Using CBD Oil For Anxiety: Is It Effective?


Using CBD Oil for Anxiety: Is It Effective? [ update in 2021 ]


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabinoid, a chemical found naturally in cannabis plants (marijuana and hemp). Early research into the ability of CBD oil to help relieve anxiety is promising.

Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid, CBD does not cause any of the "poisonous" or "high" feelings you may have with cannabis.

Learn more about the potential benefits of CBD oil for anxiety and whether it can be a treatment option for you.

How CBD works؟

The human body has different receptors. Receptors are protein-based chemical structures that attach to your cells. They receive signals from various stimuli.

CBD is thought to communicate with CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, respectively.

The exact effect of CBD on CB1 receptors in the brain is unclear. However, it may alter serotonin signals.

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays an important role in your mental health. Low serotonin levels are commonly associated with people with depression. In some cases, not having enough serotonin can also cause anxiety. Common treatment for low serotonin is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), such as sertraline (Zoloft) or fluoxetine (Prozac). SSRIs are only available with a prescription.

Some anxious people may be able to manage their condition with CBD instead of SSRIs. However, you should talk to your doctor before making any changes to your treatment plan.

Research and evidence

Several studies point to the potential benefits of CBD for anxiety.

For general anxiety

For General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the National Su Drug Institute (NIDA) says CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animals such as mice.

The subjects had less anxiety behavioral symptoms. Their physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, also improved.

For other forms of anxiety

CBD may also be helpful for people with other forms of anxiety, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It may also help treat anxiety-induced insomnia.

In 2011, a study investigated the effects of CBD on people with SAD. Participants were given an oral dose of 400 (mg) of CBD or placebo. Those who received CBD generally had lower levels of anxiety.

Several recent studies have shown that CBD can help with PTSD symptoms, such as nightmares and replaying negative memories. These studies have examined CBD as an independent treatment for PTSD as well as complementing traditional therapies such as medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

 For other neurological disorders 

CBD has also been studied in other neurological disorders.

A 2017 literature review on CBD and psychiatric disorders concluded that there was insufficient evidence to promote CBD as an effective treatment for depression.

The authors found some evidence that CBD can help with anxiety disorders. However, these studies were not controlled. This means that participants are not compared to a separate group (or "control") who may have received another treatment - or no treatment at all. According to them, more human testing is needed to better understand how CBD works, the right doses, or any side effects or potential risks.

CBD has been shown to have antipsychotic effects in people with schizophrenia. In addition, CBD does not cause significant debilitating side effects associated with some antipsychotic medications.


If you want to try CBD oil for your anxiety, talk to your doctor. They can help you find the right dose for you.

However, the National Marijuana Reform Organization (NORML) recommends that very few products on the market contain enough CBD to replicate the therapeutic effects seen in clinical trials.

In a 2018 study, men received CBD before performing a public speech simulation test. The researchers found that an oral dose of 300 mg given 90 minutes before the test was enough to reduce speakers' anxiety.

The placebo group and the subjects who received 150 mg received little benefit. This was also the case for people who received 600 mg.  This study examined only 57 subjects, so it was small. Further research is needed to determine the appropriate dose for people with anxiety, including studies on women.






Side effects of CBD

CBD is generally considered safe. However, some people taking CBD may experience some side effects, including:



     Changes in appetite

CBD may also interact with other medications or supplements you are taking. Take special care when taking medications such as blood thinners that come with a "grapefruit alert." CBD and grapefruit both interact with enzymes that are important in drug metabolism.

One study in mice found that CBD cannabis extract increased the risk of hepatotoxicity by diving or force-feeding. However, some of the mice in the study were given very high doses of CBD.

You should not stop any medication you are already taking without first talking to your doctor. Using CBD oil may help with your anxiety, but if you suddenly stop taking your prescribed medication, you may also experience withdrawal symptoms. 





Is CBD legal? 

Hemp-derived CBD products (less than 0.3% THC) are legal at the federal level, but are still illegal under some state law. CBD products derived from marijuana are illegal at the federal level, but are legal under some state law. Check the laws of your state and wherever you travel. Keep in mind that over-the-counter CBD products are not FDA-approved and may be improperly labeled.



An ever-growing study suggests that CBD may help relieve anxiety, the most common mental health disorder.

However, the FDA does not regulate CBD for the treatment of anxiety. This means that the quality and quantity of consumption can vary widely between products and manufacturers.

People who are currently taking prescription or supplement medications may want to consult a doctor before using CBD.