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Cannabis and the Anxiety of Fragmentation-A Systems Approach for Finding an Anxiolytic Cannabis Chemotype

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Cannabis and the Anxiety of Fragmentation-A Systems Approach for Finding an Anxiolytic Cannabis Chemotype

Brishna S Kamal et al. Front Neurosci.

Abstract

Cannabis sativa is a medicinal herb with a diverse range of chemotypes that can exert both anxiolytic and anxiogenic effects on humans. Medical cannabis patients receiving organically grown cannabis from a single source were surveyed about the effectiveness of cannabis for treating anxiety. Patients rated cannabis as highly effective overall for treating anxiety with an average score of 8.03 on a Likert scale of 0 to 10 (0 = not effective, 10 = extremely effective). Patients also identified which strains they found the most or least effective for relieving their symptoms of anxiety. To find correlations between anxiolytic activity and chemotype, the top four strains voted most and least effective were analyzed by HPLC-MS/MS to quantify cannabinoids and GC-MS to quantify terpenes. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and trans-nerolidol have statistically significant correlations with increased anxiolytic activity. Guiaol, eucalyptol, γ-terpinene, α-phellandrene, 3-carene, and sabinene hydrate all have significant correlations with decreased anxiolytic activity. Further studies are needed to better elucidate the entourage effects that contribute to the anxiolytic properties of cannabis varieties.

Keywords: CBD; THC; anxiety; cannabinoids; cannabis; synergy; terpenes; terpenoids.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Histogram of the perceived effectiveness of cannabis for the treatment of anxiety as rated by medical cannabis patients. Patients (n = 260) were asked to rate the effectiveness of cannabis for the treatment of anxiety on a Likert scale from 0 to 10, 0 being not effective at all and 10 being extremely effective. Average value was 8.03 (7.83–8.22 CI, p = 0.05) with a standard deviation of 1.60.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Weighted average terpene concentrations for the top four most effective (A) and top four least effective (B) cannabis strains as rated by medical marijuana patients. Patients were asked to select the cannabis strain(s) that were the most effective or least effective for the treatment of their anxiety. Selected strains were analyzed for the concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes and weighted average values for the most and least effective groups calculated using the number of votes as a weighting factor. Values over 0.01% w/w are displayed.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Weighted average cannabinoid and total terpene concentrations for the top four most effective (A) and top four least effective (B) cannabis strains as rated by medical marijuana patients. Patients were asked to select the cannabis strain(s) that were the most effective or least effective for the treatment of their anxiety. Selected Strains were analyzed for the concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes and weighted average values for the most and least effective groups calculated using the number of votes as a weighting factor.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Correlation coefficients for cannabinoids and total terpenes (A) major terpenes (B), and minor terpenes (C). Correlation coefficients were calculated for each constituent using a difference of means test. The weighted average of the least effective was subtracted from the most effective and divided by their sum to calculate the correlation coefficient. Weighted standard distributions were used to calculate p-values with a two-sided t-test. Values market with * indicate p < 0.05 and those marked with # indicate 0.05 < p < 0.10. SE, Standard Error.

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