What Science Says About CBD and Anxiety
Cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoids and up to 200 terpenes, with THC and CBD being popular cannabinoids that most people have heard about. While scientific studies have shown both THC and CBD have possible medical benefits, this blog will focus more on CBD’s potential benefits in treating anxiety by discussing the most relevant and recent scientific research.
Acute Doses of CBD and Subjective Anxiety
Several independent studies have shown that acute doses of CBD (300 – 600 mg) reduce subjective anxiety in people who had generalized anxiety disorder or in participants who were asked to give an impromptu speech1-4.
Moreover, CBD’s anxiolytic or anxiety-reducing effects were shown to be similar to a known anxiolytic drug, Ipsapirone, in healthy participants who were required to give an impromptu speech as part of the study4.
A Look at How Patients Found CBD Helpful
Overall, CBD-rich products have been reported by patients to help with their anxiety. In clinical populations, CBD decreased anxiety scores within the first month in 79% of patients with anxiety8. This reduction in anxiety scores persisted over a 3-month evaluation period8. Retrospective observational studies reveal that the anxiolytic effects of CBD-rich products may be particularly beneficial in patients with moderate to severe anxiety9.
Similarly, in a survey of 387 respondents asked about their CBD use, 42.6% supported CBD for treating their self-perceived anxiety5. Of those who supported CBD for their self-perceived anxiety, 86.5% reported that they felt less anxious and 58.9% thought about their problems less when trying to relax5. Respondents who used CBD for treating their self-reported anxiety had lower odds of using CBD in the evenings and were likely to consume sublingually (dosing under the tongue)5.
It should also be noted that women had greater odds of using CBD for treating their self-perceived anxiety than males5. The age groups of 35-54 years and 55+ years old had lower odds of using CBD for treating self-perceived anxiety in comparison to the 18-34- year-old respondent group5.
Though not specific to anxiety, more than half of the 387 respondents reported using a daily dose of less than 50 mg CBD via a sublingual route of administration and most people had been using CBD for 3-12 months (67.6%)5.
Results of a MedReleaf survey
A MedReleaf® survey found that the following strains were self-reported by patients (n=69) as being helpful in treating their anxiety6.
Luminarium™(high THC): 30.4% responded that Luminarium was most helpful in treating their anxiety
Midnight (balanced THC: CBD): 27.5% responded that Midnight was most helpful in treating their anxiety
- Avidekel™ (high CBD): 21.7% responded that Avidekel was most helpful in treating their anxiety
New Aurora publication
In a study published in Frontiers of Public Health, the analysis of MedReleaf patient survey data showed that patients who reported using cannabis to treat their anxiety experienced significant improvements in their overall quality of life after six weeks of treatment7.
Additionally, 85% of these patients reported they felt they had some improvement in their anxiety7. 32% of these patients identified high CBD products as being helpful to treat their anxiety7.
At Aurora®, we always stay up to date on the latest scientific research surrounding the effectiveness of medical cannabis. We hope this information has been helpful to you in making the most well-informed decisions for your health and wellness.
Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RHC, Chagas MHN, de Oliveira DCG, De Martinis BS, Kapczinski F, Quevedo J, Roesler R, Schröder N, Nardi AE, Martín-Santos R, Hallak JEC, Zuardi AW, Crippa JAS. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219-1226.
Crippa J, Derenusson GN, Ferrari TB, Wichert-Ana L, Duran FL, Martin-Santos R, Simões MV, Bhattacharyya S, Fusar-Poli P, Atakan Z, Filho AS, Freitas-Ferrari MC, McGuire PK, Zuardi AW, Busatto GF, Hallak JEC. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J Psychopharmacol. 2011;25(1):121-130.
- Crippa J, Zuardi AW, Garrido GEJ, Wichert-Ana L, Guarnieri R, Ferrari L, Azevedo-Marques PM, Hallak JEC, McGuire PK, Busatto GF. Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Regional Cerebral Blood Flow. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004;29(2):417-426.
- Zuardi AW, Cosme RA, Graeff FG, Guimarães FS. Effects of ipsapirone and cannabidiol on human experimental anxiety. J Psychopharmacol. 1993;7(Suppl 1):82-88.
- Moltke J, Hindocha C. Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on selfperceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. J Cannabis Res. 2021;3(1):5.
- Wan B angela, Diaz P, Blake A, Chan S, Wolt A, Zaki P, Zhang L, Slaven M, Shaw E, DeAngelis C, Lam H, Ganesh V, Malek L, Chow E. Efficacy of different varieties of medical cannabis in relieving symptoms. J Pain Manag. 2017;10(4):375-383
- Cahill SP, Lunn SE, Diaz P, Page JE. Evaluation of Patient Reported Safety and Efficacy of Cannabis From a Survey of Medical Cannabis Patients in Canada. Front Public Heal. 2021;9:626853.
- Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal. 2019;23:18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041
- Rapin L, Gamaoun R, el Hage C, Arboleda MF, Prosk E. Cannabidiol use and effectiveness: real-world evidence from a Canadian medical cannabis clinic. Journal of Cannabis Research 2021 3:1. 2021;3(1):1-10. doi:10.1186/S42238-021-00078-W