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Does CBD Oil Help With Anxiety?

Written by Jordan Donohue

Medically reviewed by Doctor Carlos Levy, DO.

Anxiety disorders are the 3rd largest mental health problem in the world today, affecting approximately 7% of the population [1]. The treatment of anxiety remains problematic, with only 30% of sufferers ever achieving true recovery, often leading them to search for alternative treatments such as cannabis [2].

CBD oil is one such cannabis based alternative that has been touted as a cure-all for conditions such as anxiety and sleeplessness through to life threatening diseases. These often outlandish and broad claims have left consumers confused and misinformed about the real benefits of CBD Oil. Therefore, in this article we will explore one of the most sought after topics regarding CBD oil - does it help with anxiety?

What is Anxiety?

The defining feature of anxiety is an intense fear of being judged, negatively evaluated or rejected in social and professional situations [3]. For people suffering from anxiety, a fear of speaking in public is said to be one of the cardinal manifestations of the condition [4].

Anxiety is associated with the impairment of daily life, increased disability, dysfunction and a loss of productivity [5][6]. Furthermore, anxiety follows a long-term and unforgiving course, and is rarely resolved without treatment [7][8].

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a health supplement made up of 2 ingredients: a CBD rich Cannabis Sativa L. extract and a carrier oil.

Cannabidiol, often abbreviated to ‘CBD’ is a naturally occurring compound found within the cannabis plant. It belongs to a family of compounds known as the phytocannabinoids, of which hundreds have been identified to date.

Learn more about CBD oil in our beginner's guide to CBD oil.

Does Cannabis Cause Anxiety?

Anxious people are more likely to use cannabis in an attempt to ‘self-medicate’ [9]. However, the relationship between anxiety and cannabis use is a complex one, with many users stating anxiety reduction as their primary motivation for use, whilst at the same time reports indicate intense anxiety and panic are amongst the most commonly reported side-effects of cannabis use [10]. 

Such conflicting statements arise because THC (the cannabinoid that gets you high) decreases anxiety in small doses and causes anxiety in large doses [11]. Conversely, CBD has displayed substantially different psychological effects to those of THC [12]. When administered orally, CBD has been shown to reduce, or ‘block’ the anxiety causing effects of THC [13].

Does CBD Oil Help Anxiety?

Several studies have now demonstrated the anxiety reducing effects of CBD oil. In support of the encouraging data are thousands of anecdotal reports which suggest CBD is an effective tool in the day-to-day management of anxiety. Keep reading to explore the studies in which CBD helped anxiety.

Find Your Calm.

CBD Oil Helps with Public Speaking Anxiety

Studies show that when people suffering from anxiety are pre-treated with CBD oil before public speaking, they experience significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort during speech [14].

Want to learn more about how CBD oil can help with public speaking anxiety? Check out our more detailed article on the subject.

CBD Oil Decreases Blood Flow to The Anxious Brain

In 2010 researchers from the University of Sao Paulo decided to test the effect of CBD oil on subjective measures of anxiety in men. As part of the study the researchers also took brain scans in an attempt to understand how CBD oil may affect the brain.

Alongside the participants reporting improved anxiety with CBD oil supplementation, brain scans showed that blood flow was reduced to the anxiety processing areas of the brain [15].

Study Shows CBD Oil Helps Anxiety in Teenagers

A recent study from the University of Kyoto showed that when supplemented over a 4 week period, CBD Oil significantly decreased anxiety in teenagers with generalised social anxiety disorder.

37 teenagers aged between 18 and 19 years old with either generalised social anxiety disorder or avoidant personality disorder were selected for the study. All of the participants were naïve to cannabis and had not received any prior pharmacological or psychological treatment. Participants were split into 2 groups and received either CBD Oil or a placebo (olive oil) daily for 4 weeks.

Anxiety symptoms were measured at the beginning and end of treatment using the Fear of Negative Evaluation Questionnaire and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale. Participants who received CBD oil showed a significant reduction in anxiety scores in both questionnaires [16].

Below is some commentary on the study from Dr Mike Hart of Ready-To Go-Clinic.

Doctor's Reports Show CBD Oil Reduces Anxiety

In 2017 New Zealand amended their misuse of drugs act, allowing CBD Oil to be prescribed for the first time. Following the amendment a clinical audit was conducted on the first 400 patients to receive CBD Oil.

Patients suffering from chronic pain, neurological symptoms and mental-health issues such as anxiety were prescribed CBD oil and told to consume at least 100mg per day.

Patients with mental health related symptoms such as anxiety, PTSD and depression reported improvements in their ability to carry out their usual activities, with 70% of patients reporting some level of satisfaction from using CBD Oil [17].

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How Much CBD Oil Should You Take for Anxiety?

Several different research groups have now examined the effect of CBD oil on anxiety. Below is a table highlighting the amount of CBD that was dosed per day in those studies:

Study CBD Dose per Day

600mg

400mg

300mg

40mg - 300mg

300mg

Other than in the New Zealand study where patients were allowed to titrate their dose to a level which suited them, the remaining studies administered very large doses of CBD. If you can afford it, you are more than welcome to experiment with the larger doses of CBD shown in the research.

Here at Cannubu, however, we believe people can experience the anxiety relieving benefits of CBD oil using much smaller doses, as displayed in the New Zealand study. If you would like to learn more about how much CBD oil you should take for anxiety, head on over to our CBD dosage guide.

References

Buy CBD Oil for Anxiety

If you're shopping for a high quality CBD oil supplement for anxiety, we've got it covered.

From our high strength 1500mg CBD oil through to our best selling CBD capsules, Cannubu have a range of products to suit your needs.

Want to know which product is best for you? Check out our CBD oil dosage guide.

Brand new to CBD? Check out our beginner's guide to CBD oil.