Does CBD Help Anxiety?

Anyone who has lived with the misery of anxiety knows how deeply distressing the symptoms can be. From sweaty palms and a churning stomach to a racing heart and an agitated mind, anxiety can destroy the quality of daily life.

Many people seek help from their GP for anxiety but recent reports have suggested that CBD may hold the key.

But does CBD help anxiety? Here’s what you need to know.

CBD Oil resting on heather with a rock behind

The Problem

Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggest that as many as one in 13 people suffers with some kind of anxiety disorder. This makes it the most common type of mental health condition globally.

Managing symptoms is the priority for most people, as anxiety can cause a lot of discomfort. The difficulty is that traditional medicine doesn’t have a perfect answer for anxiety just yet. Some doctors may prescribe antidepressants which are known to ease anxiety but these can either be ineffective or have unpleasant side effects. Medication specifically designed for anxiety such as Diazepam can provide relief in the short-term but can’t be used for chronic anxiety as it causes addiction.

The new boy on the block is CBD, also known as cannabidiol which many believe can help. But does CBD help anxiety or is it just a placebo?

Does CBD help Anxiety?

The possible link between anxiety and CBD was first identified many years ago. As such, there have been countless studies into the use of CBD as a treatment for anxiety. Most of the early studies used animals but more recently, human studies have started to be carried out.

One double-blind study carried out in Japan in 2019 indicated that CBD may offer symptomatic relief for anxiety. 37 teenagers suffering from social anxiety disorder were split between a group taking a placebo and a group taking 300mg of CBD per day. The group taking the CBD showed an improvement in their anxiety comparable to taking the anti-anxiety drug, Paroxetine.

Another study from 2019 in Colorado seemed to support these results. For a period of three months, patients from a mental health clinic suffering from anxiety took CBD alongside other treatments. More than three-quarters of patients described an improvement in how they felt.

Can CBD Be Prescribed as an Anxiety Treatment?

Although studies have suggested that CBD can ease anxiety, there were some negative effects noted in a small percentage of people. Some experts have suggested this may have been flagged due to the low number of people in each of the studies, or the bidirectional effect of CBD.

A bidirectional medicine is one which can cause two opposite reactions. For CBD, it’s now known that in low doses it can make people feel more alert and awake, but in larger doses, it can be relaxing.

This is why if you want to try CBD, it’s recommended to start low and gradually increase your dose upwards. This provides you with the opportunity to get used to the effects and find the optimum dose for your health.

While CBD can’t be prescribed as an anxiety treatment just yet, all the signs seem to be pointing to the fact that it could be effective. Watch this space for more information!