CBD for Anxiety: Exploring the Potential of Cannabidiol

distressed woman

The Key Points:

  • Anxiety disorders are a common mental illness characterized by symptoms such as excessive worry, nervousness, and sleep disturbances. There are different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, and specific phobias.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD), a natural compound derived from the hemp plant, is increasingly used for treating anxiety disorders. Studies suggest that CBD has a calming and anxiety-reducing effect and can improve sleep disturbances.
  • The dosage of CBD is individual and can be adjusted according to needs. It is advisable to start with a low dose and increase it if necessary. Side effects are rare.
  • CBD can also be used in animals suffering from anxiety disorders, with similar effects as in humans.
  • It is important to note that further research is needed to determine the long-term effects and optimal dosage of CBD, and that each individual, both humans and animals, may respond differently to CBD. Therefore, it is advisable to always discuss the use and dosage of CBD with a medical professional.

You often feel anxious or even suffer from a diagnosed anxiety disorder and want to know if cannabidiol can help you? In this article, I will explain how CBD can potentially work for anxiety disorders.

Introduction to Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses. They manifest in symptoms such as excessive worry, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, trembling, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms can significantly impair daily life and well-being. There are different types of anxiety disorders, ranging from fear of spiders to public speaking anxiety. Generally, five types are distinguished.

Name Description
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Anxieties affect various areas. Symptoms include rapid heartbeat, trembling, tension, sweating, restlessness, cold and clammy hands, dry mouth, and nausea.
Panic Disorder Fear of crowds, trains or driving, public places, etc.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Intrusions and flashbacks, reliving and remembering past traumatic events, suppression of events, nervousness and irritability, loss of interest, avoiding things
Specific Phobias Fear of specific things that exceed the natural measure. Fear of animals (spiders, birds, etc.), fear of injections, blood, or seeing injuries
Social Anxiety Disorder Fear of talking to someone, giving a speech, taking an exam (exam anxiety), or meeting important deadlines


Common and Potential Future Treatment Methods

The common treatment methods for anxiety disorders include psychotherapy, medications such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines, and, in some cases, self-help strategies like mindfulness exercises and relaxation techniques. However, there are also herbal medications available for the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Herbal Substance Effect
Valerian Calming
Lemon Balm Appetite-stimulating and helpful for nervousness and sleep problems
Hops May have a calming effect, should be taken with valerian and lemon balm for better effect
Lavender Supposed to have a calming effect, but research is insufficient
St. John's Wort According to studies, it may help with mild to moderate depression

Another herbal remedy derived from the hemp plant has gained popularity recently: CBD. A growing number of studies are investigating the potential of cannabidiol for anxiety disorders. According to a 2020 survey by SingleCare, 33% of Americans have tried CBD once or multiple times, and out of these, 64% have used CBD to treat medical or health issues, including anxiety disorders.

Effect: How Does CBD Work Against Anxiety?

According to a study, cannabidiol has a calming and anxiety-reducing effect [1]. It shows that when the substance is taken, the CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated. As a result, anxiety symptoms were reduced in almost 80% of patients in the first month, and 48 test subjects were able to improve their sleep. CBD had no effect on anxiety reactions in only 3 out of 72 participants.

In the second month, anxiety and poor sleep states were at their lowest. In the third month, researchers observed a general flattening, indicating that the maximum effect of the substance had been reached. The approach of using CBD oil for anxiety should therefore be pursued further and has the potential to improve the lives and daily routines of many affected individuals.

Considering the results as a whole, it is likely that CBD has a positive effect on anxiety behavior, sleep disorders, and overall mental well-being for the majority of people. Further studies confirm this assumption. Side effects with CBD were also very rare.

Read our comprehensive guide to the possible side effects of CBD and how to deal with them.

Side effects mostly occur with excessive dosage. Therefore, pay attention to the recommended dosage amounts provided by us.

Pregnant women should only take CBD with the permission of a doctor, as it could cause lasting damage. Although this has not been proven so far, due to the limited research, it would not be justifiable to take a risk. If medications are being taken, the use of CBD should always be discussed with a doctor.

Can I Take CBD in Combination with Antidepressants?

It is generally possible to take serotonin reuptake inhibitors (antidepressants) and cannabidiol simultaneously, but it should always be discussed with a doctor. CBD may interact with existing antidepressants in the body and increase the risk of side effects or negatively impact their effects.

Read our comprehensive guide on the possible interactions of CBD with other medications here.

How Do I Dose CBD for Anxiety, Panic & Phobias?

Cannabidiol can be taken either continuously or for acute treatment, depending on personal preferences. Some people dose CBD for anxiety disorders daily at a low level and increase the dosage when experiencing panic attacks or in situations with acute stress.

The appropriate form of intake also depends on your personal preferences and your individual reaction to cannabinoids. Products containing terpenes are particularly suitable as they bring benefits within the framework of the so-called entourage effect. You can get tips and advice on CBD intake as well as information on dosage from our customer service representatives. They can also advise you on alternatives to CBD if this cannabinoid is not suitable for you.

An overdose of CBD is practically impossible, but it is still recommended to start with a low dose to avoid side effects. If side effects occur, reduce the dosage accordingly. If symptoms worsen or change in nature, we recommend consulting a doctor. For anxiety disorders, therapeutic treatment is generally recommended to restore the balance of the mind.

If you do not notice any effects, you can try increasing the dosage of CBD. However, the exact amount varies from person to person. Taking 5-10 drops of a 10% oil three times a day should help most people with mild anxiety attacks. For stronger panic attacks, a 20% oil can be taken. CBD products can usually be easily integrated into daily life due to the various methods of intake.

Can CBD Worsen Anxiety Disorders?

People using CBD for the treatment of anxiety disorders usually report positive effects after taking CBD oil. However, in cases of very high sensitivity to CBD or existing conditions, taking high doses of CBD may be less beneficial. Experience suggests that CBD should not lead to a worsening of symptoms in anxiety disorders. However, since each person reacts differently to CBD oil, this question cannot be answered universally.

Especially if there are strong reservations about CBD and cannabinoids in general or if medications are being taken, the likelihood of unwanted side effects is slightly higher. In cases of strong anxiety disorders related to new substances, additional registration for therapy specifically for anxiety disorders is therefore advisable.

What Do Study Results and User Reports Say?

Several studies have provided clear findings on CBD's potential for anxiety reduction [2]. These results indicate that cannabidiol reduces anxiety and has an impact on activity in limbic brain areas (within the scope of the medical study).

Similar findings were obtained in a study focusing on PTSD [3]. CBD was able to reduce past traumas and negative experiences [4]. Here, cannabidiol was used as a substitute for antipsychotics, and the anxiety levels of the participants with schizophrenia decreased.

There is a growing number of scientific studies investigating the potential of CBD for the treatment of anxiety disorders. A study from 2015 found that CBD has positive effects on various anxiety disorders, including panic disorders, social phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders. These effects are likely caused by CBD's impact on the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A and the endocannabinoid receptor CB1.

However, it is important to note that most of these studies only examined the acute effect of CBD on anxiety disorders, and further research is needed to determine the long-term effects and optimal dosage of CBD. Most studies used a high dose of CBD, often more than 300 mg per day. In comparison, most commercial CBD oils are designed for a daily dosage between 5 and 70 mg. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor or healthcare provider before starting CBD use, especially if you are already taking medications.

User Experiences

There are many reports from people who have used CBD to treat their anxiety disorders. On the Trustpilot website, there are numerous reviews from people who have had positive experiences with CBD. One user reports that thanks to CBD, they have "significantly fewer anxiety attacks." Another user reports that thanks to CBD, they were able to "fall asleep after 20 minutes and sleep through the night." However, it is important to note that experiences with CBD can vary individually, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Does CBD Also Work for Anxious Animals?

Earlier, we already discussed CBD for anxiety disorders in humans. But could CBD oil also improve the lives of animals suffering from anxiety disorders? In humans, anxieties often manifest with sweating and palpitations, but other symptoms are possible. In contrast, affected animals visibly exhibit a nervous state of agitation, appear restless, and withdraw. The effect of CBD can address this by restoring balance in the body of the dog or cat through interaction with the endocannabinoid system. However, to avoid problems and hazards, make sure that the purchased CBD product has a valid analysis certificate.

Summary on CBD for Anxiety

CBD is a safe and healthy alternative for anxiety, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders. The effects on humans and animals have been proven in short-term studies. Long-term studies will follow in the future to provide more clarity and new insights. Many affected individuals report better management of their fears after taking CBD.

Have you had any experiences with cannabidiol and anxiety disorders, phobias, or panic? How did you like our article? We appreciate every comment below this post.


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