CBD Oil for Anxiety and Depression: How CBD Can Help Your Mental Health

Cannabidiol (common name CBD oil) is an extract of the cannabis plant that binds to specific receptors in the human brain. There is mounting evidence that it has many mental health benefits. Unlike THC, which is perhaps the best-known cannabinoid, CBD is not psychoactive and does not make a person “high” or “stoned.” Let’s take a look at CBD oil for depression and anxiety and how this natural, non-habit-forming remedy could benefit you.

Table of Contents

Depression and Anxiety Treatments Today

An anxious response to undesirable circumstances is actually not a bad thing. It is a critical adaptive response in human beings. It helps us stay motivated, work harder, and remain safe from threats. However, the inability to manage this response can be debilitating. In fact, untreated anxiety and stress can prove lethal. In the United States, almost 20 percent of adults [1] struggle with an anxiety disorder. That’s close to 40 million adults who have a dysfunctional response to stress. Can CBD oil for anxiety benefit such people?

Conventional treatments for anxiety and depression include psychotherapy and medications. Numerous drugs, such as Zoloft, Prozac, Valium, and Xanax, are used to treat anxiety and depression. While these medications are effective for many people, not everyone responds to them or can tolerate the side effects. Also worrisome is the fact that some drugs, such as Xanax and Valium, have an extremely high potential for addiction. So, what are the advantages of alternative treatments like CBD oil for depression?Using CBD to deal with anxiety

CBD oil is a non-intoxicating derivative of the cannabis plant. It is not habit forming. Studies [2] have found it to be beneficial in a number of different neurological and psychiatric conditions, including multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, insomnia, and social anxiety disorder. The CBD oil dose for anxiety and depression ranges from 150 mg to 600 mg per day. Interestingly, CBD has been found to decrease some of the adverse effects of THC.

Anxiety and Depression Treatment with CBD Oil

People struggling with anxiety-related disorders experience a whirlwind of emotions – nervousness, conflict, pressure, and lack of confidence. Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include feeling anxious on a regular basis and being unable to adapt in an emotionally healthy way to the stressors of life. When stress levels are high, it is often impossible to participate in natural de-stress techniques such as yoga, exercise, meditation, or art. Just a few drops of CBD oil for anxiety placed under the tongue can substantially reduce stress levels. Some of the anxiety-related symptoms that cannabidiol addresses include:

  • Sleep problems (trouble falling or staying asleep)
  • Constant worry and frustration
  • Continued sense of dread
  • Muscle tension (clenched jaw, balled fists)
  • Indigestion

How does CBD oil for depression work? Cannabidiol acts on 5-HT1A receptors in the human brain and increases serotonin levels [3]. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, behavior, motivation, memory, and cognition. By interacting with these receptors, CBD oil reduces worry, improves focus, and enhances confidence. It also addresses sleep difficulties. It, therefore, functions as an anxiolytic and antidepressant.

Cannabidiol also acts on the dopaminergic system that regulates reward-seeking behavior, motivation, and cognition. Its action on the opioid system in the brain reduces pain and inflammation. Cannabidiol modulates the endocannabinoid system and interacts with neurotransmitters to relieve anxiety [4]. In addition, research shows that CBD promotes the regeneration of neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain [20]. This broad spectrum of effects makes CBD oil for anxiety a novel and natural remedy for these symptoms.

Types of Anxiety That Benefit from CBD Oil

CBD FOR ANXIETY & DEPRESSIONCannabidiol has the potential to treat a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. The types of anxiety disorders treated by CBD oil include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Mild to moderate depression
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

CBD Oil for Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by repeated attacks of intense fear and an impending sense of doom. The attacks are accompanied by physical symptoms including shortness of breath, sweating, palpitations, shaking, and numbness. About 5 percent of people worldwide suffer from panic disorders.

Some of the drugs used to treat panic include SSRIs. However, the significant side effects associated with this class of medications results in poor compliance. Cannabidiol is an alternative treatment for people with panic disorder. There is scientific evidence that CBD oil benefits for anxiety and depression include anti-panic actions [5]. Animal studies [6, 7] have shown that cannabidiol decreases the escape response. The anti-panic effect is mediated through 5-HT1A receptors. CBD oil may, therefore, be a safe therapeutic approach for people who experience panic attacks.

CBD Benefits in People with OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder in which an individual has unwanted ideas and sensations, leading to repeated compulsive actions. Learned behaviors become compulsions as a method of obtaining relief from anxiety. OCD is the result of structural, chemical, and functional abnormalities in the brain. Can CBD oil to treat anxiety and depression benefit people with OCD?

Studies [8] have shown that cannabidiol has anti-compulsive effects. Interestingly, in animal models, the decrease in compulsive activity following cannabidiol administration is not associated with a generalized reduction in activity [9, 10]. This means CBD oil could be an effective treatment for people with OCD where it would help control repetitive behaviors without reducing overall attentiveness and activity.

Social Phobia Treatment with CBD

People with social anxiety have an intense fear of being judged negatively by others. They suffer from feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, inferiority, humiliation, and self-consciousness. Does CBD oil benefit social phobia?

Research [11] has shown that cannabidiol reduces anxiety associated with public speaking in individuals who have not received any prior treatment for their social phobia. A single large dose of CBD 600 mg was given to study participants one and a half hours before a public speaking test. An equal number of individuals underwent the test without any medication. Both subjective and objective ratings were measured, including mood, blood pressure, and heart rate. The results showed that CBD oil for anxiety reduced discomfort, cognitive impairment, and overall anxiety, indicating that it could benefit people with social phobia. Another study [16] confirmed these results, indicating that an oral dose of 400 mg CBD significantly reduced symptoms in people with social anxiety disorder

Is CBD Oil a Treatment for PTSD?

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is an incapacitating mental health condition that can occur in people who have witnessed or experienced life-threatening events such as sexual assault, combat, or natural calamities. It is estimated that 13 million Americans are living with the condition [12]. Traditional medications for PTSD are inefficient and cause a number of adverse effects.

Taking CBD to help PTSDThe endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in processing emotional memories. CBD has garnered attention as a possible treatment for PTSD through its effect on the endocannabinoid signaling system. Studies [13] show CBD oil for depression can block aversive memories and prevent their consolidation. This makes CBD a potential treatment for PTSD mediated through 5-HT1A receptors [14]. CBD and THC given together have been found to have an additive effect [15] in reducing fear memory.

In one case study [21], cannabidiol effectively controlled anxiety and insomnia in a child who was the victim of sexual abuse. In contrast, pharmaceutical medications had provided only partial relief and short-lived results as well as significant side effects for the child. CBD oil not only decreased anxiety but also improved the quality and quantity of sleep.

Does CBD Oil Help Anxiety and Depression?

The anxiety-reducing properties of cannabidiol have been well studied. Anxiety and depression are closely related. Nearly 50 percent of people with depression also have anxiety. Research shows that CBD oil for depression is an effective treatment approach. Cannabidiol improves motivation and pleasure-seeking behaviors. It is believed that the antidepressant effects of CBD are dependent on brain serotonin levels [17] and involve the endocannabinoid system [18]. This makes CBD a promising treatment for people with depression. Currently available antidepressant medications have relatively low efficacy and a substantial lag time (time taken for the therapeutic effects to appear). Study results [19] indicate that CBD has a fast and sustained antidepressant effect and can address the limitations of currently available antidepressants.

Which is the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety and Depression?

How do you choose a good CBD oil for depression? For most people, the best option is a full spectrum CBD oil that comes in a tincture that way you can precisely measure and vary the amounts of CBD you ingest until you find the right dosage for you. Full spectrum CBD oil not only contains CBD, but also includes a full range of phytonutrients and terpenes derived from the whole hemp plant. This gives your body the “full spectrum” of everything healthy and complete from the hemp plant culminating in a more robust serving that strengthens the benefits above to help you battle your anxieties.

Here are some additional tips on choosing the best CBD oil for anxiety:

Derived From U.S. Grown Hemp: CBD oil made from US-grown hemp is best because it comes from state certified farms in nutrient soil states such as Colorado and Kentucky.

Hemp & Product Testing: Reputed manufacturers of cannabidiol (CBD) submit their products to a third-party for testing to ensure safety and quality standards are maintained. It’s a good idea to avoid oils from brands that cannot provide these details. Not only is the CBD tested in it’s pure form here at Now CBD, but also during the extraction phase and the final completed product is also tested – this is our triple test method that we’ve created to ensure premium and effective products are given to our customers. 

Cost: A good indicator of value-for-money is the concentration of the CBD oil. The price can vary from 5 cents per mg of CBD to 16 cents per mg or more. A $10 bottle of CBD oil with a concentration of 100 mg per fluid ounce will not be as effective as a $45 bottle with a concentration of 450 mg per fluid ounce.  

Body Weight: Remember to factor in weight. A person who weighs 130 pounds can probably get about 40 doses of 10 mg each from 450-mg concentration CBD oil. The same bottle will not provide as many doses and desired effects to an individual who weighs 230 pounds.

CBD Oil for Anxiety: A Safe, Effective Alternative

Depression and anxiety disorders place a huge burden on healthcare systems and society in general. Currently available pharmaceutical treatments for these disorders are not always effective or well tolerated and may be associated with a potential for addiction. Trials are underway to study the effect of cannabidiol on anxiety. However, many studies have already validated the efficacy of CBD oil for depression and anxiety. This makes cannabidiol a viable alternative or adjunctive treatment for these conditions with its favorable safety profile and demonstrated efficacy.


  1. https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763649/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26711860
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28434588
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27157263
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23007604
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20457188
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24118015
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21796370
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20695034
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21307846
  12. https://www.sidran.org/resources/for-survivors-and-loved-ones/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-fact-sheet/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30087591
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22979992
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25799920
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20829306
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29885468
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29885450
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29869197
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648779/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5101100/