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Anxiety overview

Published on June 11th, 2019

Last updated on June 25th, 2020

As an emotional response to stressors, a certain degree of anxiety is perfectly normal and healthy. That said, for millions of people suffering from an anxiety disorder, this emotion stops being useful and becomes debilitating. Around 40 million people suffer from an anxiety disorder in America alone. Even worse, statistics show that only approximately 36% of people are actively receiving treatment.
Milder forms of anxiety can result in feelings of general uneasiness, while severe anxiety can manifest debilitating physical symptoms, which can last for hours or even days. This form of anxiety can impair the quality of life of a person. Two of the most common forms of anxiety disorder include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder.
GAD is characterized by excessive and prolonged concern over general life events and situations. It’s by far the most common type of anxiety disorder and can be quite tricky to deal with since people often cannot pinpoint the source of their anxiety.
Panic disorders, on the other hand, are typically characterized by sudden bouts of overwhelming anxiety and fear. These more intense bursts often lead to shaking, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and even difficulty breathing. While most peak after about 10 minutes, severe attacks are known to last for hours.
These are far from the only two forms of anxiety, with many others such as specific phobias and social anxiety disorder, also having a significant impact. Regardless of what type of anxiety disorder you or a loved one is dealing with, effective treatment options often make a massive difference in the quality of life.

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Table of Contents

CBD Research For Anxiety

potencial impact research overview

Anxiety - Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug

  • Institute of Psychiatry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2012

related conditions:

Anxiety

After using both animal models and human volunteers, the researchers clearly showed CBD has an “anxiolytic-like” effect. They showed the introduction of CBD significantly increased serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine production. Increased production of these neurotransmitters has been shown to improve mood and the ability to regulate emotion drastically.

Anxiety - Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa

  • Institute of Psychiatry - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2014

related conditions:

Anxiety

Researchers tested the impact of CBD on animal models in several stress-inducing experiments, including the forced swim test and elevated plus maze. The introduction of CBD was shown to improve stress by interacting with the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor. The researchers credit this interaction for the “anxiolytic-like and antidepressant-like” effect of CBD.

Anxiety - Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients

  • University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2011

related conditions:

Anxiety

Double-blind, randomized testing concluded pretreatment with CBD dramatically improve mood while reducing cognitive impairment and discomfort during simulated public speaking tests (SPST). Researchers also noted the test subject’s anticipatory speech was significantly decreased after taking CBD. Impressively, the team observed that starting on a CBD regimen brought test subjects in line with the control groups.

Anxiety - Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report

  • University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2010

related conditions:

Anxiety

The report provides an in-depth look at the underlying brain mechanisms behind the value CBD. Researchers concluded that relative to the placebo, an oral dose of CBD (400mg) significantly reduced ECD uptake in the left parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, and inferior temporal gyrus. These findings correlate with a dramatic improvement in overall mood and mental well-being.

Anxiety - Central anandamide deficiency predicts stress-induced anxiety: behavioral reversal through endocannabinoid augmentation

  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, USA
  • 2014

related conditions:

Anxiety

Research shows CBD is a viable method for improving stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders. Tests show transient anxiety from acute foot-shock stress, which is shown to last over 24 hours, was reversed when CBD was introduced. CBD could one day be a useful tool for lowering susceptibility to stress-induced risk factors.

Anxiety - Effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on regional cerebral blood flow

  • University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2014

related conditions:

Anxiety

CBD significantly improves mood and increases mental sedation, allowing for a sense of calm. They traced this effect to two parts of the brain which significantly decreased ECD uptake with CBD relative to the placebo. Tests show CBD has important anxiolytic properties via the limbic and paralimbic systems.

Anxiety - The anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol injected into the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are mediated by 5-HT1A receptors

  • University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2011

related conditions:

Anxiety

Systemic CBD treatments were shown to have significant anxiolytic-like effects in male Wistar lab rats. CBD treatment increased open arms exploration during the elevated plus-maze, as well as the number of punished licks in the Vogel conflict test. Importantly, pretreatment with a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist blocked the positive effects.

Anxiety - The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: involvement of the endocannabinoid system.

  • University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2013

related conditions:

Anxiety

CBD promotes cell proliferation and cell cycle progression of not only CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, but also hippocampal cells. This is believed to be a significant part of the reason why CBD has such powerful anxiolytic effect. CB1-selective antagonist AM251 was also shown to block the effect of CBD.

Anxiety - Plant-based medicines for anxiety disorders, part 2: a review of clinical studies with supporting preclinical evidence

  • University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2013

related conditions:

Anxiety

A comprehensive review of all the plant-based medicine which has had both preclinical and human clinical trials conducted about their anxiolytic-like effect. An analysis of over 1500 papers identified 21 plants which had been adequately tested, with one of the most successful of these plants found to be CBD enriched Cannabis species.

CBD Research That Might Be Useful for Symptoms of Anxiety

potencial impact research overview

Mood - Sub-chronic impact of cannabinoids in street cannabis on cognition, psychotic-like symptoms and psychological well-being

  • University College London, UK
  • 2012

related conditions:

Mood Disorders

A much lower rate of psychosis-like symptoms were found in those who used marijuana with contained both THC and CBD, compared with types high only in THC. Researchers conclude the CBD attenuates the psychotic-like effects, leading to a greater sense of well-being and an overall improved mood.

Sleep - Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature

  • Palo Alto University, CA, USA
  • 2017

related conditions:

Sleep

This report concludes CBD holds promise for significantly increasing the quality of REM sleep. Researchers believe it could one day be a primary force behind improved overall sleep quality. CBD was even shown to reduce daytime sleepiness in many patients.

Nausea - Interaction between non-psychotropic cannabinoids in marijuana: effect of cannabigerol (CBG) on the anti-nausea or anti-emetic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in rats and shrews

  • Palo Alto University, CA, USA
  • 2017

related conditions:

Nausea

CBD was shown to significantly suppress vomiting in lab rats and shrews. Researchers used another substance, known as cannabigerol (CBG) to reverse this suppression. Moderate doses of CBG and CBD are opposing each other at the 5-HT1A receptor, which is known to play an essential role in regulating nausea.

Anxiety & CBD Research Overview

There’s a movement growing around the amazing benefits of CBD to treat various debilitating conditions, including most types of anxiety. Especially with the popularity of alternative treatments over prescription drugs, CBD is quickly gaining a loyal following of users who suffer from anxiety disorders. A scholarly paper on the effect of CBD on anxiety, called Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series, gathered evidence which suggests that there might be a benefit in the use of Cannabidiol to treat anxiety-related disorders. Thanks to hard work by researchers like these, we now have a solid understanding of not only the kind of anxiety that CBD might treat but also how it could get the job done. Let’s take a brief overview of all the most important studies you should know.

One of the main symptoms of anxiety problems is an uncontrollable sense of dread or restlessness. As such, any medicinal compound which can significantly improve mood or mental well-being can serve as a reliable treatment option after a series of controlled clinical trials have been done. Several studies indicate that CBD is quite adept at calming and enhancing mood. For instance, in a study conducted on 74 patients, it was observed that CBD was well tolerated, with few patients reporting side effects (Shannon, Scott, et al. “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series).

According to the report, Cannabidiol: a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug, studies have shown that CBD has an anxiolytic-like effect via increasing neurotransmitter production, such as serotonin and dopamine. It must be pointed out that there were limitations in the tests as some patients given only placebo claimed to feel the effect of CBD. Other reports, such as Placebo effects of edible cannabis: Reported intoxication effects at a 30-minute delay by Loflin MJE et al., may hold the key as to why this happens. Some researchers argue that the notoriety associated with cannabis and medical marijuana in society probably contributes to an inflated placebo effect.

Though there is a significant difference between each type of anxiety, and no single drug works with the same efficacy, it seems that CBD may be doing more than just binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our brain. Insomnia is one noted problem that affects the overall mental well-being of people suffering from anxiety. In a trial involving kids with ASD, Barchel and colleagues noted that a solution of CBD and Δ9-THC (1,20 ratio) was effective for hyperactivity, insomnia, and anxiety (Oral Cannabidiol use in children with an autism Spectrum disorder to treat related symptoms and co-morbidities Barchel et al., 2018).

Uncontrollably trembling is another primary symptom for most people dealing with anxiety disorders. A study called Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa, suggests that CBD improved stress-related issues during standardized stress tests on lab rats. They believe it’s interaction with the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor, which helps facilitate this sense of calm. We also have double-blind, randomized testing, which concluded CBD is an effective way to relieve stress brought on by public speaking, even in those who suffer from a form of social phobia. The report, called Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients, found that the correct administration of CBD to a particular case of stress-related anxiety in public speaking, helped in relaxing the patient. Other reports have made similar conclusions about the effect of CBD on various forms of anxiety. A study called Central anandamide deficiency predicts stress-induced anxiety: behavioral reversal through endocannabinoid augmentation noted the transient anxiety related to acute foot-shock stress, which can often last over 24 hours unchecked, was quickly relieved once CBD was started.

Several other studies about the relationship between CBD and anxiety are only starting to be explored, but nevertheless provide some fascinating insight into the possibilities of CBD. In Effectiveness of Cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of posttraumatic stress disorder: a case report, a Grade B recommendation was made for the use of CBD in patients with ASD, anxiety disorders including SAD, and sleep problems. This goes hand in hand with another report called, Interaction between non-psychotropic cannabinoids in marijuana: effect of cannabigerol (CBG) on the anti-nausea or anti-emetic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in rats and shrews. Another report, The anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol injected into the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are mediated by 5-HT1A receptors, showed evidence that systemic CBD treatments significantly reduce fear and anxiety in lab rats. It also provides a deeper understanding of what causes this effect, as pretreatment of the 5-HT1A receptor effectively blocked any positive impact of CBD. The team also observed this role of the 5-HT1A receptor but took things a step further to determine cannabigerol (CBG) was the primary antagonist of CBD. Their findings also suggest CBD could be an effective treatment for stress-related vomiting, which is another common symptom of most anxiety disorders. If further testing on humans proves positive, then it raises the possibility of cannabidiol being effective in treating the same symptoms in humans.

“Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown promise in helping anxiety-patients cope with several symptoms that impair their quality of life. Several animal studies have explored the possible mechanism of action of CBD, while some randomized trials have shown benefit in anxiety-related disorders. Further clinical trials are urgently needed to assess the efficacy and confirm the safety of CBD in patients with or without comorbidities. Moreover, it’s still unclear whether CBD taken with regular anxiety drugs has an additional effect or if it’s safe to combine both drugs.” - Ahmed Diab, M.D

Best CBD for Anxiety

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Everyday Optimal CBD Capsules (200mg)

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$299.99
  • CBD Per Serving: 200mg
  • Number Of Servings: 30
  • Cost Per Serving: $10.00
  • Cost Per/mg of CBD: $0.05
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advantages

  • Highest Capsule In USA
  • 100% USA Made
  • THC Free
  Servings per day Days supplied in one package Cost per week
Low Dosage (25 mg/day) 0.13 240.0 $8.75
Mid Dosage (100 mg/day) 0.50 60.0 $35.00
High Dosage (175 mg/day) 0.88 34.3 $61.25

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NoteCBD Tincture (250mg)

NoteCBD Tincture (250mg)

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$45.00
  • CBD Per Serving: 8.33mg
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  • Cost Per/mg of CBD: $0.18
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  • Lab Certified
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Low Dosage (25 mg/day) 3.00 10.0 $31.51
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  Servings per day Days supplied in one package Cost per week
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Mid Dosage (100 mg/day) 0.75 40.0 $50.75
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Suggested CBD Dosage for Anxiety

Dosage Per Day

Low

25 mg

Mid

100 mg

High

175 mg

We are often asked what the precise correct dosage of CBD is for various conditions. The truth is it’s a much more complicated answer than most people would think. The most significant factor in dosage is always going to be you personally. Differences in age, sex, weight, and height all have an impact on how much is the ideal amount. But even two people who are seemingly the same will likely find two different dosages suit them best.
Experimentation is just part of the process. Luckily CBD is non-psychoactive, so there’s minimal risk in trying various strengths until you hit the sweet spot. That said, some researchers suggest taking anywhere between 25 to 175mg daily.
As with any condition, it’s always best if you start out taking your CBD at night as well as avoiding edibles until you’ve got a good feeling for your ideal range and how it’s going to affect you. If all else fails, it is theorized that small amounts of THC in CBD oils may help facilitate the benefits, though further controlled clinical studies are needed to conclusively prove this. However, if you go this route, always take care as THC is psychoactive, and will get you high.

Follow-up commentary on dosing by Ahmed M.D
“The evidence for CBD Dosing is inconsistent and not yet rigorously identified. One large case series by Shannon et al. have suggested lower doses (25 to 175 mg) of CBD to have an adequate clinical response for anxiety-related conditions. Side effects at this dosage were minimal and well-tolerated. Further controlled trials are warranted to assess the adequate and safe dose of CBD needed to control or help in anxiety-related disorders.”

Tracking CBD Effectiveness For Anxiety

It can be challenging to track your progress with CBD if you don’t know what to look out for. As mentioned, the category of anxiety disorders covers a wide range of specific conditions. But most of these differences are related to triggers more than symptoms or treatment options.

As such, one of the primary ways you can tell if CBD is working for you is by paying attention to your general anxiety level and mood throughout the day and compare that with your norms. This is especially true for people who struggle with specific phobias or social anxiety; just being aware of how you’re reacting in those situations is always the best way to track effectiveness.

Another primary symptom of anxiety is stress, so keeping tabs on what’s stressing you out and how it compares with normal is still the best way to understand the impact. Regardless of what type of anxiety disorder you or a loved one is dealing with, CBD could be a real answer to improving quality of life.

Be sure to leave us your personal experiences using CBD to treat anxiety. If you really want to help others out, be sure to leave a specific grade for the mood elevation, stress reduction, and improvement in restlessness provided by CBD. If we work together, everyone will have access to the information they need to improve their quality of life.

Written By
John Mace Alois is lead content creator at the Did CBD Work? project. He’s analyzed over 400 research papers related to Cannabidiol and helped publish over 55 works related to different conditions for the project. He majored in Cultural Anthropology, with a minor in English, from the University at Albany. He is an avid collector of art supplies and refurbishes old furniture in his spare time.
Reviewed By*
Ahmed Diab, M.D is a graduate of Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. Senior He is currently Senior Medical Writer at NegidaClin. He has written dozens of manuscripts for pharmaceutical enterprises. He published works also included drug safety and efficacy for those with Parkinsons Disease and a historical analysis of the performance of prostheses in femoral neck fractures.

*The information contained here does not constitute medical recommendations. Ahmed Diab does not recommend a certain dosage or a certain indication for any of our products. Please consult your personal physician before using any product.

4 CBD Experiences From Anxiety Suffers

    Meredith Arthur

    • February 3, 2020
    I’ve vaped, used CBD oil, bath bombs, and edibles, and ultimately found they didn’t work as well for me as Lexapro and Wellbutrin. Here are all of the things I tried, and my reviews of them: https://bevoya.com/anxiety-help/experiment-cbd-subscription-box

    My summary: “The truth is: I don’t totally know. I’m still finding my way through the world of CBD products. I’m also on 15 mg of Lexapro every day, so it’s hard to know whether the impacts of CBD would be felt more if I weren’t on an SSRI. I can say that CBD certainly doesn’t seem to have adverse effects on me.”

    It could be that CBD is just subtle, and I need something less subtle?

    effectiveness:

    Also effective for:

    • Mood Disorders
    • Nausea
    • Sleep
    • Stress

    dosage:

    10

    CBD Type:

    CBD Isolate

    How Did You Take It?:

    Bath Bomb

    Ms Randall

    • May 9, 2020
    My Dr recommend taking CBD oil for my anxiety. I wasn’t sure it would help. I did research found Nuleaf CBD oil had so many good reviews. I thought I’d give it a try. I started micro dosing for the first day. By the second day I could already fell my anxiety easing.

    effectiveness:

    Also effective for:

    • Mood Disorders
    • Nausea
    • Sleep
    • Stress

    dosage:

    30

    CBD Type:

    CBD & Terpenes

    How Did You Take It?:

    Oil

    Mike

    • May 19, 2020
    I use BodyChek Wellness THC-free tincture before bed and it helps calm my mind and allows me to sleep better and wake up more well rested

    effectiveness:

    Also effective for:

    • Mood Disorders
    • Nausea
    • Sleep
    • Stress

    dosage:

    500

    CBD Type:

    CBD Isolate

    How Did You Take It?:

    Oil

    Sue

    • May 27, 2020
    I suffer with arthritis, back pain, FND, Siezures, Migraines, anxiety, PTSD, acute pain.
    I find that the CBD Oil from Truth Naturals has helped me sooo much, I don’t take morphine 4 times a day now, or garbapentine, or sodium Valpirate, or Diazapan. Infact other medications i can’t remember, i suffer memory loss as well.
    But the CBD has been brilliant and such a relief.

    effectiveness:

    Also effective for:

    • Mood Disorders
    • Nausea
    • Sleep
    • Stress

    dosage:

    1000

    CBD Type:

    CBD Isolate

    How Did You Take It?:

    Oil

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