In recent years, Cannabidiol, one of the many chemical compounds found in cannabis, has grown popular with researchers studying its potential to treat numerous diseases and mental health issues. Due to its popularity, some people suffering from social anxiety disorder are turning down medication and using CBD to manage their symptoms and treat their anxiety (Myers, 2020).
Does CBD Help With Anxiety?
Research is still being conducted to study the potential effects of CBD on anxiety. A study showed that CBD might be effective by regulating the levels of serotonin in the brain. The serotonin chemical impacts digestion, sleep, behavior, and mood. CBD has been observed to work the same as anti-depressants, which reduce depression by regulating serotonin levels (Volkow, 2015).
What Do Studies Show About the Effects of CBD on Anxiety?
Due to its rising popularity, many researchers have studied CBD as an anxiety treatment. Below are some of the findings:
A 2011 research done on 24 people showed that Cannabidiol could ease anxiety, social phobia, and uneasiness during public speaking, especially for individuals who suffer from a social anxiety disorder (Bergamaschi, 2011).
- Another research done in 2011 by PubMed showed that CBD was associated with a significant decrease in anxiety in SAD patients (Crippa, 2010).
- A 2015 analysis of 49 studies showed evidence that supported Cannabidiol as a treatment for panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder (Blessing, 2015).
- Another 2017 research did not find any proof that CBD improved paranoia or anxiety. In fact, the study showed that CBD increased paranoia and anxiety in some patients (Hundle, 2017).
Most of these studies showed positive results. However, we must keep in mind that most of them were done on small groups of people- even the studies with negative results. More research is still required, and these results don’t necessarily represent the whole population. Most studies done on CBD did not look at the long-term effects of using CBD for anxiety. This means that there is no conclusive proof that taking CBD might reduce anxiety.
There is no known dosage of CBD for anxiety. However, studies have shown that doses of 300-600 mg of CBD may help reduce anxiety in social anxiety disorders (Stoner, 2017). However, more research is needed to determine the most effective dosage. Most people take CBD in the form of teas, oils, drops, capsules, candies, vapor, and edibles. These products are not FDA-monitored; therefore, there is no uniform labeling method or a seal of safety to ensure that the products are safe for consumption.
The Need for More Research
There are no conclusively known long-term risks and side effects associated with the use of CBD for anxiety treatment. Although most people have not reported any side effects, some have shown sensitivity to CBD with effects such as diarrhea, reduced appetite, dry mouth, and fatigue (Olsen, 2019). More research needs to be done to study how it interacts with the body, even with its rising popularity. Individuals suffering from anxiety should keep this in mind before swapping their anxiety medications, anti-psychotics, or anti-depressants for CBD.
Keith Myers (May 6, 2020) Effects of CBD oil on mental health: anxiety disorders. United Kingdom: Health Europa. Retrieved from URL:
Nora Volkow (June 24, 2015) The biology and potential therapeutic effects of cannabidiol. Maryland: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved from URL:
Mateus Bergamaschi (Feb 9, 2011) Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. California: Springer Nature. Retrieved from URL:
Jose Crippa (Sept 9, 2010) Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Maryland: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved from URL:
Esther Blessing (Sept 4, 2015) Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Maryland: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved from URL:
HarneetHundle (Oct 31, 2017) The effects of cannabidiol on persecutory ideation and anxiety in a high trait paranoid group. California: Sage Journals. Retrieved from URL:
Susan Stoner (June 2017) Effects of marijuana on mental health: anxiety disorders. Washington: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute. Retrieved from URL:
Rose McKeon Olsen (Nov 18, 2019) Why are women using CBD products – and do they work? Boston: Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from URL: