Does CBD Help with Anxiety?

A Women having Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses globally. Data reports indicate that it affects 284 million people globally, and it usually occurs alongside other conditions such as depression. While anxiety has no cure, the symptoms can be managed by clinical medications.

However, many people are now turning to alternative sources of medicine such as CBD to manage the symptoms of anxiety. But how does CBD help with anxiety? This article offers a review of CBD for anxiety, how it works, the recommended dosage, and potential side effects.

What is Anxiety?

It’s a type of mental health condition characterized by constant fear and worry. Anxiety affects people of all ages and might be caused by brain chemistry, genetics, environmental stress, drug misuse, and certain medical conditions. Common anxiety symptoms include restlessness, nervousness, sweating, increased heart rate, fatigue, etc.

CBD and Anxiety

The human body has several receptors – these are protein-based chemical structures attached to the body cells. Receptors receive signals from different types of stimuli. When you take CBD, it interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are mainly found in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are in the peripheral nervous system.

While the exact way CBD manages anxiety symptoms in the body isn’t known, preliminary research reports indicate that this organic cannabis compound alters serotonin signals. It should be noted that serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in regulating mental health.

Generally, low levels of serotonin are usually associated with depression and anxiety. By creating the perfect balance of serotonin hormone, CBD can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety significantly.

Conventionally, the treatment for low serotonin is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) such as fluoxetine and sertraline. However, these medications can cause unwanted side effects, including drug dependency.

What Research Says

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), CBD has shown its effectiveness in treating generalized anxiety (GAD) in animals such as rats. Reports from study subjects show that the cannabis compound can lower some behavioral signs of anxiety—for instance, the physiological symptoms of anxiety in rats, such as increased heart rate.

However, more research studies need to be done needs to be done regarding the effectiveness of CBD for anxiety in humans.

CBD and Other Forms of Anxiety

CBD may also be effective in treating other forms of anxiety, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD). Additionally, it may help to ease symptoms of anxiety-induced insomnia. Several recent studies indicate that consistent intake of CBD can be effective in managing PTSD symptoms such as replaying negative memories and nightmares.

While some people can use CBD as a standalone treatment for PTSD, its effectiveness is higher when used as supplemental treatment with traditional treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

How to Use CBD

CBD is a versatile compound, and therefore you can use it for anxiety in several forms. Some of the most common methods of administration include:

  • Edibles such as CBD gummies
  • Sublingual spray and CBD oil
  • Capsules and pills
  • Vaporized CBD oil

CBD Dosage for Anxiety

Finding the right CBD dosage for anxiety depends on factors such as:

  • Your weight
  • Metabolism
  • CBD product’s potency
  • The severity of your anxiety
  • The bioavailability of the chosen CBD product

CBD Dosage for Anxiety

Table 1.0 CBD dosage by weight

Anxiety Range/Weight  

31-60 lbs.


61-100 lbs.


100-175 lbs.


175-250 lbs.




4-8 mg


6-12 mg


8-18 mg


12-20 mg




12-18 mg


12-24 mg


24-32 mg


32-40 mg




18-30 mg


24-40 mg


32-60 mg


42-60 mg

When starting to use CBD for anxiety, ensure that you start with the lowest dosage possible. The goal is to start low and go slow. Establish the baseline dosage that will work for you, and then gradually increase the dosage until you find out what works for you. To help you, here are a few tips regarding CBD’s dosage procedure:

  • Maintain your baseline dosage for around seven days. During this period, take note of how CBD interacts with your body.
  • If you notice minimal or no significant changes, then increase your daily dosage intake by 1-2 mg every three days. Do so until you find a dosage that works for you.
  • Once you have found your ideal CBD dosage, stick to it until you attain the desired health results. Thereafter, you can start to gradually decrease your daily dosage and take a slightly lower dosage until you are completely off CBD.

Are There Any Side Effects?

CBD has a generally good safety profile. However, different people react differently to it; hence it might result in unwanted side effects. Some of the possible downsides of CBD include:

Drug Interactions

CBD has a high potential of interacting with pharmaceutical drugs that usually inhibit the activity of the enzyme cytochrome P450 found in the liver. It should be noted that this family of the enzyme is responsible for

metabolizing certain medications. So, when CBD inhibits its effectiveness, then there are chances that your body may end up absorbing more or fewer drug compounds.

Note: if you take a medication with a grapefruit warning, you shouldn’t take it alongside CBD. Ensure that you first seek the opinion of your medical doctor.

Dry Mouth

It’s also known as the cottonmouth effect and occurs when CBD interferes with the functions of the salivary glands. After using CBD, some people reportedly experience an unpleasant dry sensation in their mouths.


This side effect is more common in those who take more than the recommended dosage of CBD. To avoid this, ensure that you stick to the daily recommended CBD dosage.


Just like lightheadedness, this side effect also occurs because of higher doses of CBD. In case you start experiencing the feeling of drowsiness after taking CBD, then make sure that you avoid operating heavy machines or driving your vehicle.

Final Thoughts

CBD’s popularity in treating a wide range of diseases has increased significantly. Research studies indicate that it can help treat and manage symptoms of anxiety, especially social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorders.

However, anxiety patients should use CBD products with caution. This is because the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD; hence it’s upon you to do extensive research before using CBD products. Besides that, it’s always important to consult with your doctor first.


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