Background: Panic disorder (PD) is a disabling psychiatry condition that affects approximately 5% of the worldwide population. Currently, long-term selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the first-line treatment for PD; however, the common side-effect profiles and drug interactions may provoke patients to abandon the treatment, leading to PD symptoms relapse. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the major non-psychotomimetic constituent of the Cannabis sativa plant with antianxiety properties that has been suggested as an alternative for treating anxiety disorders. The aim of the present review was to discuss the effects and mechanisms involved in the putative anti-panic effects of CBD.
Methods: electronic database was used as source of the studies selected selected based on the studies found by crossing the following keywords: cannabidiol and panic disorder; canabidiol and anxiety, cannabidiol and 5-HT1A receptor).
Results: In the present review, we included both experimental laboratory animal and human studies that have investigated the putative anti-panic properties of CBD. Taken together, the studies assessed clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD in both animal models and healthy volunteers.
Conclusions: CBD seems to be a promising drug for the treatment of PD. However, novel clinical trials involving patients with the PD diagnosis are clearly needed to clarify the specific mechanism of action of CBD and the safe and ideal therapeutic doses of this compound.