Does CBD reduce anxiety?
What is the scientific evidence that CBD is a viable treatment for anxiety? Countless customers have provided us with anecdotal testimony supporting this claim; consumer data shows that people everywhere are getting relief from anxiety by using CBD. But does the science back the claim that there’s therapeutic link between CBD & Anxiety? And, if it does, how does CBD treat anxiety, and what details can we learn about the potential benefits of CBD for those millions of people across the world who suffer from anxiety?
Is CBD an anxiolytic?
An anxiolytic is a substance or treatment which reduces anxiety. Today, there is strong evidence suggesting that CBD, or cannabidiol, a constituent of the hemp plant and commonly found in other plant sources from across the globe, may provide a powerful anxiolytic effect which offers relief from OCD, PTSD, and other forms of anxiety. As our first piece of evidence, we take a look at a literature review titled Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders which tells us that “current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.” Later, the authors expand on this point by saying:
“Overall, existing preclinical evidence strongly supports the potential of CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders. CBD exhibits a broad range of actions, relevant to multiple symptom domains, including anxiolytic, panicolytic, and anticompulsive actions, as well as a decrease in autonomic arousal, a decrease in conditioned fear expression, enhancement of fear extinction, reconsolidation blockade, and prevention of the long-term anxiogenic effects of stress.”
This position is corroborated by another literature review titled Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa, the authors of which have this to say:
“Studies involving animal models, performing a variety of experiments on the above-mentioned disorders, such as the forced swimming test (FST), elevated plus maze (EPM) and Vogel conflict test (VCT), suggest that CBD exhibited an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in animal models discussed.”
It’s not pleasant to imagine the tests described, yet the data supports our claim. A third review of the studies, titled Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug, concludes the following regarding the therapeutic potential of CBD for anxiety:
“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.”
CBD & Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder, abbreviated SAD, is defined as a condition in which irrational anxiety is felt in normative social situations. While I disagree with the scientific consensus as to the cause of this disorder (in my opinion, symptoms such as are seen in social anxiety may not be an individual disorder, but rather a symptom of widespread social malaise), it is inarguable that SAD affects a large proportion of the population. As a testament to the efficacy of CBD for social anxiety, we have a pair of studies, beginning with Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients:
“Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in [the test subjects’] speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the control group…”
“These preliminary results indicate that a single dose of CBD can reduce the anxiety-enhancing effect provoked by SPST in SAD patients, indicating that this cannabinoid inhibits the fear of speaking in public, one of the main symptoms of the disorder.”
Our second study is titled Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report, the authors of which “investigated the effects of this compound [CBD] on human pathological anxiety and its underlying brain mechanisms.” After performing their study, they concluded the following:
“These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.”
While further study is obviously necessary, the evidence is compelling that CBD may have a profound effect of alleviating social anxiety.
CBD & Panic Disorder
As the evidence suggests that CBD may be an effective treatment for anxiety in general, it follows naturally that there is therapeutic potential of CBD for Panic Disorder, abbreviated PD. Drugs or treatments that reduce anxiety are called panicolytic and a review titled Evidences for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol provides insight into the matter of whether CBD can help with PD:
“In the present review, we included both experimental laboratory animal and human studies that have investigated the putative anti-panic properties of CBD. Taken together, the studies assessed clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD in both animal models and healthy volunteers… CBD seems to be a promising drug for the treatment of PD”
We can personally attest to this effect of CBD, though of course only anecdotally. Many customers and friends have told us that our CBD products have helped with their panic attacks.
CBD & Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is described as a disorder in which there is a failure to recover from a traumatic event. I was able to find a study relating directly to this disorder, which is titled Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol alone and combined with cannabidiol mitigate fear memory through reconsolidation disruption, the authors of which put forth the following conclusion:
“Altogether, present findings suggest a potential therapeutic value of using THC and/or CBD to mitigate a dysfunctional aversive memory through reconsolidation disruption in post-traumatic stress disorder patient”
As a bit of background, it is worth noting that PTSD is associated with the mind’s reconstruction of a fear memory, and that, in the above study, the researchers found that THC on its own, or THC + CBD, had equally beneficial effects of the ability to “disrupt the reconsolidation of a contextual fear memory”. This evidence, combined with what we already know about CBD and anxiety, suggest that CBD may have a powerfully beneficial effect on this particular form of anxiety.
CBD and Anxiety | The Bottom Line
Out of all the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD, CBD and anxiety is one of the most thoroughly researched topics. While I agree with the authors of these studies in stating that more thorough study is certainly warranted before coming to any conclusions, the data are quite convincing that CBD has therapeutic potential for treatment of anxiety. Fortunately for those with anxiety, CBD is more prevalent and easily obtainable than ever before, and at Liberty Lotion, we offer one of the highest dose CBD tinctures with one of the lowest prices per milligram: Liberty Lixir ULTRA 1,000mg. We do our absolute best to provide our customers with the best products and information available. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.