What does the research say about CBD oil for anxiety?

According to 2015 research CBD interacts with the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R), the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, and other receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviors.

The research found preclinical and clinical evidence that established CBD as an effective treatment for numerous types of anxiety disorders, including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorder (PD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)

In a more recent 2020 study Trusted Source, researchers evaluated CBD’s effects in 397 adults living in New Zealand. The study participants received medical CBD prescriptions for a variety of ailments, including non-cancer pain, cancer-related symptoms, neurological symptoms, and mental health symptoms.

All groups reported improvements in their overall quality of life after 3 weeks of CBD treatment. The individuals who received CBD treatment for anxiety or depression reportedly experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily functions and reduce pain and anxiety or depression symptoms.

70% of study participants reported some level of satisfaction with CBD treatment, ranging from good to excellent. Only 9.9% of participants experienced adverse side effects, such as sedation and vivid dreams. An even smaller portion of the study population (0.8%) reported worsening symptoms.

In a retrospective study trusted Source, researchers evaluated the effects of CBD oil treatment in 72 adults with either anxiety or sleep problems.

The majority of study participants received one 25 milligram capsule of CBD once a day (mg/d). A few participants received 50 or 75 mg/d. One individual with a history of trauma and schizoaffective disorder received up to 175 mg/d.

After the first 2 months of CBD treatment, 85% of participants reported improvements in anxiety symptoms. However, 15% of participants developed worse symptoms after CBD treatment.

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The authors of this article have done eight studies in 2020 investigating CBD’s role in treating various anxiety disorders.

The authors found evidence to support the use of CBD as an effective monotherapy or complementary therapy for treating generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, the studies showed considerable variation in CBD doses, ranging from 6-400 mg per dose. This variation highlights the need for more high-quality, large-scale clinical trials to help establish standardized dosing and clinical usage guidelines for CBD therapy.

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