Does CBD Help with Anxiety?

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cbd tincture bottle for anxiety

Anxiety is often physically, mentally, and emotionally debilitating. While there’s no magic cure to relieve anxiety, many people turn to CBD products to help mitigate symptoms. But does CBD help with anxiety? Today, we’re taking a closer look at CBD’s effects on anxiety, including how to use it and what results to expect.

What is CBD?

To understand CBD, let’s first take a look at marijuana and hemp. Both contain hundreds of ingredients, but the two most plentiful are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Although both marijuana and hemp contain CBD and THC, the proportions vary by plant. Marijuana contains more THC than hemp; hemp has more CBD than marijuana.

THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana primarily responsible for the high or stoned feeling. However, CBD has different effects. It does not create any high feeling. Additionally, CBD poses no risk of abuse or dependence potential.

There are two types of CBD:

  • CBD isolate
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Isolate is only the CBD compound. It contains no THC whatsoever.

Full-spectrum CBD contains CBD plus other hemp compounds. It can have trace amounts of THC, typically 0.3% or less. By comparison, extremely mild marijuana contains about 5% THC, while more potent marijuana can have a THC content of 20% or more.

The trace amounts of THC in full-spectrum CBD won’t create a high feeling. However, they could potentially register on an extremely sensitive drug test.

The Different Forms of CBD

CBD is a flexible product available in a wide variety of different ways. Common CBD products include the following:

  • Oils
  • Tinctures
  • Creams
  • Ointments
  • Gummies
  • Beverages

CBD oils and CBD tinctures for anxiety are the most common delivery methods. For joint and muscle pain, creams and lotions are typically the preferred delivery method.

Edibles are also popular. Keep in mind that even the best CBD gummies for anxiety typically take an hour or so before you’ll feel results. For faster results, you’ll want to use oils, tinctures, or even a vape pen.

Is CBD Legal?

Generally, you shouldn’t have any problems buying or possessing CBD products. All 50 states have legalized CBD in some way, although specifics vary.

However, federal regulations are murkier. Until recently, legality varied slightly depending on whether the CBD is derived from hemp or marijuana. In 2018, federal law changed to legalize all hemp-derived CBD products with THC quantities less than 0.3%.

While the change in the law has been a welcome one, it’s also relatively recent. Scientists are only now able to research the effects of CBD. A lack of large-scale, human-based studies means the most touted benefits of CBD aren’t backed by rigorous research.

What Conditions Does CBD Treat?

As discussed above, you’ll find CBD in a wide range of products, including creams, foods, and beauty products. CBD’s popularity seems to grow by the year. It can feel as if CBD is peddled as some type of modern-day miracle cure-all. So, what conditions does it treat effectively?


The most concrete research centers around CBD’s effects on epilepsy, where it’s found to help reduce the severity and frequency of seizures. Unfortunately, research related to other treatment effectiveness typically has either pre-clinical or limited clinical evidence.


CBD’s effectiveness at treating anxiety and depression isn’t backed by robust scientific evidence. However, that’s not to say it doesn’t help with those conditions. Many, many people find that CBD’s effects mirror the effects of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
Additionally, research indicates CBD helps treat social phobias, PTSD, panic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Other Uses

Additionally, a fairly comprehensive study from the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found a variety of potential benefits. According to their research, CBD can act as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticonvulsant, and more.

Researchers see lots of potential in CBD to treat the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Epilepsy
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • And more

Keep in mind these results are based on only a single study, although they are promising.

CBD and Anxiety

So, does CBD help with anxiety?

The lack of rigorous scientific study isn’t ideal, but it’s not a significant barrier for most people interested in CBD. After all, due to the lack of psychotropic compounds, and a non-existent risk of addiction, CBD has minimal potential for adverse effects. It might not necessarily treat the condition you want to treat, but it’s unlikely to harm you.

Of course, you’ll want to consult with a doctor or mental health professional beforehand. Many people find that CBD is more effective at reducing anxiety when used alongside additional treatments such as talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medications, and other options.
CBD and Treatment for Additional Conditions

As discussed above, CBD has shown promise in treating ailments besides anxiety, such as epilepsy and muscle pain. However, beyond those issues, the treatment’s effectiveness for other conditions is less clear.

Does CBD-infused shampoo add extra shine and body to your hair? Does adding a CBD shot to your latte or smoothie do anything? Maybe, but evidence of effectiveness is currently light.

Another factor complicating matters is that non-prescription CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA. Sometimes determining the exact amount of CBD in the product is difficult. For example, a lotion can add a minuscule amount of CBD but still promote their product as CBD-infused. When selecting CBD products, read the ingredients carefully, and only purchase from manufacturers you trust.

Additionally, be wary of bold claims. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission released a warning about unsubstantiated claims by some manufacturers of CBD products. Avoid any manufacturer who claims their CBD product is scientifically proven to cure cancer, autism, AIDS, or any other major physical ailment.

Potential Side Effects

Although CBD is generally considered safe, everyone’s body is different. Some people do experience side effects. Common ones include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dry Mouth
  • Nausea

If you experience any side effects when taking CBD for anxiety and depression, stop taking the product right away. Note that the presence of side effects doesn’t mean you can never take CBD. Your CBD for anxiety dosage might need adjustment. Consult with a medical professional for more info about your specific needs.

Final Thoughts

CBD and anxiety have an interesting relationship. Does CBD work with anxiety? While additional scientific study is still needed, the results are promising for many people with anxiety, depression, and related social phobias.

CBD anxiety treatment is more popular than ever before, and it can be difficult to separate fact from marketing hype. However, many people with anxiety have found significant relief with CBD products. If you currently suffer from on-going anxiety and related issues, CBD might be the solution you’re looking for.