Using CBD to treat anxiety: research, dosage, side effects and more

For people who have an anxiety condition, unwanted sensations like a racing heart, sweaty hands, and racing thoughts can make daily life seem impossible.

According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health condition globally, affecting one in 13 individuals (WHO). Finding a secure way to control symptoms is a crucial worry for many who live with anxiety.

Enter CBD sometimes referred to as cannabidiol. Recently, CBD has gained popularity as an additional or alternative therapy for anxiety.

CBD: Snake oil or effective anti-anxiety medication?

In recent years, clinical research on CBD as a therapy for anxiety disorders has exploded due to mounting evidence of its therapeutic potential. Although animal models are used in the majority of preclinical investigations on CBD, clinical trials with human subjects are increasingly beginning to be conducted.

According to 2018 research, CBD may make people feel more anxious. A limited sample of people with paranoid characteristics was involved in the study, and it was discovered that CBD made some of the subjects more anxious.

By monitoring symptoms like cortisol levels, heart rate, and systolic blood pressure, anxiety was quantified.

These conflicting results might be the result of variables like limited sample numbers and dose discrepancies. Because CBD is a bidirectional drug, it can, at various dosages, elicit opposite effects. We’ll go into more detail about this below.

How should I use CBD to reduce my anxiety?

If you’re interested in using CBD oil as a technique to help reduce your anxiety, education is crucial. By understanding the benefits and drawbacks of the various ingesting procedures, you may select the intake that best matches your needs.

Infusions and oils

CBD tinctures and oils represent a quick, easy, and accurate way to consume CBD. Most tinctures contain CBD in an alcohol base. CBD oils contain CBD extracts infused into a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil.

A dropper is used to administer tinctures and oils, making it simple to gauge consumption. When taken sublingually, the THC reaches the circulation swiftly; effects can start to take effect in as little as ten minutes and persist for up to three to four hours.

Vaping CBD oils

Using a special pen that vaporizes the oil, CBD may be inhaled. The safety of vaping is currently being closely examined. 42 individuals have died as a result of the deadly lung ailment VAPI, also known as EVALI, which has kept more than 2,000 people in hospitals.

Most cases, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control, have been connected to using THC vape cartridges from the black market that have been contaminated with vitamin E oil (tocopheryl-acetate).

CBD vape cartridges purchased from authorized state cannabis retailers are subject to strict regulations, while those obtained from other sources are wholly uncontrolled. When thinking about any vaping product in an uncontrolled setting, proceed with care.


CBD can be added to almost every food under the sun. While super easy to consume in this form—and often delicious, particularly as gummies – it may take an hour or more before results are felt.

The oral bioavailability of CBD can also prevent CBD from being absorbed since it must first travel through the digestive system before the liver can metabolize it. As a result, just a little amount of CBD enters the circulatory system.

It’s significant to remember that the FDA just ruled that food containing CBD is unlawful.

You must purchase CBD edibles from adult-use marketplaces with a state license.


An almost instantaneous way to experience CBD’s effects is to smoke. Through smoking, the cannabis is delivered directly to the lungs’ alveoli, where it enters the circulation for quick absorption.

When you smoke, it can be challenging to gauge your CBD consumption, and smoking itself might irritate your lungs.

CBD dosage for anxiety

You’ll see that the dose varied widely among the research mentioned above if you read them. In contrast to the outpatients in the Colorado research, who got 25 mg, the youths in the Japanese study received 300 mg of CBD daily.

Why is there such a big dosage difference?

There is currently no commonly accepted dose for CBD, and there haven’t been any significant clinical trials to advise dosage recommendations, as most researchers and medical professionals openly concede.

Before deciding how to regulate CBD, the FDA is still learning about it and its cumulative effects on the body.

This does not imply that CBD is inherently dangerous.

It looks to be a safe, well-tolerated therapy, according to the study that has previously been done. If you’re considering using CBD to treat your anxiety symptoms, strive for a knowledgeable, careful approach to dose (which is always a good idea).

Considerations for dosage are listed below.

General dosage guidelines

When determining a CBD dosage, you need to take into account a few fundamental aspects, such as:

  • Body mass
  • Metabolism
  • CBD concentration
  • The intensity of your phobias

The amount of CBD in each product varies, and it is often stated as milligrams (mg) per container.

Your body’s chemistry affects how you respond to CBD.

Once you are aware of the product’s effectiveness, you may use a dosage calculator or an app like Accugentix to help you choose your perfect dose. Dosage calculators can provide a recommended dose in milligrams based on your body weight and the severity of your symptoms.

How you react to CBD is also influenced by your own body chemistry.

Medicine is metabolized differently by different people, which may be influenced by lifestyle choices or genetics. If you are aware of how rapidly you metabolize medicine, a greater dose can be advantageous for you.

Effects in both directions

Bidirectional effects are phenomena where various dosages of CBD may have distinct effects. Overstimulating the endocannabinoid system may make symptoms worse rather than better.

Additionally, CBD at large doses—300 mg, for example—has been linked to drowsiness and relaxation. On the other hand, low CBD concentrations may cause an elevating reaction that promotes alertness and wakefulness.

To minimize undesirable bidirectional effects, it is important to start small and move slowly.

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