Canna Bliss

Is CBD Effective for Relieving Anxiety and Stress? What Studies Shows

Anxiety and Stress (1)

One compound that has attracted attention for anxiety and stress patients is CBD (cannabidiol). Anxiety disorders currently impact over 40 million adults annually in the United States. As rates of anxiety continue rising, many people are exploring supplemental options like cannabis-derived products to help relieve symptoms. But what does the research say so far regarding its efficacy for anxiety and stress?

Understanding Anxiety Disorders 

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), PTSD and OCD. They involve excessive, difficult-to-control worry that interferes with daily functioning. Physical and psychological symptoms can range from irritability and restlessness to fatigue, muscle tension, breathlessness, rumination and more.

While highly treatable, only around 37% of those affected receive treatment, leading many to look into alternative or complementary options like CBD oil.

Research on CBD for Anxiety and Stress

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of over 100 active compounds called cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating and does not produce a high feeling. Preliminary studies indicate it may help reduce anxiety and stress by interacting with serotonin receptors and modulating the endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain, mood, appetite and memory.

Specifically, research suggests it may hold potential for:

Generalized anxiety disorder

Based on a 2011 study showing it lessened anxiety in SAD patients. Brain scans also revealed impacts on anxiety-related blood flow patterns. 


According to emerging evidence from a case study in which it improved sleep disturbances and PTSD symptoms in a 10-year-old. It also exhibits promise as an add-on to exposure therapy for PTSD.


Although research is limited. A 2018 case study hinted it may enhance standard medication treatments for OCD when used together, but more research is needed.

Social anxiety:

As a 2011 study revealed it reduced anxiety associated with public speaking. Brain imaging confirmed changes in blood flow to anxiety regulation regions.

Panic disorder

With reviews noting it may decrease symptoms based on initial studies. One study specifically found it reduced acute anxiety during a stressful task. More clinical trials are still required.

Finding the Right Dosage

There are currently no official dosage guidelines for using it for anxiety. However, studies use varying doses between 20-300mg per day with lower doses appearing beneficial according to current data. It’s ideal to start low at 20-50mg and incrementally increase every few days until anxiety relief is achieved.

Factors like metabolism, weight, severity of anxiety and personal body chemistry can impact the ideal dose. You may need to adjust the dosage to find what provides optimal anxiety and stress relief. Isolate products may also require higher doses than full-spectrum versions to get similar benefits.

Administration Methods: Pros and Cons

CBD is available in numerous product types, each with their own characteristics:

– Oils and tinctures – Offered in dropper bottles for easy dosing. Effects kick in faster than edibles. Useful for acute anxiety relief.

– Capsules and gummies – Contain pre-measured doses for consistent daily use. Better for overall anxiety but have a slower onset than oils.

– Vapes – Offer the fastest relief by absorbing directly into the bloodstream when inhaled. However, research is limited to vaping it specifically.

– Topicals – Applied directly to the skin so only provides localized benefits. Not optimal for treating generalized anxiety disorders.

Exploring Side Effects and Ensuring Safety

According to a comprehensive review, it is generally well-tolerated and does not produce significant side effects at high doses up to 1,500mg per day. However, possible side effects can include:

– Digestive issues like diarrhea, nausea or stomach upset

– Changes in appetite and weight 

– Fatigue

– Interactions with other medications

It is also vital to discuss use with your doctor if you take any prescriptions or have a health condition. Avoid driving or operating machinery when first using it until you understand its effects.

Responsible Application Guidelines

– Consult your healthcare provider before trying it, especially if taking other medications.

– Start with the lowest recommended dose and increase slowly as needed.

– Do not attempt to replace prescribed anxiety treatments without medical approval.

Is CBD Right for You?

While research on it for anxiety and stress is promising, it is not a cure-all. Proven treatments like therapy and psychiatric medications should not be replaced it without medical supervision.

Lifestyle interventions like exercise, meditation, therapy, dietary changes and stress management techniques should form the foundation for natural anxiety management. For some individuals, it may offer additional support when used thoughtfully under proper guidance.


In summary, preliminary studies indicate that CBD is a promising supplement for anxiety and stress relief. However, larger-scale, high-quality human research is still needed. Work with a medical professional to determine if it is an appropriate addition to your anxiety management plan. Do not view it as a stand-alone remedy for treating anxiety disorders. Ongoing research brings hope for new options to address this widespread issue.

Scroll to Top