Cannabadiol for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: An 8-Week Pilot Study

We are currently recruiting patients for an 8-week research study using cannabis oil capsules, where we hope to evaluate how CBD or a combination of CBD and THC may be used to improve the symptoms of anxiety disorders.

IRB Approval # 3921.

McMaster University, MacAnxiety Research Centre
Principal Investigator
Dr. Michael Van Ameringen, MD, FRCPC
Eligibility Criteria
  • Male or female outpatients 21-65 years of age with a primary psychiatric diagnosis of either GAD, SAD, PD, or agoraphobia as defined by DSM-5 criteria and a HAM-A score > 22.
  • Physical exam and laboratory findings without clinically significant abnormalities. Screening bloodwork values for hematology and chemistry are to be Within Normal Limits.
  • Participants must agree to abstain from recreational cannabis use for the duration of the study.
  • Concomitant psychotropic medication use will be allowed provided that the dose has been stable for 8 weeks prior to randomization. (including antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anti-convulsants, benzodiazepines, stimulants, mood stabilizers.
Exclusion Criteria
  • Current recreational or medicinal use of cannabis within 4 weeks of study initiation.
  • Participants with a lifetime history of cannabis use disorder or other substance use disorders (except tobacco use disorder) will be excluded.
  • Participants with a lifetime history of daily cannabis use will be excluded.
  • Dose changes of concomitant medication will not be permitted during the study period.
  • Participants currently using medications that are CYP3A4, CYP2C19  or CYP2D6 inhibitors or inducers which includes but is not limited to: tricyclic antidepressants, topiramate, clobazam, amitriptyline, fentanyl, and the related opioids sufentanil and alfentanil, codeine, oxycodone, macrolides, calcium channel blockers, cyclosporine, sildenafil, tadalafil, antihistamines, antiretrovirals, atorvastatin and simvastatin, warfarin and valproate or other anti-epileptics.
  • Pregnant women, lactating women, and women of childbearing potential who are not using medically accepted forms of contraception (e.g., IUD, oral contraceptives, barrier devices, condoms and foam, or implanted progesterone rods stabilized for at least 3 months), or women who are planning on becoming pregnant.
  • Diagnosis of any of the following mental disorders as defined by the DSM-5: a lifetime history of schizophrenia or any other psychosis, mental retardation, organic medical disorders, bipolar disorder. Entry of patients with obsessive compulsive disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder will be permitted if the anxiety disorder is judged to be the predominant disorder, in order to increase accrual of a clinically relevant sample.
  • Major depression will be allowed if not severe (Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale-MADRS≥ 25). Patients with significant suicidal ideation (MADRS item 10 score > 3) or who have enacted suicidal behaviors within 6 months prior to intake will be excluded from study participation and referred for appropriate clinical intervention.
  • Participants with a family history of psychosis will be excluded.
  • Participants who have a history of adverse reactions to cannabis will be excluded.
  • Participants who have severe cardiovascular, immunological, liver, or kidney disease, arrhythmia or a history of arrhythmias will be excluded.
MacAnxiety Research Centre
Study End Date