CBD is one of many active compounds (cannabinoids) found in cannabis.
It’s non-intoxicating, completely safe to use and produces no side-effects in dosages up to 1600mg.
It was discovered in 1940 and synthesized in 1963 and science has so far proven that it:
- Drastically reduces seizure frequency in people suffering from epilepsy
- Relieves inflammation
- Boosts the immune system function
- Relieves anxiety
CBD is sold in many forms:
The most popular by far is CBD oil which is administered by applying droplets sublingual (under the tongue).
To find out how this works, I’ve analyzed every single CBD study I could find, as well as hundreds of user experiences.
I’ve compiled this information into five bite sized chunks that will help you make an objective decision on whether you should try CBD oil for anxiety or not.
Exclusive bonus: Download a free CBD dosage guide that will teach you how to dose CBD for anxiety, step by step. This is the same dosage strategy Dr. Dustin Sulak used to successfully treat more than 18,000 patients with THC and CBD.
Here’s how CBD battles anxiety
When it comes to medicinal application of cannabis, there is an ongoing debate of whether you should focus on THC or CBD rich strains when treating specific conditions.
The truth is that, most of the times, taking a whole-plant extract is much more beneficial, as THC and CBD when combined with terpenes, produce a plethora of health benefits.
When it comes to anxiety, however, CBD seems to be much more helpful.
First of all, CBD does not produce intoxicating and euphoric effects like THC, so you won’t feel high or paranoid.
Staying clearheaded is especially important if you’re suffering from disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
CBD (when ingested) produces effects through several pathways:
- It inhibits enzymes that are in charge of breaking down the “bliss” molecule (anandamide) produced by our body
- It activates 5-HT1A receptors, which help you secrete more “feel good” hormones, like endorphin, serotonin and oxytocin
Because of the way it works, CBD does not make anxiety worse, contrary to popular opinion.
CBD relieves physical symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety is not just in the mind — it also produces a wide variety of physical symptoms, which can be debilitating.
Many people have reported how CBD had positive effects on their physical symptoms of anxiety, and the effects range from life-improving to life-changing.
In fact, CBD:
- Relaxes muscles and relieves tension
- Relieves nausea and bowel problems caused by severe anxiety disorders
- Relieves headaches and tingling in your hands
While researching for this article, I stumbled upon this Reddit thread and found some interesting user testimonials, like this one:
And this one…
This is encouraging to read especially for those of you looking for relief from that constant chest tightness that anxiety produces.
CBD can reduce learned fears and help with phobias
Some psychologists think that we (by “we,” I mean humans — if you’re a capybara then what are you even doing here?) are born with only two fears: fear of falling and fear of loud noises.
Every other fear?
We learn it. And this includes the hundreds of phobias that people are struggling with.
Unfortunately, some still dismiss anxiety as being “all in the head” but sometimes you just can’t cope with a traumatic experience. In these cases, CBD could help.
As you might know, both phobias and PTSD are marked by fear-related memories.
According to a report published in 2017 by the British Pharmacological Society, several studies have confirmed that CBD reduces learned fear responses in ways that could be helpful for patients suffering from phobias and PTSD.
One study in particular details how CBD relieves fear response. The researchers found that it helps in three ways:
- It acutely decreases fear expression
- It disrupts memory reconsolidation
- It enhances fear extinction
The studies all point to this:
CBD can help reduce the impact of learned fears, whether you are suffering from phobias, PTSD or other life-changing traumatic experiences.
CBD makes public speaking a walk in the park
There are many varieties of anxiety disorders (and many dimensions to their management) but the fear of public speaking is one of the most common ones.
You’ve probably been there yourself:
The spotlight hits your face like a beacon of hopelessness and you suddenly feel a knot in your stomach. It doesn’t take long before you completely lose your grip with reality.
I’ve experienced this myself on many occasions and I am not joking when I say that it can have detrimental effects on future public performances. In fact, I am confident that it can cause social anxiety afterwards.
In moments like these, CBD could be a lifesaver, as it can relieve the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and of specific phobias, one of which is the fear of speaking in front of people.
A study done in 2010 explored this issue in more detail:
They took two groups — one was given placebo and the other was given a single dose (600 mg) of CBD oil.
About 1,5 hours later, they ran both groups through a public speaking simulation and found that:
“Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech.”
So to round this up:
If you’re suffering from social anxiety and you’re afraid of speaking in front of unknown people, taking a dose of CBD oil 1.5 to 2 hours before your appearance could help.
CBD improves mood while relieving anxiety symptoms
The hard truth about most anxiety disorders is that they make you bummed out, even in your downtime.
Especially in your downtime.
CBD, when combined with THC, has antidepressant properties, which regulate your emotional response and your general way of thinking.
There are two ways for that to happen:
When ingested, CBD activates 5-HT1A receptors. By doing so, it enables the brain to send more serotonin signals, thus reducing the anxiety and boosting your general mood.
Also, studies suggest that CBD can stimulate hippocampal neurogenesis—a process in which a person’s hippocampus regenerates. This is very important because people who suffer from depression and anxiety often have an underdeveloped hippocampus.
CBD prevents nervous breakdowns and panic attacks
According to Mental Health Daily, CBD has the ability to positively affect the nervous system after a traumatic experience.
Let me explain:
Whenever we get that fight or flight feeling, our autonomic nervous system gets altered — the sympathetic branch becomes more active than the parasympathetic branch.
When CBD is administered shortly before or after a traumatic event, the balance of our nervous system is reset, which relieves current tension and can prevent the development of chronic anxiety symptoms.
This, coupled with CBD’s neuroprotective properties, can help ensure that both your nervous system and your brain remain healthy for a long time to come.
Bonus tip: you can use CBD oil for preventing panic attacks, as well.
More on CBD
CBD: the Complete Science Behind Cannabidiol (Feat. Martin A. Lee) — an in-depth interview about CBD with a former Harvard professor and cannabis activist, Martin Lee. This post will teach you how exactly CBD works in the human body, how to choose a high quality CBD product, how to get properly dose it and much more.
17 Truly High CBD Strains And Their Effects (The Complete List) — whether you’re looking to make your own CBD extract or just vaporize dried flowers, you’ll need a place to get started. What better than Marco’s roundup of 17 A-list CBD strains?