Braz J Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 14:S1516-44462022005004202. doi: 10.1590/1516-4446-2021-2317. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: We assessed whether administering cannabidiol (CBD) before recalling the traumatic event that triggered their disorder attenuates anxiety in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As an exploratory pilot analysis, we also investigated whether this effect depends on the nature of the event (sexual vs. nonsexual trauma).
METHODS: Thirty-three patients of both sexes with PTSD were recruited and randomized 1:1 into two groups. One group received oral CBD (300 mg), and the other received a placebo before listening to a digital audio playback of their previously recorded report of the trigger event. Subjective and physiological measurements were taken before and after recall. We analyzed the data in two subsamples: trigger events involving sexual and nonsexual trauma.
RESULTS: In the nonsexual trauma group, the differences between measurements before and after recall were significantly smaller with CBD than placebo; this held true for anxiety and cognitive impairment. However, in the sexual trauma group, the differences were non-significant for both measurements.
CONCLUSION: A single dose of CBD (300mg) attenuated the increased anxiety and cognitive impairment induced by recalling a traumatic event in patients with PTSD when the event involved nonsexual trauma.