CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in marijuana and hemp plants. Unlike THC, another compound found in marijuana plants, CBD does not produce the intoxication or a “high.” Some people use CBD for its potential health benefits, which include reducing inflammation, pain relief, and anxiety. However, there is limited scientific research to support these claims. Recently, some people have begun to worry that taking CBD might actually cause anxiety instead of relieving it. Let’s take a closer look at the link between CBD and anxiety.
CBD for Anxiety?
Anecdotal evidence has suggested that CBD may help to relieve anxiety by reducing symptoms such as worry, restlessness, and irritability. A 2019 study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience supported these claims by showing that CBD was effective in reducing anxiety in people with a social anxiety disorder (SAD). However, the study also found that a higher dose of CBD was needed to achieve this effect and that lower doses actually increased anxiety levels.
Furthermore, a 2020 review of studies looking at the effect of CBD on anxiety concluded that “CBD does not seem to be efficacious in the treatment of anxiety disorders.” The review looked at studies specifically examining the effect of CBD on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), PTSD, OCD, SAD, and social phobia. The authors of the review suggested that more research is needed to determine whether or not CBD is effective in treating anxiety disorders.
CBD and Anxiety: The Bottom Line
Overall, the jury is still out on whether or not CBD is effective for treating anxiety. More research is needed to determine the optimal dose of CBD for reducing anxiety symptoms, as well as what side effects are possible at different doses. If you’re considering taking CBD for anxiety, it’s important to talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.
CBD and Anxiety: The Research
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology examined the effects of CBD on people with a social anxiety disorder (SAD). The study participants were given an oral dose of 400 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo before speaking in front of a large audience. The researchers found that the participants who took CBD experienced less social anxiety than those who took a placebo.
A 2011 study published in Neuropsychopharmacology also explored the link between CBD and anxiety. This study used brain imaging to measure the changes in blood flow to different regions of the brain before and after taking a single 600 mg dose of CBD or a placebo. The researchers found that the participants who took CBD had reduced blood flow to the amygdala a region of the brain associated with fear and anxiety compared to those who took a placebo.
The verdict is still out on whether CBD can help relieve anxiety. While preliminary research suggests that it may be helpful, more studies are needed to confirm these findings. Additionally, taking too much CBD can actually have the opposite effect and cause feelings of anxiety or paranoia. If you’re considering using CBD for anxiety relief, speak with your doctor first about whether it’s right for you and what dosage you should take.
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