CBD Research  -  How CBD Works for Anxiety

Does CBD work for anxiety



A new article just came out.


Roughly 1/3rd of college and high school students will experience acute anxiety each year.




These numbers are way up.


For anyone who has experienced anxiety or watched a loved one who has, you know it's debilitating.


This isn't your garden variety nervousness.


Personally, of all the potential that CBD holds, anxiety is one closest to my heart.


I've seen it up front and close and the house nearly fell apart as a result.


It's the reason we became an evangelist for CBD. We've seen what it can do on this front.


Check out Our CBD Story here.


Anxiety is probably the biggest reason people eventually end up at CBD.


I say end up, but there's usually a series of medications, remedies, other lifestyle "fixes" tried first.


Here's the deal...telling someone to meditate when they're in the throws of anxiety or a panic attack is like fighting the tide!


There are very powerful chemical and hormonal actors at work here.


We need to at least balance the table before we set it!


That's where CBD comes into play.


If you're holding on for dear life now, you can quickly shop CBD for anxiety here:

find affordable and quality cbd isolate online with zero thc


Otherwise, you can jump to any section here:

Let's get started.


We'll begin with the basics.

An "Ah-Ha" Look At Anxiety

You may have already read up on what anxiety is in the body.


Let's go a little deeper without getting lost in the weeds.


First, a lay of the land.


As we mentioned in How CBD works and the CBD Beginner's Guide, you have many separate but interacting systems in the body and brain.


Anxiety is really at the intersection of two of them:

  • Nervous System – Neurotransmitters
  • Endocrine System – Hormones


No wonder anxiety feels so overwhelming.


You're talking about the two most powerful systems in the body/brain for dictating how we feel and how we perceive the world around us.


Anxiousness is a natural state created in order to deal with potential danger.


We need it!


Anxiety, however, is when this state pops up without danger or remains chronically or overly intense.


We're going to talk about how CBD works in with all this, so let's introduce the main actors (culprits) in the anxiety dance.


We'll focus on these players:

  • Cortisol
  • Norepinephrine
  • GABA
  • Serotonin


There are other intermediaries and bit roles but these four are critical for anxiety.


Cortisol and Noraepinephine are your fight or flight chemicals.


Left unchecked, they are the instigators of anxiety.


They're not all bad!


Without cortisol, you wouldn't wake up in the morning, ever be alert, or be able to focus on anything.


We need cortisol. It needs to ebb and flow with the cycle of the day (sleep/wake for example).


Norepinephrine is your surging chemical. Adrenaline rush!


Heart racing. Pulse-pounding.


It's the bazooka in the anxiety arsenal.


Use sparingly and for brief periods of time!


Occasionally, it needs to make us jump out of the way of the proverbial oncoming bus!


The problem is when it becomes the bus!


That's where GABA comes into play.


GABA is the calming counterpunch to Cortisol and Norepinephrine.




The body works this way.


Learn all about CBD and GABA here.


Opposing forces that temporarily gain the upper hand when needed!


Hormones are a little nuanced but equally powerful.

  • Progesterone can also have a calming effect on the body.
  • Estrogen can create a general sense of well-being.


And testosterone?? Isn't that the "Agro" hormone?


Yes and no. You need some of it.


Some interesting research showed that testosterone conveys a general "removal" of worry from one's own actions!


That kind of sounds like the opposite of anxiety!


So...we need our hormones in balance (especially important for men and women beyond age 40).


Anyone who has been through perimenopause needs no further explanation of the power of out of balance hormones.


The Dutch Test is awesome for people to find out where their levels are!


Of course, many things can play into anxiety which 1000's of articles cover:

  • Poor sleep
  • Poor diet and nutrition (magnesium, trace minerals, B Complex, etc)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Work or personal stress
  • Medications!!! (look at those side effects...this is very common!)


Again, there's a lot we can do to help things but for some people, none of this works due to a chemical imbalance.


I've seen it first hand.


My wife during perimenopause did EVERYTHING imaginable but to no avail.


It was finally balancing hormones, supplements, and CBD that helped.


That's why anxiety tends to spike during times of flux..major changes in the body:

  • Puberty
  • Perimenopause
  • New Job, School, or Change


So...we talked about the main actors in the body associated with anxiety.


In general, there's a balance with these chemicals as with every system in the body.


Let's look at CBD now.


This is probably the best-studied issue with CBD.


It's also the #1 reason people end up with anxiety.


I say end up because they've usually tried a slew of other things first.


We'll get into the studies of CBD and anxiety next, but what is actually happening?


We go into detail in our How CBD works, but here's a quick visual guide:

How does CBD work for anxiety


Millions of people are getting anxiety relief from CBD but how specifically?


There are at least two potential pathways.


CBD, Anxiety, and System Homeostasis


The endocannabinoid system naturally in our body appears to be a master regulatory of some key systems:

  • Nervous system
  • Endocrine system
  • Immune system


Do two of those look familiar?


The working theory is that the endocannabinoid system is totally over-worked in today's modern world.

The endocrine system alone is under constant assault from chemicals that didn't exist just 50 years ago.

They're now in our bloodstream and even in the womb.


We're talking about all the endocrine disruptors:

  • Sunblock (Being banned in Hawaii and elsewhere now)
  • Cosmetics and Skincare products
  • Hormones in poultry, meat, and fish
  • Fire retardants and other household chemicals
  • Plastics in and around food (plastics everywhere for that matter)
  • Synthetic hormones (birth control, etc)


And then the assault on the nervous system:

  • Pesticides (we use the same nerve pathways that insects have blocked by pesticides by the way)
  • Heavy metals and toxins
  • Medications and drugs both legal and illegal
  • Poor nutrient qualify food
  • Genetic predispositions.

It's estimated that 40% of the population has the MTHFR gene.


This means you don't utilize vitamin B12 well.


Just a head's up...the protective nerve sheaths are made from B12!


That might be important.


Get a methylated B Complex vitamin STAT!


The endocannabinoid system has the impossible job of keeping both of these systems in balance.


With a constant onslaught from within and without!


That's where CBD comes into play!


CBD (a cannabinoid occurring naturally in hemp) interacts with our own natural system to make it work better.


Don't take our word for it....let's look at CBD and anxiety research.

CBD Anxiety Studies And Research

There's actually quite a bit of research into CBD for anxiety.


It's such a source of suffering and the alternatives have pretty nasty downsides.


Let's start with the basics.


Is CBD anxiolytic (a big word to mean anti-anxiety in effect)


Studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Moreover, CBD was shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder.


That's a good start.


How does it do this?


There's some tie in with 5HTP (you'll see this sold in stores for anxiety).


Most of the studies demonstrated a good interaction between CBD and the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor.



Again, balancing neurotransmitters!


Let's try some specifics.


What about Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (prolonged anxiety) with a stress inducer we all love...public speaking!


Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech.



That's awesome! They also measured heart rate, blood pressure, skin conductance...things that are too "placebo".


I hate public speaking...good to know.


Further study into SAD impact by CBD...bring in the brain scans!:

Relative to placebo, CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety...reduced ECD uptake in the left parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, and inferior temporal gyrus



Now, we're seeing the people are feeling less anxiety but brain scans are also confirming that pattern in brain flow.


One more brain scan result with positive results:

These results suggest that CBD has anxiolytic properties and that these effects are mediated by an action on limbic and paralimbic brain areas.



A further hint here...Anandamide (a naturally occurring endocannabinoid) may be central to how CBD helps.



Now, we're drilling down (not literally!!) to specific areas of the brain to find the root of CBD's effect on anxiety:

These results give further support to the proposal that BNST is involved in the anxiolytic-like effects of CBD observed after systemic administration, probably by facilitating local 5-HT1A receptor-mediated neurotransmission.



Even more interesting, CBD has shown progress in neurogenesis (creating new pathways and neurons).


This is huge for PTSD and other anxiety-related disorders where existing pathways need to be "re-written" or bypassed.


These findings support that the anxiolytic effect of chronic CBD administration in stressed mice depends on its proneurogenic action in the adult hippocampus by facilitating endocannabinoid-mediated signaling.



The endocannabinoid system appears to be integral to this process of new learning for our nervous system.


Along these lines, reducing anxiety can also mean "forgetting" triggers or past trauma that initiate an anxiety response.


CBD and the endocannabinoid system appears to be at work in this process:

it reduces learned fear in paradigms that are translationally relevant to phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.



Forgetting bad memories to make room for new neuronal growth. Nice!


Anxiety is a leading disruptor of sleep!


Anecdotal research on trauma-related anxiety in a child here:



The good news???


CBD doesn't impair your normal functioning the way many other anti-anxiety medications do:


These findings indicate that CBD has minimal behavioral and subjective effects in healthy volunteers, even when they are presented with emotional stimuli


A quick summary of the level of CBD study for anxiety here:



There's a lot of interest in this.

Finally, an exhaustive look at the benefits of CBD for anxiety here.


Why? We already have lots of anti-anxiety medications.

CBD Versus Anti Anxiety Medications

To set this in perspective,


When my wife started having panic attacks as a result of perimenopause, the doctors THREW medications at her.

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Lexapro
  • A few heart meds


It was a nightmare.

She eventually stopped the final medication Lexipro after 3 days of not sleeping and ending up in the ER.


It was the worst time of our lives bar NONE.


The side effects on these meds can be terrible.


You'll even see anxiety and depression (not to mention suicidal thoughts) on the list!


Clearly, we're not as smart as we think we are with medications.


The main issue is that many of these meds can be addictive and are not designed for long term use.


Xanax is about to be the new opioid crisis!


It's hiding in plain sight at the high schools now.


That doctors even prescribe these meds without first looking at CBD is either ignorance, complacency, or something worse.


The safety profile for CBD is remarkably strong.

Benefits of CBD

A few points:

Most importantly, it addresses anxiety systemically.

No whack-a-mole approach that rips other nutrients out of your body or sends some other system off-balance.


It's definitely the first step in our opinion.


How safe is it? Are there side effects for CBD with anxiety?

What Are The Side Effects Of CBD

These are the commonly reported side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness (some people feel alert from it)
  • Lower blood pressure


If you're suffering from anxiety, none of these sounds like bad things.


Everyone's chemistry is different so test the dosage first and work your way up.


You can read all about the safety of CBD here.

How Long Does It Take For CBD To Take Effect

This depends on the method of CBD delivery:

What's the best way to take CBD


The tincture is most popular for long term use.


It generally takes 20-30 minutes to kick in but it lasts longer.


We have feedback from many people that the vape is extremely useful for a panic attack or sudden onset of anxiety.


It works the fastest since it doesn't have to be metabolized.


Your edibles are more for micro-dosing or to create a general level of effect over time.


It can also work right before a very stressful situation.

Personally, I use CBD edibles right before basketball.


I play better (don't doubt shot as much) and I tend to recover faster (I'm old!))


That's just me but those are the three best options for anxiety.

What Is The Best CBD For Anxiety

CBD is CBD. The chemical is the same but the brands out there are NOT>


These are the things to consider in finding the best CBD for anxiety:

  • 3rd party testing with very clean product
  • CBD versus full spectrum
  • Delivery method (tincture, edible, or vape)


We recommend a clean CBD isolate to start.

Some people with high histamine issues (a large percentage of the population) might have a response to the terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids found naturally in full-spectrum CBD>


Try the Isolate first and then evaluate the full spectrum for your system.


You can see big brands screened by safety and cost by using here:

find affordable and quality cbd isolate online with zero thc


Make sure to let us know how you like the result for a given product here.

CBD Reviews For Anxiety

Most of the reviews for CBD are very positive when it comes to anxiety.


We're putting together an ongoing review page and we would love to your feedback here:

tell us about your CBD results and testimonials


The great thing about anxiety is that you'll know right away if it works.


There's no guessing with anxiety!


Please let us know what brand, type of CBD (tincture, vape, edible, etc), and dosage you tried with what results.


Speaking of dosages!

What CBD Dosage For Anxiety

The guidance is to start low and build up.


There is evidence that CBD is cumulative in effect.


Here's the basic dosage guideline for CBD

Dosage guide for CBD oil and anxiety


It depends on how intense your anxiety is!

The standard therapeutic dose is 25mg.


We've seen a study up to 1500mg in a day but that's extreme.


The higher doses tried in research for more severe issues are 300mg and 600mg daily.


Maybe try 15mg and work up to 25mg a day.


From there, gauge where you're at in terms of anxiety levels and general reception.


There is no known documented case of an overdose on CBD but go slow!


Learn all about CBD dosages here.


The type of CBD delivery can have a big impact.

Best Type Of CBD Delivery For Anxiety

There are two theories here and I've seen both play out personally.


The tincture of CBD is generally the chosen approach.

  • It's very controllable in terms of dosage.
  • It's longer-lasting
  • If sub-lingual, it can absorb pretty quickly (20-30 minutes on average).


This works well for an ongoing regiment.


We've never been partial to the vape option but our minds have changed there.

For very acute panic attacks or anxiety where you need immediate relief, the CBD vape is pretty miraculous.


In fact, it's amazing that you're just using a plant-based substance with no psychoactive properties!


The immediate "shoulder releasing" effect is impressive.


You can shop for both of these here below.

Where To Buy CBD For Anxiety

We screened the big CBD companies in our CBD brand comparison.

find affordable and quality cbd isolate online with zero thc


You can access their products here:

You can find the best value CBD by:

  • Brand
  • Intended Use (Anxiety)
  • Delivery Type (tincture, edible, vape)
  • Best Of...

For anxiety, we recommend tincture or vape depending on how quickly you need relief.


For brands, all the companies are screened.


We would focus on the best value category from the product page since we need to be able to afford this!


Make sure to learn how CBD works.


CBD is a game-changer for anxiety.


A game many people have been suffering through for too long.

Shop and Compare CBD Oils here from a brands with 3rd party testing