Cannabidiol in clinical and preclinical anxiety research: A systematic review into concentration–effect relations using the IB-de-risk tool

Caroline M.B. Kwee*, Joop M.A. van Gerven, Fleur L.P. Bongaerts, Danielle C. Cath, Gabriël Jacobs, Johanna M.P. Baas, Lucianne Groenink

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    Onderzoeksoutputpeer review

    9 Citaten (Scopus)
    97 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: Preclinical research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may have therapeutic potential in pathological anxiety. Dosing guidelines to inform future human studies are however lacking.

    Aim: We aimed to predict the therapeutic window for anxiety-reducing effects of CBD in humans based on preclinical models.

    Methods: We conducted two systematic searches in PubMed and Embase up to August 2021, into pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) data of systemic CBD exposure in humans and animals, which includes anxiety-reducing and potential side effects. Risk of bias was assessed with SYRCLE’s RoB tool and Cochrane RoB 2.0. A control group was an inclusion criterion in outcome studies. In human outcome studies, randomisation was required. We excluded studies that co-administered other substances. We used the IB-de-risk tool for a translational integration of outcomes.

    Results: We synthesised data from 87 studies. For most observations (70.3%), CBD had no effect on anxiety outcomes. There was no identifiable relation between anxiety outcomes and drug levels across species. In all species (humans, mice, rats), anxiety-reducing effects seemed to be clustered in certain concentration ranges, which differed between species.

    Discussion: A straightforward dosing recommendation was not possible, given variable concentration–effect relations across species, and no consistent linear effect of CBD on anxiety reduction. Currently, these results raise questions about the broad use as a drug for anxiety. Meta-analytic studies are needed to quantitatively investigate drug efficacy, including aspects of anxiety symptomatology. Acute and (sub)chronic dosing studies with integrated PK and PD outcomes are required for substantiated dose recommendations.

    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)1299 –1314
    Aantal pagina's16
    TijdschriftJournal of Psychopharmacology
    Nummer van het tijdschrift12
    Vroegere onlinedatum14-okt.-2022
    StatusPublished - dec.-2022

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