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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dan Jin

Clinical Outcomes of Medical Cannabis for Anxiety Disorder in UK 

Anxiety disorders is the most prevalent psychiatric illness type in the UK with 8.2 million cases in 2010. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder characterized by persistent and excessive anxiety for more than 6 months and constant worry, restlessness, and inability to concentrate and/or sleep. Current treatment pharmacological treatments for GAD include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and pregabalin with variability in medication response, side effects, and even refractory anxiety despite treatment. New treatment options with different mechanisms are required, particularly for those who have not benefited or responded well to current therapies.  


Recently, a clinical study aiming to detail the changes in health-related quality-of-life and clinical safety following medical cannabis therapy for GAD has been carried out. Sixty-seven patients who attended the medicinal cannabis treatment for GAD were included in the study and primary outcomes included changed from baseline in patient-reported outcome measures, including the General Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), a measure of health-related quality of life (EQ-5D-5L), and Sleep Quality Scale (SQS) at 1, 3, and 6 months of treatment. Statistically significant improvements were observed in GAD-7, EQ-5D-5L Index Value, EQ5D Visual Analog Scale, and SQS scores at 1, 3 and 6 months. Twenty-five (39.1%) patients reported adverse events with the most reported adverse events being dry mouth and somnolence. 


This study highlighted that medical cannabis may improve generalized anxiety disorder, general health-related quality of life, and sleep-specific outcomes for GAD patients. This study explores the effects of medical cannabis in a real clinical setting and these findings may help inform future clinical studies and practice. 


Reference:

  1. Ergisi, M. et al. UK Medical Cannabis Registry: an analysis of clinical outcomes of medicinal cannabis therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology 0, 1–9 (2021). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17512433.2022.2020640 

 

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