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  • by Nicola Boulton September 27, 2022 5 min read

    CBD and Anxiety

    Studies now show CBD is an alternative treatment for anxiety-related disorders due to its influence on the serotonin hormone. This article explains the mechanisms of CBD in the body and its influence on anxiety.

    While feelings of anxiety are a normal part of human life, you may want to be careful when they worsen or don't get better with time. Anxiety is a natural response to dangerous and vulnerable situations. When you face your biggest fears, you will likely run or challenge the situation. Normal anxiety can help you avoid obstacles in life. Excessive or persistent fear can sabotage your emotional well-being, trigger suicidal thoughts, ruin your relationships and reduce the quality of your life. Normally, irrational fear is associated with a plethora of neuropsychiatric disorders, including panic disorder (PD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Many over-the-counter medications have side effects, including slowed thinking and foggy brain; CBD may provide an alternative for anxiety with little or no side effects. 


    Pamplona et al. (2018) suggested that CBD or cannabidiol is one of the numerous compounds that naturally occur in hemp or cannabis plant. However, most manufacturers opt for hemp as their main source of CBD because of the strict laws surrounding cannabis. Cannabis-obtained CBD is thought to be impure (or has delta-9 THC). As a result, it can alter brain functioning or cause psychoactive behaviors. However, to experience the full healing power of CBD, it should be in its purest form. CBD occurs in three forms: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. The three types have varying levels of THC and other compounds. To consume your favorite type of CBD, you may want to interact with various products, including oils, tinctures, edibles, and topicals. The dosage for addressing your anxiety will greatly depend on the product you integrate into your daily routine. Although CBD has been around for some time, researchers are yet to establish a standard dose of the cannabinoid.

    How CBD Affects Anxiety

    From what science knows, the human body has an endocannabinoid system. According to Hu et al. (2015), this system comprises enzymes, endocannabinoids, and receptors (CB 1 and CB 2 receptors). When CBD enters your body, it binds or interacts with these receptors. How? No one knows. No scientific research shows how CBD interacts with CB 1 and CB 2 receptors. After binding to these receptors, it is believed that CBD increases the production and release of serotonin, one of the popular feel-good hormones. You will likely experience a positive mood when your serotonin stores are full. That is how CBD affects anxiety.

    Types of CBD Products for Anxiety

    The choice of CBD products for anxiety can be overwhelming. The choice is endless, from vapes to capsules and oral sprays to tinctures.


    CBD gummies are one of the most common edibles in the cannabis space. They come with a great scent and taste to keep your taste buds going while addressing your anxiety. CBD gummies are chewable, meaning they pass through the digestive system before entering your bloodstream.

    Oils and Tinctures

    According to Bonn-Miller et al. (2017), oils and tinctures are viscous liquids. However, that does not mean they are the same thing. The main ingredients for CBD oils include CBD extracts and career oil. On the other hand, Duarte et al. (2016) suggested that CBD tinctures are made with CBD extracts and alcohol. For this reason, it is safe to say tinctures are alcohol-based extracts. Both oils and tinctures come in dropper bottles. They also act fast when they enter your system.


    CBD capsules are special soft gels or tablets. Like normal pills, they are consumed orally. CBD capsules come in different potencies, allowing you to choose what addresses your anxiety accordingly. Because the product's potency is always indicated on the label, you are less likely to go overboard with the pills.


    Most people like CBD sprays because they are affordable and user-friendly. CBD sprays come in oral sprays, topical sprays, and nasal sprays. The first option is oral, allowing CBD to be absorbed by the mucous membranes. Most CBD oral sprays have great taste to make your sessions more exciting. Topical sprays are used on the skin to help with pain and chronic Inflammation. The rare nasal sprays come with a nozzle to help you consume CBD through the nostrils.


    Vapes utilize CBD oil. When activated, they heat the oil, creating an inhalable vapor. CBD in vapor hits your lungs and is then carried to the bloodstream. The effects of inhalation also kick in within minutes.

    Creams and Gels

    CBD creams and gels are topical products. The cannabis derivative in these products binds to receptors on the skin, providing multiple benefits. 


    CBD flowers are consumed by smoking. Like vaping, smoking delivers effects quickly.

    How to Buy CBD For Anxiety

    Special considerations when buying CBD for anxiety include;


    Check the label to ensure your favorite CBD product is made with safe and high-quality materials. Also, steer clear of pesticides, mold, and heavy metals products.

    Third-Party Lab Testing

    In-house testing may not reveal the flaws of the CBD product. For this reason, it is best to go for CBD products tested by independent laboratories.

    Certificate of Analysis (COA)

    Even if the manufacturers claim their products have undergone third-party lab testing, you may want to see the certificate of analysis before clicking 'add to cart. Invest in wellness products from companies that value transparency.

    What Is the Right Dosage for Anxiety?

    The dosage for anxiety heavily depends on several factors, including your age, weight, and metabolism. For this reason, it is difficult to pinpoint the right dosage for anxiety. As a general rule of thumb, start with a low dosage and monitor how your body reacts. If it reacts positively, do not hesitate to up your dosage.

    The Bottom Line

    As it stands, there is nothing straightforward about compounds found in the cannabis plant. Most studies about the cannabinoids like CBD are still in their infancy. For this reason, it is not safe to say CBD can help with anxiety-related conditions at the moment. If you are on prescribed medication, checking with your healthcare provider before integrating CBD into your daily routine is best. This will help you avoid harmful interactions between the cannabinoid and medications.


    Bonn-Miller, M. O., Loflin, M. J., Thomas, B. F., Marcu, J. P., Hyke, T., & Vandrey, R.       (2017). Labeling accuracy of cannabidiol extracts sold online. Jama, 318(17), 1708-  1709.

    Duarte, P. (2016). Determination of the antibiotic properties of cannabidiol. J Gen Pract   (Los Angeles), 4, 266.

    Hu, S. S. J., & Mackie, K. (2015). Distribution of the endocannabinoid system in the          central nervous system. Endocannabinoids, 59-93.

    Pamplona, F. A., Da Silva, L. R., & Coan, A. C. (2018). Potential clinical benefits of CBD- rich cannabis extracts over purified CBD in treatment-resistant epilepsy:            observational data meta-analysis. Frontiers in neurology, 759.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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