Sophie K. Stack, BPharm, Nial J. Wheate, PhD, DSc , Niamh C. Moloney, MSc, Sarah V. Abelev, BSc, John W. Barlow, PhD, and Elise A. Schubert, BPharm


June 24,  2023


Background: Anxiety is a condition for which current treatments are often limited by adverse events (AEs). Components of medicinal cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have been proposed as potential treatments for anxiety disorders, specifically posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Objective: To evaluate quality-of-life outcomes after treatment with various cannabis formulations to determine the effectiveness and associated AEs.

Methods: An interim analysis of data collected between September 2018 and June 2021 from the CA Clinics Observational Study. Patient- Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System-29 survey scores of 198 participants with an anxiety disorder were compared at baseline and after treatment with medicinal cannabis. The data of 568 anxiety participants were also analyzed to examine the AEs they experienced by the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities organ system class.

Results: The median doses taken were 50.0 mg/day for CBD and 4.4 mg/day for THC. The total participant sample reported significantly improved anxiety, depression, fatigue, and ability to take part in social roles and activities. Those who were diagnosed with PTSD (n = 57) reported significantly improved anxiety, depression, fatigue, and social abilities. The most common AEs reported across the whole participant cohort were dry mouth (32.6%), somnolence (31.3%), and fatigue (18.5%), but incidence varied with different cannabis formulations. The inclusion of THC in a formulation was significantly associated with experiencing gastrointestinal AEs; specifically dry mouth and nausea.

Conclusions: Formulations of cannabis significantly improved anxiety, depression, fatigue, and the ability to participate in social activities in participants with anxiety disorders. The AEs experienced by participants are consistent with those in other studies.

DOI: 10.1177/87551225231180796


Stack, S. K., Wheate, N. J., Moloney, N. C., Abelev, S. V., Barlow, J. W., & Schubert, E. A. (2023). The Effectiveness and Adverse Events of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol Used in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in a PTSD Subpopulation: An Interim Analysis of an Observational Study. Journal of Pharmacy Technology, 87551225231180796.