CBD Research: Anxiety, Autism, Newborn Brain Damage; Scientists Excited about Hemp Legalization

Psychologists, Psychiatrists in the Netherlands to Conduct First Clinical Trial exploring CBD as Therapy Aid for Patients with Severe Phobias

Many people with severe anxiety disorders are helped with available treatment and medication, but a “substantial subset” are not, according to a research announcement in BMC Psychiatry for 2019 Feb 13.

“Preclinical and genetic research have yielded evidence that the cannabinoid system is involved in the extinction of fear, presumed to underlie the beneficial effects of exposure therapy in phobic disorders.”


The 8 week trial will consist of 72 people with anxiety disorder, some administered CBD and some given a placebo. They will fill out a “Fear Questionnaire” to determine the effect of CBD.

This is very exciting as anxiety disorders seem to be growing more common and more debilitating in the modern world. Increasing loneliness and de-socialization and the rapid fire nature of today’s media foster and exacerbate anxiety problems.

Many people are already using CBD as an aid in managing anxiety, including Brandy McCoy who we interviewed for the Nectar Leaf blog last week.

We’re excited for this research and we’ll keep you updated on the results.

Letter in Science Magazine Praises Hemp Legalization Opening the Door for Cannabis Research

A letter written by scientists Craig Schluttenhofer and Ling Yuan published in Science on 15 Fed 2019 praised the 2019 Farm Bill and its legalization of industrial hemp. Titled “Hemp hemp hooray for cannabis research”, the authors write:

Now, scientists armed with appropriate state or U.S. Department of Agriculture licenses can grow or purchase materials needed for studies involving most cannabinoids…

…The farm bill’s new definition of hemp will allow researchers to order live seeds without limitation, facilitating biological and agricultural research


This is certainly an exciting year for CBD in the United States. We’ll be documenting as much of the research that goes on as possible here at the Nectar Leaf blog.

Are you looking for a high quality source of CBD for research or for personal relief? You’ve already found it! Nectar Leaf Organic Hemp Seed Extract CBD. Appropriate for lab shelves or home medicine cabinets.

CBD Effects on the Brain Studied in People With Autism Spectrum Disorder

In this 2/6/19 study in Neuropsychopharmacology (not to be confused with the aformentioned journal Neuropharmacology), 34 healthy adult males — 17 with autism and 17 without — were administered CBD. The purpose of the study was a “better understanding of the effects of CBD on brain” “before launching large-scale clinical trials”.

The researchers found a significant difference between how CBD affected GABA levels in those with and without autism. GABA, according to DrJockers.com,

is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has a calming and relaxing effect in the brain. It acts like the brakes in a car, to where it slows down and/or stops brain activity on an as-needed basis to help us function better.

When we are low in this neurotransmitter, our brain continues to hit the gas, overstimulating us with activity.


The study found that CBD increased levels of GABA in those without autism, but decreased GABA levels in those with autism.

This preliminary study suggests CBD may not be efficacious in treating autism spectrum disorder specifically, but concludes, “Future studies should examine the effects of chronic administration on brain and behaviour, and whether acute brain changes predict longer-term response.”

CBD and Brain Damage in Newborns

A study published in Neuropharmacology on 2/6/19 stated “preclinical work shows cannabidiol as a promising drug to manage neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (NHIBD).” This is a common type of brain injury “leading to cerebral palsy and developmental delay, and affecting one out of every 1000 live term births in the US.” (Neoreviews, May 2014).

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