CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike its more famous cousin THC, CBD does not produce a psychoactive “high” and is therefore appealing to those looking for the potential medical benefits of cannabis without the associated mind-altering effects. In recent years, CBD has been subjects to a great deal of scientific research, with promising results. One area of particular interest is the use of CBD oil for anxiety relief. Let’s take a closer look at the evidence.
CBD and Anxiety
CBD is thought to help reduce anxiety by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system regulates many different functions in the body, including mood, appetite, and pain sensation. Some researchers believe that low levels of endocannabinoids may be linked to anxiety and other mood disorders. By increasing levels of endocannabinoids using CBD, it’s thought that anxiety may be reduced.
So far, most of the evidence for CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety comes from animal studies and anecdotal reports. Anecdotal reports are accounts of people’s experiences with a given treatment. While these reports can be helpful, they are not as reliable as clinical trials. Clinical trials are research studies that test a treatment in humans to see if it is safe and effective. So far, there have been few clinical trials testing the effects of CBD on anxiety.
The limited research that has been conducted on CBD for anxiety has yielded mixed results. In one small study from Japan, participants who took CBD felt less anxious during a public speaking test than those who took a placebo (a “sugar pill” with no active ingredients). In another small study from Brazil, participants who took CBD experienced less generalized anxiety disorder symptoms than those who took a placebo. However, a third study from the United Kingdom found no difference in anxiety levels between participants who took CBD and those who took a placebo.
Because there is such limited research on CBD for anxiety, more studies are needed to determine whether or not it is an effective treatment. If you’re considering taking CBD for anxiety, be sure to talk to your doctor first.
CBD for Anxiety: The Evidence
While more clinical research is needed to conclusively say that CBD oil is an effective treatment for anxiety, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests it may be helpful. A 2019 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry found that CBD was associated with reduced anxiety levels in participants with both social anxiety disorder and general anxiety disorder. Another study from 2019 found that CBD oil was effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and improving sleep quality.
CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants that has gained popularity as a treatment for anxiety. However, there is still limited research on its efficacy. Some studies have shown promising results, while others have not found any difference between taking CBD and taking a placebo. If you’re considering taking CBD for anxiety relief, be sure to talk to your doctor first.