Anxiety is an innate behavioral state associated with the anticipation of potential future threats. Anxiety‐like behaviors are important for survival. However, when anxiety behaviors become unbalanced, this eventually leads to anxiety‐related neuropsychiatric disorders and chronic stress. Several neurotransmitters are involved in this process, including, serotonin, GABA, glutamate and the hormones.
CBD and Cannabidiolic acid (CBDa) have been shown to interact with neurotransmission mediated by the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A in an agonist or allosteric interactions or through an indirect mechanism. 5-HT1A found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, triggers various intracellular cascades of chemical messages to produce either an excitatory or inhibitory response, depending on the chemical context of the message. This G-coupled protein receptor is implicated in a range of biological and neurological processes, including (but not limited to) anxiety, stress, appetite, pain perception, nausea and vomiting.
In conclusion, in vivo and in vitro animal studies showed promising results in the potential of CBD and maybe other cannabinoids by activating 5-HT1A receptors, which can reduce physiological and behavioral responses to stress. This finding raises the possibility that CBD could be useful for treating stress and anxiety disorders in cats, dogs and horses.
Resstel, Leonardo BM, et al. “5‐HT1A receptors are involved in the cannabidiol‐induced attenuation of behavioural and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats.” British journal of pharmacology 156.1 (2009): 181-188.