CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 100 different cannabinoid compounds found in the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Taken as a supplement to support health and well-being by millions of people, there’s good evidence to suggest it may also help combat anxiety.

Mental health disorders due to stress and anxiety are on the rise around the world and are often treated with powerful prescription drugs. In this article, we’ll take a look at whether the use of a quality CBD supplement offers a better way to tackle anxiety and its symptoms.

Please note: All information in this article is made in good faith and supported by medical articles where possible. You should always seek medical advice from a healthcare professional when treating chronic pain, diseases, or disorders.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol is one of several therapeutic compounds found in the hemp plant. It’s non-psychoactive (unlike the other well-known hemp-derived compound, THC) and can be taken safely at reasonable doses without adverse side effects by the majority of people.

Known to support the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) — the body’s own chemical messaging system — it can play a beneficial role in maintaining good physical, mental, reproductive, and emotional health. 

How Does CBD Help With Anxiety?

Research indicates CBD can contribute to good mental health and although the exact process by which it does this is not fully understood, there is good evidence to suggest that it can positively affect our:

  • Mood
  • Stress response
  • Emotional equilibrium

How Does CBD Help With Anxiety

CBD does this by supporting the ECS in its work regulating our nervous and hormonal systems. 

A key study found that CBD works by affecting levels of important neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine, and the “happiness molecules” 2-AG and anandamide.

Serotonin is produced by the body and is intimately involved in several important physiological and mental processes such as the regulation of our sleep/wake cycle (the circadian rhythm), mood, behavior, and digestion.

5 Advantages of CBD Over Other Anxiety Medications

Here are some good reasons to consider CBD as an alternative to prescription drugs:

1. CBD Has Fewer Side Effects

A common way to treat anxiety is to increase the concentration of serotonin in the body through the use of prescription drugs. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of anxiety disorders. 

Unfortunately, there are some serious side effects associated with this approach, including:

  • Feelings of agitation
  • Nausea
  • Constipation or loose bowels
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired vision
  • Mouth dryness
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disorders
  • Suppressed sex drive and erectile dysfunction
  • Problems reaching orgasm

That’s quite a list! Side effects of taking CBD are far more rare, and its most common side effect is suppressed appetite or mild drowsiness.

2. CBD Is Not Addictive and Doesn’t Promote Dependency

Cannabidiol is non-addictive and only has mild side effects, unlike SSRIs, which are associated with a whole host of unpleasant side effects. And, although SSRIs aren’t proven to be addictive, they can cause serious withdrawal symptoms when people stop using them.

The other drugs prescribed for serious anxiety, benzodiazepines, are considered to be highly addictive and should be used with care. CBD offers an effective, natural alternative to both these types of drugs, without any known health risks, so we think the choice is clear.

3. CBD Is A Natural Alternative

CBD is a 100% natural product derived from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, and can be safely taken by people who are sensitive to prescription pharmaceuticals and who want to seek a more holistic approach to managing their anxiety.

4. Rapid Onset of Relief

CBD has the added advantage of being fast-acting. Prescription drugs can take several weeks to start acting effectively, whereas CBD has been reported to work within minutes to hours of being consumed — that’s great news for those who suffer acute anxiety or panic attacks.

5. Versatility in Administration

One of the reasons why CBD works for so many people, is the fact that it can be taken in so many different forms. Traditional anxiety medications usually come in the form of pills, and that’s not ideal for everyone. 

In contrast, CBD, can be taken as oils, capsules, edibles, and even vapes, so there’s a product for everyone, whatever their preference.

What The Evidence Tells Us About CBD and Anxiety

There’s a wealth of evidence to support assertions that CBD can help people with a variety of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders come in many forms, but two of the most prevalent are social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

  • A 2011 study found it helped with public speaking 

The test participants with social anxiety disorder (SAD) who simulated a public speaking test (SPST) performed better when they took a CBD supplement than when they took a placebo. 

CBD was found to significantly alleviate “nerves” in the test group and their anxiety levels were found to be similar to those of the study’s control group (who were not SAD sufferers).

  • A 2015 review found it can alleviate symptoms of several disorders

Of the 49 studies analysed, evidence was found to suggest that CBD benefits people who suffer from OCD, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • A 2018 study found CBD can help sufferers of PTSD

This recent study showed that CBD can alleviate the symptoms of PTSD such as the mental repetition of harmful thoughts and memories and sleep disturbance due to nightmares.

  • A 2019 test found that a higher dose doesn’t always have a greater effect

This test compared the effectiveness of different CBD doses in combatting anxiety and found that the efficacy of different doses varied widely. The study also found that there is a point of diminishing returns with higher doses not necessarily more effective than lower doses.

  • Another 2019 study found CBD reduced symptoms of anxiety

This study discovered that in a test group of 11 participants (all of whom suffered from PTSD), 10 out of the eleven exhibited reduced symptoms of anxiety after taking cannabidiol.

How To Use CBD Oil For Anxiety

CBD can be taken in a range of forms, from gummies and powders to capsules, sprays, and oils, so there’s an easy-to-take supplement for anyone that suffers from anxiety. It can even be used topically in the form of a lotion, oil, or cream.

Oral CBD

An oral supplement, such as an oil or capsule, is a great way to take CBD because it’s so convenient and efficient, as the effect is usually felt within half an hour to two hours. 

Edibles

One of the most popular ways to take CBD is in the form of gummies and mints. They’re discreet — just pop one in your mouth according to need — and can be taken anywhere as they look like regular candy.

They’re not as quick-acting as CBD oils though, so aren’t the best supplement to take in cases of acute need, such as agoraphobia and anxiety attacks. 

Vaping

One of the fastest ways to experience the beneficial effects of CBD is to vape it. Vaping is certainly efficient, however there are concerns about the other chemicals present in some vapes and how heating affects them, so more research on its long-term health effects is needed.

Top Tip: Pair CBD With a Complimentary Ingredient

Pairing CBD with other active ingredients is a great way to enhance CBD’s effect, so keep a lookout for products that use other natural ingredients in your search for the CBD supplement that’s right for you.

Here’s a list of some great complimentary ingredients to pair with CBD:

  • Cannabinol, or CBN, is a wonderfully relaxing cannabinoid and therefore excellent to take in the evening
  • Melatonin can also be combined with CBD to promote good sleep 
  • Chamomile is also added to evening and before-bed CBD blends because it is very calming and mildly soporific
  • Cannabigerol, or CBG, can help keep you mentally acute during the day, so is a good pairing with CBD and will help keep you calm and centered 

Three DNH Products That Can Help With Anxiety

CBD Oil 8%

For people taking CBD for the first time, we’d recommend our signature 8% CBD oil. A full-spectrum product, it contains 825mg of cannabidiol per 10ml, augmented by a wide range of natural terpenoids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids — it’s CBD just like nature intended.

CBDactive+

CBDactive+ is a unique product that increases bioavailability by up to 100%. It offers 10x more full-spectrum CBD in comparison to regular hemp-oil products because of its special water-soluble formulation — meaning you get greater efficacy and even better value for money. 

And because CBDactive+ is hydrophilic, not lipophilic (like the majority of supplements) it acts faster, delivering an even greater effect on the mind and body.

CBG Oil 3% (with CBD)

The last product we recommend for dealing with stress is one you might not expect: CBG oil. Our CBG oil is a 1:1 blend of pure CBD and cannabigerol (CBG) that packs an anxiety-busting punch that works very well for people who are dealing with acute stress and its symptoms. 

FAQs

What dose should I take CBD for anxiety?

There’s some debate as to what a standardized CBD dose should be to combat anxiety, and more research needs to be done, but a compelling study in New Zealand found that a dose of between 300mg and 600mg reduced the symptoms of anxiety in a group of SAD sufferers.

What are the side effects of CBD?

CBD is generally well tolerated by the vast majority of people, however, there are some possible side effects connected with its use, including:

  • Tiredness
  • Sleepiness
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Upset stomach

NB: Due to insufficient research, CBD has not been proven to be safe to use during pregnancy or when breastfeeding and we do not recommend antenatal or postnatal use.

Will CBD Get Me High?

Pure cannabidiol does not have any psychoactive properties whatsoever and therefore won’t get you high. It’s worth noting that CBD products are regulated by law and are not permitted to contain significant amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).