CBD Reduced Burnout and Depression in Healthcare Workers - Pain News Network

By Pat Anson, PNN editor

After a year and a half of social distancing, masks, and isolation, do you feel emotionally burned out from the pandemic?

If so, you are not alone. A recent survey of over 1,000 workers found that more than half of them said they were tired, depressed, and had trouble concentrating. Another study in the UK found that health care providers and other key workers were particularly at risk of developing depression due to the stress caused by COVID-19.

With this in mind, researchers from the University of São Paulo in Brazil recently conducted a study to see if daily doses of cannabidiol (CBD) could alleviate emotional exhaustion and burnout symptoms in a cohort of 120 frontline health professionals.

Half of the study participants received 300 mg of CBD oil daily for four weeks. The other half received no CBD. All participants were evaluated weekly by a psychiatrist and encouraged to exercise.

The research, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that participants who received CBD treatment had significant reductions in emotional exhaustion and burnout compared to those who did not. CBD consumption was also linked to less anxiety and depression, but had no effect on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Five participants in the CBD group dropped out of the study after experiencing serious side effects, mainly elevated liver enzymes. These cases resolved after discontinuing CBD.

“This randomized clinical trial found that the efficacy and safety of daily treatment with CBD, 300 mg, for 4 weeks, in combination with standard care that was superior to standard care alone, was superior to symptoms of emotional exhaustion, anxiety and depression in health professionals at the forefront of reducing work with patients with COVID-19, ”reported researchers.

“Burnout among health care workers is an important issue for health systems with a direct impact on the quality of care. There is currently no pharmacological treatment available to prevent or treat burnout symptoms and emotional exhaustion in frontline health professionals working with patients with COVID-19. Therefore, the results of the present study could have a relevant impact on the mental health of health care workers worldwide. “

The researchers said more placebo-controlled studies were needed to assess whether CBD could be used more widely as a mental health treatment.

Previous studies have also shown medicinal cannabis to reduce symptoms of depression. A 2020 study conducted in New Zealand found that people who consumed up to 300 mg of CBD oil daily reported significant improvements in their pain, mobility, anxiety, and depression. Some also said they slept better and their appetites improved.

Another 2020 study found that 95% of people who smoked or inhaled cannabis through a vaporizer reported a decrease in depression within 2 hours. Cannabis high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was particularly effective in reducing depression.