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Cbd oil for mental illness treatment clinical trials

Use of CBD Oil in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

The overarching objective of the proposed project is to test the clinical efficacy of CBD in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder using a rigorous double-blind randomized clinical trial methodology. Participants (n=150) meeting full DSM-5 criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will be randomized to one of 3 treatment arms: (a) CBD -Isolate; (b) CBD-Broad Spectrum; (c) Placebo oil.

We predict that patients receiving CBD isolate or CBD Broad Spectrum will show significantly greater improvements in PTSD symptoms and functional impairment at the posttreatment, one month, and three month follow-up assessments relative to patients receiving placebo oil. Additionally, we expect that patients receiving CBD Broad Spectrum will show significantly greater improvements relative to patients receiving CBD Isolate.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Drug: CBD Isolate Other: CBD Broad Spectrum Other: Placebo oil Phase 2

Background and Significance of the Proposed Project

Over 80% of Americans are exposed to a significant trauma sometime during their lifetime and approximately 7% will meet for a threshold diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. PTSD is the most costly anxiety-related disorder and confers significant interference in work, social functioning, increased risk for other physical and mental health problems, and a four-fold increase in suicide rates compared to the general population.

Over the past two decades, trauma-focused psychotherapies for PTSD have been shown to outperform more traditional supportive psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy and have become the first line treatment for PTSD. Despite these advances, trauma focused treatments such as prolonged exposure therapy (PE) are associated with high rates of treatment refusal, and among those who do enter treatment, approximately 25% drop-out. These data highlight the need to develop PTSD treatment strategies that are both effective and more palatable to patients.

More recently, there’s been considerable excitement in the press over the potential therapeutic use of cannabidiol (CBD) products in the treatment of a variety of physical and mental health problems.( Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) is still illegal in most states because of its psychoactive abuse potential. In contrast, cannabidiol (CBD) does not convert to THC in the body and has negligible side effects relative to main stream psychiatric drugs (benzodiazepines and antidepressants) commonly prescribed for the treatment of PTSD. Mounting evidence from studies with rodents suggests that CBD may confer significant promising health-related benefits including anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, anti-cancer, memory enhancement, and facilitation of fear extinction (see White for a recent review).

The biggest success story for CBD use in humans to date comes from controlled randomized clinical trials demonstrating a 50% or more reduction in previously intractable seizures in children suffering from Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Moreover, several controlled clinical trials have shown promising findings in reducing psychotic symptoms among patients with schizophrenia and among young adults displaying THC-induced psychosis.

Preliminary Evidence that CBD may offer promise in the treatment of anxiety-related disorders has started to emerge. A small pilot trial with 24 patients presenting with social anxiety disorder found that relative to placebo, a single dose of 100 mg of CBD oil led to lower levels of anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their actual speech performance as well as their anxiety before the speech. Unfortunately, human treatment studies for anxiety-related problems is limited almost exclusively to single dose effects on an anxiety challenge task. Studies are clearly needed to assess the effects of multi-dose CBD treatments across the full spectrum of trauma and anxiety-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder.

The overarching objective of the proposed project is to test the clinical efficacy of CBD in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder using a rigorous double-blind randomized clinical trial methodology.

Specific aims of the project include:

Compare the efficacy of an 8-week multi-dose regimen of two CBD oil formulations (CBD Isolate (300 mg/day) and CBD Broad Spectrum) relative to placebo oil in reducing clinician and patient-rated PTSD symptoms at the posttreatment and one month follow-up assessments.

We predict that patients receiving CBD oil (CBD isolate or CBD Broad Spectrum) will show significantly greater improvement in PTSD symptoms and functional impairment at post-treatment and one month follow-up relative to patients receiving placebo oil.

We also predict that patients receiving the CBD Broad Spectrum formulation will show significantly greater improvement in PTSD symptoms and functional impairment relative to patients receiving CBD Isolate.

Examine predictors of patients’ clinical response to the various treatment combinations.

We expect that the superiority of CBD relative to placebo will be more pronounced for patients showing more severe PTSD symptoms at baseline and for those showing significant sleeping difficulties.

We expect that CBD-treated patients will show equivalent levels of side effects as those receiving placebo oil.

STUDY METHODS AND PROCEDURES

Participant Recruitment: 150 participants between the ages of 18 and older will be recruited through several outlets including notices posted on campus, announcements on our research laboratory website and national organizations related to PTSD and its treatment.

Participant Screening: Participants will undergo a two-stage screening procedure. Stage 1 will be a brief structured web-based screening interview. Stage 2 will be a telephone-administered structured clinical interview (CAPS-5). Participants meeting the following inclusion and exclusion enrollment criteria will be invited to take part in the study (see below).

NOTE: ALL STUDY PROCEDURES ARE COMPLETED AT PARTICIPANTS’ HOMES. NO VISITS TO OUR RESEARCH LABORATORY ARE REQUIRED.

  1. Meets for a current DSM-5 diagnosis of PTSD as their “primary” mental disorder
  2. Age between 18 to 70
  3. Fluent in English
  4. Willingness to provide signed informed consent online
  5. No history of a suicide attempt in the past 6 months
  6. No history of psychosis with the past 6 months

9. No history of current alcohol or substance use disorder within the past 6 months.

10. No current medical problems that would preclude safe ingestion of CBD oil 11. Willingness to refrain from other forms of Cannabis use during the 8-week treatment phase of the study.

12. Has home access to the internet.

Participant Informed Consent:

All study participants will be consented by the study coordinator or a doctoral student research assistant during the screening visit conducted over the phone. The online informed consent document will provide participants with information regarding the aims of the project, what they will be asked to do, any anticipated risks or benefits associated with participating in the study, as well as a clear statement that their participation is voluntary and that they may discontinue participation at any time.

Study Design Overview: The research plan is to conduct a Phase II double-blind placebo controlled randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy of two CBD oil (300 mg./day) versus Placebo Oil.

Nightly dosing of a hemp-derived formulation of purified CBD isolate (300 mg), CBD Broad Spectrum (300 mg.) or matching placebo oil daily for 8 weeks. Individual doses of both CBD formulations and placebo oil will be provided in identical individual plastic syringes. All patients, PI, and staff who interact with study participants will be blind to participants’ assigned treatment condition.

Clinical Assessment Schedule:

Week 0 – Pre-Treatment Screening Visit: All enrolled study participants will complete from their home a clinical assessment battery consisting of (a) self-report rating scales over the Internet (see measures); and (b) a structured clinical interview (CAPS-5).

Treatment Visits (Weeks 1 – 8) : During this phase, all study participants will (a) receive via Fed-Ex their weekly allotment of CBD/Placebo oil; (b) complete weekly clinical status assessments via the Internet (see measures).

Posttreatment Assessment Visit (Week 9): All participants will complete an online battery of clinical outcome measures identical to those administered during their pre-treatment visit (see outcome measures).

1-Month Follow-up Assessment Visit (Week 13) – All participants will be re-administered the complete battery of primary and secondary outcome measures (see outcome measures).

Primary Clinical Outcomes: The primary clinical outcomes will be (a) scores on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5) and (b) independent evaluator ratings of clinical status using the Clinical Global Improvement Scale administered at each of the three posttreatment assessment periods (Week 9, Week 13).

Secondary Clinical Outcomes: Several additional psychiatric outcomes will be assessed at each of the three follow-up assessment visits. These clinical outcomes and their respective measures appear below. Additional information on these measures is available in the accompanying cited publication for each measure.

  • Patient-rated PTSD symptoms using the PCL-5
  • Depression – Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
  • Life Impairment – Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS)
  • Quality of Life – World Health Organization (WHOQOL-BREF)
  • Substance Use Disorders – NIDA-Modified Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (NIDA M-ASSIST)
  • Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)

Data Management Data Management involves development of methods for ensuring that data collection instruments are programmed; data are properly collected; participants are tracked and monitored over the course of the study; data sets are documented and maintained; variables are created and documented; and main analyses are conducted. To enhance quality control, all data for the current study including demographic information, diagnoses, and participant and clinician rated measures will be directly entered into a HIPPA compliant electronic case report form (eCRF) using Qualtrics – a secure cloud-based platform designed exclusively for supporting HIPPA compliant data capture and storage. Qualtrics provides: (a) An intuitive interface for data entry with data validation; (b) Audit trails for tracking data manipulation and export procedures; (c) Procedures for importing data from external sources; (d) Automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R) to facilitate data analysis; (e) automated and secure data back-up and storage to servers housed at the University of Texas Population Research Center (PRC). Dr. Telch in his role as Principal Investigator will serve as the Senior data manager and will meet bi-weekly with the biostatistician and research staff on issues related to data management.

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

This proposed study aims to evaluate the efficacy of daily Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil Capsules in treating symptoms of DSM-5 anxiety disorders, using a two-arm, 8-week randomized, placebo-controlled trial in adults aged 21-65 years. The study will also evaluate the relationship between inflammation, anxiety and CBD using biological markers as well as examine the neuro-cognitive effects of CBD treatment.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Social Anxiety Disorder Panic Disorder Agoraphobia Drug: Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil Capsules Drug: Sunflower Lecithin Oil in Capsule Phase 3

The study will be a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel design comparing the efficacy and safety of flexibly dosed CBD Oil capsules versus placebo for the treatment of adults, aged 21 to 65 years with a primary Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM-5) anxiety disorder: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Panic Disorder (PD), or agoraphobia. A total 50 participants (n=25/cell) who meet the inclusion criteria will be randomized to receive 1 of 2 treatments in a 1:1 ratio: CBD Oil Capsules or matching placebo, with the possibility of dose titration during this 8-week period. The outcomes of this research will make a significant contribution to enhance our current understanding of the effects of cannabis in anxiety disorders.

To be involved in this study, the study doctor will first check that the participant is qualified. This is called screening, and will involve a clinical assessment, physical exam and urine tests. This visit may take up to 3 hours to complete.

If the participant successfully completes screening the participant will start treatment in one of the two assigned treatment groups. Treatment is 8 weeks. Participants will come to the study clinic 6 times during the treatment phase of the study. Each visit will last 1 to 2 hours. Each visit will involve reporting any side effects that the participant may have experienced, completing questionnaires about mood and anxiety symptoms, sleep, overall functioning and alcohol and drug use. Participants will also be assessed by the study doctor. The first and last visits will also involve blood work and completing a number of tasks on the computer, which measure focus, attention and memory.

Each participant will be involved in the study for a maximum of 10 weeks. This includes the screening visit and follow-up visit.

Layout table for study information

Study Type : Interventional (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 50 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: An 8-Week Pilot Study
Estimated Study Start Date : April 2021
Estimated Primary Completion Date : January 2023
Estimated Study Completion Date : February 2023

200 mg CBD- titrated as tolerated up to a maximum 2 capsules twice daily (200 mg- 800 mg total dose)

Start at 1 capsule/day (at bedtime) for one week and be titrated to 1 capsule twice/daily for one week. At the end of Week 2, dose may be titrated to 1 capsule in the morning and 2 capsules at bedtime; then at the end of Week 4, dose may be titrated to 2 capsules twice daily (the maximum of 800 mg/day total dose)

Start at 1 capsule/day (at bedtime) for one week and be titrated to 1 capsule twice/daily for one week. At the end of Week 2, dose may be titrated to 1 capsule in the morning and 2 capsules at bedtime; then at the end of Week 4, dose may be titrated to 2 capsules twice daily (the maximum of 800 mg/day total dose)

    Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline to week 8 ]

The 14-item HAM-A was developed to assess general anxiety symptoms in a clinical population and has proven sensitive to change with treatment. It is a clinician-rated measure and will be administered at each visit by a trained, blinded rater, using the Structured Interview Guide for the HAM-A. It has 14-items to rate the intensity of psychic and somatic anxiety on a 5-point severity scale. Each item ranging from 0 (not present) to 4 (very severe) are summed up to give a total possible score of 0 (not present) to 56 (very severe), where lower scores indicates less anxiety.

    Clinical Global Impression – Severity (CGI-S) [ Time Frame: Change from baseline to week 8 ]

The CGI-S is a clinician-rated instrument used to assess global severity of symptoms. The CGI-S ranges from 1 (normal, not ill) to 7 (among the most severely ill).

The CGI-I is a clinician-rated instrument used to assess overall improvement of illness. The CGI-I ranges from 1 (very much improved) to 7 (very much worse).

The GAD-7 is a self-reported questionnaire that measures the severity of various signs of GAD. It contains seven items with a 4-point scale (range: 0 to 3). The total possible score is ranged from 0 to 21, with higher scores representing greater severity of GAD.

The LSAS-SR is a 24 item scale that provides separate scores for fear and avoidance in social and performance situations with higher scores representing increased social anxiety. The LSAS-SR contains three total scores 1) total fear score (0-72), 2) total avoidance score (0-72) and total overall score (0-144).

The PAS is a measure of the severity of illness in patients with panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia). It has 13 items with a 5-point scale (range: 0-4). The total possible score is ranged from 0 to 52, with higher scores representing increased severity of illness. It contains 5 sub-scales: panic attacks, agoraphobic avoidance, anticipatory anxiety, disability, and functional avoidance (health concerns).

The QIDS is a self-report measure of depression. It contains 16 items with a 4-point scale (range: 0 to 3) which assess the severity of the nine diagnostic symptom criteria used in the DSM: Sleep disturbance, sad mood, decrease/increase in appetite/weight, concentration, self-criticism, suicidal ideation, interest, energy/fatigue, and psychomotor agitation/retardation. The total possible score is ranged from 0 to 27, with higher scores representing greater severity of depression.

The SDS is a 3 question instrument designed to assess functional impairment associated with mental disorders in three domains: work impairment, social impairment, and impairment of family life or home responsibilities. Each sub-scale score ranges from 0 to 10 and a total disability score, calculated as the sum of scores for each question ranges from 0 to 30. Higher scores reflect greater impairment.

The WHODAS 2.0 is a 36-item self-administered questionnaire that covers 6 domains of functioning, including: Cognition, mobility, self-care, getting along with people, life activities, participation. Each question ranges from ‘none’ to ‘extreme or cannot do’. The scores assigned to each of the items – “none” (0), “mild” (1) “moderate” (2), “severe” (3) and “extreme” (4) – are summed to give a total score that ranges from 0 to 144, with higher scores representing a greater degree of functional limitation.

The ISI has 7 questions with a 5-point score (range: 0 to 4). The total possible score is ranged from 0 to 28, with higher scores reflecting greater severity of sleep difficulty.

The Marijuana Craving Questionnaire is a 47-item self-report instrument that assesses marijuana craving along four dimensions: compulsivity, emotionality, expectancy, and purposefulness. Each item is answered with a 7-point scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree).

The OCI-R is a self-report scale for assessing symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It consists of 18 questions with a 5-point scale (range: 0 to 4). The possible range of scores is 0 to 72, with higher scores indicating a greater likelihood of the presence of OCD.

The PCL-5 is a 20 item self-report measure that assesses symptoms of PTSD. Each item is rated on a 5-point scale from 0 (not at all) to 4 (extremely). The possible range of scores is 0 to 80, with higher scores indicating greater severity of PTSD.

The DEQ assesses the extent to which participants 1) feel any substance effect(s), 2) feel high, 3) like the effects, 4) dislike the effects, and 5) want more of the substance using 100mm Visual Analog Scales.

The Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist has 22 items that assess mood, behavioural, and physical symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal. Each item is rated on a 4-point scale from 0 (none) to 3 (severe). A total score is obtained by summing each of the item totals (range 0 to 66). Higher scores indicated more severe symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal.