Using CBD oil to treat anxiety


In recent years , cannabidiol (CBD) oil has become a widespread remedy for anxiety . While some people take CBD oil to ease their daily worries, others use it to treat more serious conditions like generalized anxiety disorder.

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The cannabidiol found in the marijuana plant is becoming increasingly available as marijuana use is legalized in more states across the country. A growing number of companies have started selling supplements, ointments, and other products made with CBD oil, often promoting these products as natural remedies for problems such as anxiety and pain.

Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, another compound found in marijuana), cannabidiol is not high when consumed.

Get Medication Information / Tim Liedtke


According to the American Anxiety and Depression Association, anxiety disorder, the most common mental illness in the United States, affects more than 18 percent of the population each year.

While anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both, many people choose to abandon these standard approaches and treat themselves with products such as CBD oil.

According to a 2018 survey published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research , nearly 62 percent of cannabidiol users reported using CBD to treat a medical condition, with the top three conditions being pain, anxiety, and depression.

Due to a lack of research, scientists aren't sure how CBD oil can help treat problems like anxiety. Some research suggests that, in addition to its effects on the endocannabinoid system, cannabidiol may influence receptors involved in modulating serotonin (a chemical messenger believed to play a role in the regulation of anxiety).


So far, most of the evidence for CBD's effects on anxiety has come from animal studies and laboratory experiments.

In a report published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015, scientists analyzed this preliminary study and found that CBD oil shows promise for treating conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. . stress disorder .

Social anxiety research

While there are currently no large-scale clinical trials looking at the use of CBD oil to treat anxiety, a small study published in Neuropsychopharmacology in 2011 found that CBD could help reduce social anxiety .

In this study, 24 people with social anxiety disorder were given 600 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo an hour and a half before taking a mock public speaking test. Additionally, 12 other people with social anxiety disorder took the same test without receiving any CBD treatment.

The results showed that pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive decline, and discomfort when the participants delivered their speech.

Dose-response study

The anxiety-reducing effect of CBD may follow a bell-shaped dose-response curve, suggests a study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology . After administering several doses of CBD before a public speaking test, the researchers found that subjective measures of anxiety were reduced with the 300 mg dose of CBD, but not with the 100 or 900 mg dose of CBD.

Exploring paranoid traits

Another study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2018 tested the effects of cannabidiol in people with high paranoid traits and found that cannabidiol did not affect anxiety, cortisol levels, heart rate, systolic blood pressure (the blood pressure reading high blood). reading) and disturbing thoughts .

Anxiety in healthy study participants

According to a study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2017, cannabidiol did not decrease responses to negative emotional stimuli or reduce anxiety in healthy participants. after oral administration of cannabidiol.


Using CBD oil can lead to a number of side effects, including anxiety. Some research suggests that CBD oil can also cause the following side effects:

Cannabidiol was found to slightly increase heart rate at the 900mg dose. Also, there is some evidence that the use of CBD oil can lead to increased levels of liver enzymes (a marker of liver damage).

CBD oil can also interact with various medications, including benzodiazepines, calcium channel blockers, antihistamines, and some types of antiepileptic medications. If you are taking any of these medications, check with your doctor before using CBD oil.

A review of the study found that when treating certain types of refractory epilepsy, participants used lower doses when using a CBD-rich extract compared to purified CBD products, and found that side effects were less frequent in those using extracts rich in CBD .

Marking inaccuracy

It should also be noted that since CBD oil is largely unregulated, the products may be mislabeled. To that end, a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nearly 70 percent of all CBD products sold online are mislabeled and that several products contain significant amounts of THC .

Since THC can aggravate anxiety and make your heart beat faster than normal, it is possible that using CBD oil that contains THC could aggravate your anxiety.

Get the word of drug information

If you experience symptoms such as frequent anxiety, trouble concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, fatigue, poor anxiety control, and trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Working with a mental health professional can help you find an anxiety treatment plan that is right for you.

Since refusing treatment for your anxiety disorder can worsen your quality of life and lead to physical health problems (such as digestive problems), it is very important to see a doctor rather than self-medicate. If you're considering using CBD oil to help deal with anxiety (and it's legal where you live), be sure to talk to your doctor about whether it's right for you.

Frequently asked questions

  • Proponents of cannabidiol (CBD) oil claim that it can help treat acne, anorexia, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, addiction and withdrawal, epilepsy, glaucoma, high blood pressure, insomnia , muscle cramps and Parkinson's disease. Additionally, it can help treat anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety. However, there is little research to support many of these uses.

  • It is not entirely clear exactly how CBD oil can help with anxiety. CBD is believed to affect opioid receptors in the brain that control pain, as well as glycine receptors, which regulate serotonin. The way these receptors depend on CBD intake gives some people a calming effect.

  • Yes, anxiety is one of the possible side effects of CBD oil. Other side effects include changes in appetite, mood swings, nausea, dizziness, low blood pressure, diarrhea, drowsiness, dry mouth, and vomiting. It can also interact with other medications, so if you are taking any prescriptions, consult your doctor before trying CBD oil.

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