CBD For Anxiety: Can CBD Cause Anxiety?

More people have learned about CBD for anxiety and used it in recent years than at any other point in time.

However, since CBD education and awareness are still in their juvenile stage, there are many misconceptions about its effects.

That being said, we can’t dismiss all claims as misinformation either. Medical researchers are still in the process of uncovering more about the compound. So until they unravel everything about CBD, we’ll have to focus on each concern raised by CBD users separately.

Currently, many people are using CBD for anxiety. If you search for the best CBD oil for anxiety, you’ll be bombarded with countless options. To give you an idea: In 2019, 1500 new CBD-based ventures entered the market.

But the hype around the product begs the question: can CBD cause anxiety? It may help against anxiety, but does it also have a reverse side effect of causing anxiety

In this article, we’ll discuss the use of CBD for anxiety disorders and whether or not CBD can cause anxiety.

CBD For Anxiety Disorders: Does the Cannabinoid Help?

Many experts claim that CBD might be the next big intervention for mental disorders. But how valid is that claim? Till now, different studies have shown that CBD can help against various anxiety disorders.

Some of these disorders are mentioned below: 

  • Social Anxiety Disorder 
  • Panic Disorder 
  • Paranoia
  • Generalized Anxiety 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 
Man leaning against wall.

Traditionally, medical experts use medication and psychotherapy to help patients suffering from anxiety. However, not everyone benefits from these treatment options; while some cannot afford proper therapy, most people find no benefit from traditional medications.

Nowadays, many people tend to forgo traditional methods and self-medicate with CBD. In a study of cannabidiol users, researchers found that 62% of the subjects used the cannabinoid for medical reasons. It’s easy to see why: it’s a much cheaper option than therapy and relatively safer than prescription drugs. 

In the same study, the top causes of self-medication with CBD were depression, anxiety, and pain. 

Despite the public’s increasing interest in CBD, its science is still unclear, including CBD dosage for anxiety and CBD oil side effects. 

Nevertheless, research has found many medical benefits of CBD, including its efficacy against pain, anxiety, and depression.

CBD for Social Anxiety

A small 2011 study showed that CBD might help in easing social anxiety. The researchers gave 600mg of CBD to 24 study subjects an hour before public speaking. 

The control group consisted of 12 study subjects suffering from social anxiety who did not take CBD before speaking in public. The results showed that CBD users had lesser discomfort during speaking, less cognitive impairment, and reduced anxiety. 

Although it’s just a single study, large-scale trials in the future may reveal how helpful CBD can be against social anxiety.

CBD for Paranoia

While there’s considerable awareness about generalized anxiety, many people don’t know much about specific conditions, such as paranoia.

A 2018 CBD anxiety study showed that CBD does not affect the anxiety levels or heart rate in people with high levels of paranoia. At the same time, some cannabinoids can increase paranoia, so be very careful when medicating with CBD.

When we talk about CBD success stories, it’s also important to discuss such studies because they paint a fuller picture of CBD. All users should be aware of this before they start hailing the compound as an all-in-one solution.

CBD for Generalized Anxiety

When people talk about using CBD for anxiety, this is what they usually mean.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is one of the most common forms of anxiety in the global population. Fortunately, that also means that it’s the most research – especially when it comes to CBD.

The National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) confirmed in 2015 that CBD could cause a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms both in humans and animals.

So if you or your furry companion are suffering from or displaying signs of anxiety and cannot find relief from other methods, you might want to give CBD a try.

Trending Tips on CBD Products


PTSD plagues the lives of veterans and people with sexual or childhood trauma. No matter the case, CBD can be a lifesaver, especially for people with treatment-resistant PTSD who have not had any luck with standard treatment options.

A study showed that oral administration of CBD coupled with routine psychiatric care might help reduce anxiety symptoms in adults who have PTSD. Moreover, CBD also reduces the occurrence of nightmares in some patients.

Do note, however, that the effectiveness of CBD for PTSD depends on how severe the PTSD is. For someone with more severe PTSD, CBD alone might not be as effective. In that case, Cannabis products with THC can also benefit PTSD patients.

So if you’re someone who has PTSD, CBD might save your life.


OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a disorder that causes both anxiety and obsessive behavior coupled with intrusive thoughts.

Currently, only Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are approved by the FDA for treating OCD. However, there is some evidence at the moment to suggest that using CBD for OCD can cause a significant reduction in symptoms.

A 2020 study concluded that CBD leads to a non-trivial reduction in OCD symptoms. That said, the evidence is still limited at the moment, and more research is needed before we can reach a definitive conclusion.

Is CBD Safe?

Users often worry about CBD oil side effects because of the uncertainty surrounding the compound. Furthermore, the FDA does not regulate CBD, increasing concern among users.

Different studies have shown that CBD might have the following side effects on the users:

  • Mood changes
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Change in appetite 
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure 

Some studies show that CBD might increase heart rate when a dose of 900 or above is taken. Likewise, some researchers also expressed concern about cannabidiol causing liver damage.

In both cases, there aren’t many studies to prove these side effects. However, users should still be wary since CBD is in the early testing stages. 

Additionally, users must keep in mind that CBD can interact with certain medications, including but not limited to antihistamines, anti-epilepsy drugs, and benzodiazepines. 

You can find a complete list of all these medications here. If you’re using any of these medicines regularly, you should consult your doctor before taking CBD for anxiety.

Apart from this, you can rest easy knowing that CBD effects on anxiety are only inhibitory. The cannabinoid alone does not increase or induce anxiety, but it can do so in cases if other cannabinoids are present, as we’ll see.

Inaccurate Labeling

Before you decide to purchase CBD for anxiety, Keep in mind that CBD is not FDA-regulated. Therefore, when you buy CBD products online, make sure you’re purchasing from reliable companies selling third-party-tested products.     

A 2017 study reported that 70% of the CBD products sold in online stores are mislabeled, meaning they do not contain any CBD at all or at least the advertised amount. Additionally, they may have more than 0.3% THC.

THC is the primary psychoactive component in Cannabis and causes users to feel high. Consuming a beyond-threshold dose of THC can lead to an increased heart rate and racing thoughts, two commonly reported side-effects of anxiety.

Potential users should note that improperly-made CBD oil for anxiety and depression will yield no results. Instead, you’ll end up with undesirable CBD effects. 

So whether you’re using CBD drops for anxiety or applying a topical, make sure you only choose the best products.

Here are a few more things to consider before you decide to purchase CBD for anxiety:

  • Only buy from reputed companies with positive customer reviews. 
  • The product should be third-party-tested. 
  • It should not make any claims that the FDA has not approved. 
  • It should not have more than 0.3% THC.

Can CBD Cause Anxiety?

All this begs the question: can CBD cause anxiety?

The answer is a resounding no. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not lead to the user feeling high. The effects are purely physiological, unlike other cannabinoid compounds that affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The above findings are valid for both humans and animals. While products containing THC are not recommended or safe for dogs, they can still benefit from CBD-laced treats or CBD oil as it does not cause anxiety.

Cannabis flower.

But what about some people who claim that they experience more anxiety even after taking CBD for anxiety? In those cases, the product likely contains a significant concentration of THC, as mentioned above.

So if you’re thinking about buying CBD for anxiety, there’s no need to worry; authentic CBD products can only reduce anxiety, not increase it.


Does CBD help with anxiety? As research shows, it does, and it’s not just a mere placebo.

However, we still don’t know how CBD has this effect or how long its efficacy lasts. Until medical researchers unearth that information, you should be careful when buying CBD for anxiety and depression online.

So if you’re wondering ‘can CBD cause anxiety?’ The answer is clear: Research has shown that CBD reduces anxiety rather than generating or increasing it.

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