Antidepressant-Like and Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Cannabidiol : A Chemical Compound of Cannabis sativa, Alexandre R. de Mello Schier, et al., 2014

Antidepressant-Like and Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Cannabidiol : A Chemical Compound of Cannabis sativa

Alexandre R. de Mello Schier, Natalia P. de Oliveira Ribeiro, Danielle S. Coutinho, Sergio Machado, Oscar Arias-Carrión, José A. Crippa, Antonio W. Zuardi, Antonio E. Nardi and Adriana C. Silva

CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets, 2014, 13, 953-960

Abstract :

Anxiety and depression are pathologies that affect human beings in many aspects of life, including social life, productivity and health. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a constituent non-psychotomimetic of Cannabis sativa with great psychiatric potential, including uses as an antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like compound. The aim of this study is to review studies of animal models using CBD as an anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like compound. Studies involving animal models, performing a variety of experiments on the above-mentioned disorders, such as the forced swimming test (FST), elevated plus maze (EPM) and Vogel conflict test (VCT), suggest that CBD exhibited an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in animal models discussed. Experiments with CBD demonstrated non-activation of neuroreceptors CB1 and CB2. Most of the studies demonstrated a good interaction between CBD and the 5-HT1A neuro receptor.

Keywords : Anxiety, anxiolytic-like, cannabis sativa, cannabidiol, CBD, major depression.

Anxiety can be defined as a vague and unpleasant feeling that can be compared to fear or apprehension and that is usually caused by anticipation of a risk, danger or unknown situation [1, 2]. Anxiety and fear are considered pathological from the moment they become exaggerated, irrational and dysfunctional with regard to the stimulus, as well as when they begin to interfere in the daily activities of the subject, reducing their quality of life and performance in daily life activities [1]. Other factors differentiating between normal and pathological anxiety are the duration of the symptoms, voluntary restraint and whether anxiety occurs on the spur of the moment [3].

Anxiety disorders are clinical situations in which these symptoms appear in isolation and are not associated with any other secondary frame of reference or any other disease [3], although sometimes there is a difficulty in determining which is the primary symptom, because the patient presents with multiple concomitant and comorbid pathologies [4].

Depression can appear on several occasions: as a comorbid psychiatric condition [5] linked to substance abuse, to response to stress, or due to bereavement and clinical conditions, as has been pointed out in several studies [6-10]. It can also occur as a comorbid condition in chronic diseases and in diseases that cause pain, deformity, disability and even reductions in quality of life and life expectancy. Depressed patients present symptoms such as mood changes, apathy, lack of ability to feel pleasure (anhedonia), increased levels of irritability, prostration, cognitive and psychomotor changes and changes in appetite and sleep regimen, among others. They can manifest themselves in different ways, but are often considered as a part of cyclothymia, as a characteristic of bipolar disorder types I and II, as major depressive disorder, as dysthymia and as melancholy [5].

Cannabis sativa is among the most commonly used drugs in the world, with approximately 20% of young peoplehaving used this drug [11]. It contains more than 400 different compounds, of which 66 are named phytocannabinoids [12]. Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major active chemical component of this plant and the main ingredient responsible for the hallucinogenic effects of the consumed plant. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second major active chemical compound [13] in the plant, and it has a large structure (Fig. 1). This compound has been studied for more than three decades, and in this period, many findings were found in anxiety disorders, social phobia, schizophrenia, depression and other psychiatric conditions [14-17].