The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that more than 40 million adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder. While various treatments are available, many people wonder about the effectiveness of CBD for anxiety.
That’s no surprise given how CBD is often hailed as a miracle cure-all. While research into CBD and its therapeutic effects is in its infancy, a recent study on anxiety does have some interesting (and promising) results.
A Long History of Research: CBD for Anxiety
Cannabidiol, or CBD, was first extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant in 1940. The first CBD test was conducted six years later.
Though research into the medicinal value of this compound is relatively new, there have been a wide range of studies into CBD specifically for the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Researchers aren’t yet 100 percent sure how exactly CBD works within your body. Yet, they know the compound interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for balancing a wide range of bodily functions (like your mood).
Many studies have looked into CBD’s effects on anxiety. The results look promising. But more research is needed for a definitive “yes, CBD helps with anxiety and other mood disorders.”
For example, a study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research requested that CBD users (almost 400 past and present) complete an online survey.
According to the survey results, users reported that a low dosage of CBD helps them effectively manage self-perceived anxiety, stress, and sleep problems.
Another study, this time a scientific review, found evidence suggesting that CBD helps with various mood disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Want more evidence? A small 2011 study gave 600 mg of CBD to 12 people with social anxiety disorder. Researchers found that they had less anxiety when they had to give a speech. Another study had similar results. Researchers noted that 80 percent of the participants’ anxiety improved after a CBD treatment.
New Research Reveals CBD Reduces Anxiety by 50%
The newest study was published in August 2022 in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. The open-label trial had 31 participants with an anxiety disorder.
Unique to these participants was that there had been no clinical improvement despite previously using antidepressant medication or undertaking cognitive-behavioral therapy – both are standard treatments for anxiety.
For 12 weeks during the trial, participants received add-on CBD. The dosage started out low at 200 mg per day. It was increased slowly up to a daily dose of 800 mg for some participants.
At the end of the trial, the severity of anxiety of the participants was reduced. Their overall anxiety scores decreasing by 42.6 percent. By one official measurement, the participants’ anxiety symptoms were 50 percent less severe.
We’ll have to wait and see what the evidence suggests regarding future studies since this 2022 study was a pilot one.
Can CBD Help With Your Anxiety?
Most studies into the effects of CBD on anxiety are small and only some follow strict control protocols. But, more robust research is growing. It does seem that the compound may have a future of helping relief anxiety.
So, should you try CBD for anxiety? It may be worthwhile to discuss the use of CBD with your healthcare professional.