CBD Oil for Anxiety—5 Major Benefits

It is now a scientific fact that CBD oil can relieve anxiety. Here’s what you need to know.

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 (and that’s a lot).

It was discovered in 1940 and synthesized in 1963.

Ever since, CBD has been under the limelight.

Science has so far proven that it:

CBD oil is sold in many forms.

The most popular is the oil form—CBD in oil form is taken by applying CBD droplets sublingual (under the tongue).

Many studies suggest that CBD can relieve symptoms of all anxiety disorders, from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), to PTSD and specific phobias.

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 all the 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 does, 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:

Reddit thread

And this one…

Reddit thread

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:

  1. It acutely decreases fear expression
  2. It disrupts memory reconsolidation
  3. 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.

Click here to download a complementary CBD dosage guide we made with the help of Dr. Dustin Sulak, who helped over 18,000 patients find relief with cannabis.

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?

Categories CBD

Senior editor at Greencamp, mostly interested in the biochemistry of cannabinoids and various topics related to cannabis culture.

43 thoughts on “CBD Oil for Anxiety—5 Major Benefits”

  1. I would like to use the above “info graphic” as a large window banner in printed form in my CBD store. Would you please share the graphic as a Jpeg with me??

  2. With all the craze about CBD treatments, I am wondering how do one knows their getting, or buying the right stuff! The quality N all natural oil!

    • All quality products should be tested by a third party laboratory and you, as a buyer, should have access to test results. Without the lab test, you just simply can’t know for sure what you’re buying.

  3. CBD is good for anxiety. I’ve tried many prescription and homeopathic remedies for anxiety, but with no effect. Water soluble BioCBDplus has helped to calm racing thoughts and improve my focus. Not a miracle cure, but a good start. – Matthew

  4. Any research on whether someone would need to take this forever or if it can just be used it times of high stress? What about withdrawal? Thank you

    • You can definitely just use it in times of stress, or even better before the stressful event, if possible. Most CBD products take 20-60 minutes to take effect and CBD oil takes around 10. Once you get your dosage right (my advice is to start with 10-15mg a day) you can keep it there for 2 weeks and see if you feel better. There are absolutely no withdrawal symptoms with CBD. Here’s a study I recently found that explains the dosage and any reported side effects — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/

    • I was initially interested in the same question, which is why I interviewed the founder of Project CBD to try to find that out (https://greencamp.com/complete-science-behind-cbd/).

      High quality CBD oil is extracted from female plants, and should be a part of the whole-plant extract, with a bunch of different cannabinoids and not just with CBD alone. A little bit of THC can do wonders for a variety of conditions as well, not to mention other cannabinoids and terpenes that are present in cannabis flowers.

      The reason why any extract (CBD included) is so expensive is because you need a lot of flowers only to get a tiny amount of oil. Here’s more about how that’s done — https://greencamp.com/rick-simpson-oil/

  5. I like using CBD syrup in water. I love that it doesn’t get me stoned, just calm. I have debilitating anxiety and CBD is the only thing that keeps it under control. CBD also helps with the physical pain of working in food service 6 days a week. Thanks this is a good read I learned some facts I didn’t know before.

  6. Hi Luka, thanks for sharing this article and graphic. My question is about someone in recovery for ETOH using CBD products. Is it possible to use a product that absolutely doesn’t have mind (high) effects? I know someone with debilitating anxiety but they have steered clear of medicinal weed because they are in recovery. What would you share with them? This person lives in a state with both med. cannibus and recreational product.

    • Hey Becca,

      Since this is a multi layered question, I have to give you multiple answers:

      1) CBD and ETOH recovery — in mid March, scientists from Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla shared the results of a study that explored the relationship between CBD and addictive behavior in rats. They concluded that “the results provide proof of principle supporting the potential of CBD in relapse prevention along two dimensions CBD: beneficial actions across several vulnerability states, and long-lasting effects with only brief treatment.”

      2) When it comes to treating anxiety, CBD (as a compound) should win over THC across the board. However, cannabis has biphasic effects — low dose may produce one set of results while a higher dose may produce completely opposite effects. The trick here is to get the right ratio of cannabinoids in the correct dosage, and that is actually trickier than it sounds. There was a huge study recently published in the Journal of Affective Disorders that is the first of its kind, in that it analyzed which THC and CBD percentages work the best for anxiety, depression and stress. They found that high THC levels may aggravate anxiety but suggested that 2-10 puffs are enough to alleviate anxiety. Mean THC/CBD levels used for researching anxiety in this study were 15.29% THC and 3.69% CBD. My personal experience is that strains with equal amounts of CBD and THC (1:1 THC to CBD ratio as we call it) work amazing for anxiety, if you start off with smaller doses.

  7. Great article. I would like to add that you should find the dose that works best for you – as we’re all different. Start on a low CBD oil dose and gradually build up until it hits its optimum.

  8. Very interesting and informative. Health is the most important part of life nothing is more valuable than good health and massage is very good for healthy life specially the use of Cbd and Hemp oils are very beneficial for us.

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