anxiety, stage fright or somatic anxiety. Another type of anxiety, stranger anxiety and social anxiety are caused when people are apprehensive around strangers or other people in general. Anxiety can be either a short term ‘state’ or a long term “trait”. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, whereas trait anxiety is a worry about future events, close to the concept of neuroticism. Anxiety disorders are partly genetic but may also be due to drug use including alcohol and caffeine, as well as withdrawal from certain drugs. They often occur with other mental disorders, particularly major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, certain personality disorders, and eating disorders. Common treatment options include lifestyle changes, therapy, and medications.

Medical Marijuana Efficacy

Researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered cannabinoid receptors in an emotional hub of the brain in mice, which monitors anxiety as well as the flight-or-fight response. This is the first time that cannabinoid receptors have been found in the amygdala, a region of the brain, in a mouse model.

Marijuana does exert an effect on stress levels through the endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain and appetite. THC interacts with anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter, taking away anxious tendencies for a brief period.

Official Research Reports

Cannabidiol Enhances Consolidation of Explicit Fear Extinction in Humans. (Das RK, Kamboj SK, Ramadas M, Yogan K, Gupta V, Redman E, Curran HV, Morgan CJ, 2013)

Effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on Evaluation of Emotional Images. (Ballard ME, Bedi G, de Wit H., 2011)

Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. (Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, de Oliveira DC, De Martinis BS, Kapczinski F, Quevedo J, Roesler R, Schröder N, Nardi AE, Martín-Santos R, Hallak JE, Zuardi AW, Crippa JA, 2011)

Neural Basis of Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder: a Preliminary Report. (Crippa JA, Derenusson GN, Ferrari TB, Wichert-Ana L, Duran FL, Martin-Santos R, Simões MV, Bhattacharyya S, Fusar-Poli P, Atakan Z, Santos Filho A, Freitas-Ferrari MC, McGuire PK, Zuardi AW, Busatto GF, Hallak JE, 2011)

Single-dose Study of Nabilone in Anxious Volunteers (Glass RM, Uhlenhuth EH, Hartel FW, Schuster CR, Fischman MW, 1981)

The Efficacy and Safety of Nabilone (a synthetic cannabinoid) in the Treatment of Anxiety (Fabre LF, McLendon D, 1981)