CBD for Anxiety: Research, Dosage, Side Effects, and More

Cannabidiol is one of the cannabinoids in cannabis, and research has reported many of its benefits. Besides all other CBD benefits, its effect against anxiety is widely talked-about. 

The feeling of ‘high’ associated with cannabis is due to THC and not CBD. Therefore, using CBD for anxiety is quite safe. Below, you can learn more about using CBD for stress and how the cannabinoid can help alleviate anxiety. 

How Does CBD for Anxiety Work?

The human body comprises different systems that work in sync to maintain the internal environment. One of these systems is the endocannabinoid system. It has a range of different receptors that CBD interacts with. 

Experts believe CBD interacts with CB2 and CB1 receptors in the brain and the immune system. Besides the central nervous system, these receptors are also present in the peripheral nervous system. 

At the moment, researchers do not fully understand the interaction of CBD with the receptors. However, they believe the cannabinoid affects serotonin signals. 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that improves mood and promotes feel-good behavior. A lower amount of serotonin in the body could be the cause of anxiety. Conventionally, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, like Prozac and Zoloft, are used to alleviate anxiety. 

However, these medicines come with side effects. On the other hand, CBD does not have such severe side effects. 

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What Does Research Say About CBD for Anxiety?

In recent years, there have been many studies that reflect the usefulness of CBD for anxiety. 

Generalized Anxiety 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that CBD can help reduce stress as its positive effects were seen in rats with anxiety. 

The results showed that the study subjects had lower signs of anxiety, such as a lowered heart rate. However, more human research needs to be conducted before any sure claims can be made. 

Specialized Anxiety 

CBD may also be helpful for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or social anxiety disorders. A 2011 study showed that patients with SAD who took 400mg of CBD had lower anxiety symptoms. 

Additionally, some studies have shown CBD to be useful against PTSD symptoms too. These include remembering negative memories and having nightmares. 

CBD Dosage for Anxiety 

Although we know much more about CBD than we did a decade ago, the concept of CBD dosage for anxiety is still unclear, considering there’s no standard amount. 

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws reports that only a handful of commercially available CBD products have enough CBD for any therapeutic benefits. 

Woman with a lot of stress.

Their claim is quite true since CBD is not highly bioavailable for the body. Owing to this, most of the cannabinoid is lost during ingestion, and you only get a small fraction of what you’ve administered. 

A 2018 study showed that people who were going for a simulated public speaking test showed a positive response against anxiety by taking 300mg of CBD. On the other hand, people who took 150mg of CBD had lesser benefits. The results were the same for those who took 600mg. 

Since there were only 57 study subjects, the research is considered small. However, it gave insight into a somewhat standard CBD dosage for anxiety. 

Moreover, it shows that using a higher amount of CBD than that needed by the body will not give any additional benefits.

Side Effects of CBD for Stress 

Generally, CBD is thought to be safe since research hasn’t shown many of its side effects. However, a few risks of CBD have been found: 

  • Change in appetite 
  • Fatigue 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Weight changes 

Since CBD interacts with other drugs, it’s very important to talk to your doctor before you use it. If you take medications like antidepressants or blood thinners, you should not use CBD alongside. 

More importantly, if you’re using medicines for anxiety and depression, you should not stop using them without your doctor’s consultation. Leaving such medicines abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Fogginess
  • Nausea
  • Irritability 

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How to Use CBD for Anxiety?

Today, there are many ways to use CBD for anxiety. You can either pop two CBD gummies in the morning or use a topical CBD oil for anxiety relief. However, before you use CBD for anxiety, you must know the different types available: 

  • CBD Isolate: CBD products containing CBD isolate do not have any other cannabinoid in them. 
  • Broad Spectrum: Such formulations have all hemp cannabinoids, except THC. 
  • Full Spectrum: These products have all hemp cannabinoids. 

It’s up to you to decide if you want to use a CBD product containing CBD and THC or you’d rather opt for something that only contains CBD. 

All commercially available CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC, so they will not make you high or cause any THC-related side effects. However, this amount of THC still shows up in drug tests, so you might want to consider this aspect. 

Once you’ve made that decision, you can buy CBD in the following forms: 

  • Capsules
  • Oil or tinctures
  • Topicals 
  • Gummies 
  • Vape oil 

How to Buy CBD for Anxiety?

Buying CBD is quite simple these days, as you can place an order at an online CBD store. In some states, you might not be legally allowed to buy CBD edibles. However, most states have legalized the cannabinoid’s use. Make sure the CBD vendor:

  • Get the products tested from a third-party lab 
  • Has a positive reputations 
  • Sources hemp from the US
  • Uses safe extraction methods 

If you need a higher dose of THC for medical purposes, you’ll need a prescription from your doctor to get medicinal cannabis. 


With CBD’s popularity increasing, users are more inclined towards it than they ever were. However, you still need to keep in mind that CBD research is relatively scarce. 

Thus, you should speak to a doctor when using CBD for anxiety or any other condition.

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