Research and evidence
Several studies point to the potential benefits of CBD for anxiety.
For generalized anxiety
For generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)Trusted Source says that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animals such as rats.
Study subjects were observed as having lower behavioral signs of anxiety. Their physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, also improved.
More research needs to be done, specifically on humans and GAD.
For other forms of anxiety
CBD may also benefit people with other forms of anxiety, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It may help treat anxiety-induced insomnia as well.
In 2011, a study researched CBD’s effects on people with SAD. Participants were given an oral dose of 400 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo. Those who received CBD experienced overall reduced anxiety levels.
Multiple recent studies have shown that CBD can help with PTSD symptoms, such as having nightmares and replaying negative memories. These studies have looked at CBD as both a standalone PTSD treatment as well as a supplement to traditional treatments like medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
For other neurological disorders
CBD has also been studied in other neurological disorders.
A 2017 literature review on CBD and psychiatric disorders concluded that there isn’t enough evidence to tout CBD as an effective treatment for depression.
The authors did find some evidence to suggest that CBD could help with anxiety disorders. However, these studies were uncontrolled. This means that the participants weren’t compared to a separate group (or “control”) that might have received a different treatment — or no treatment at all.
Based on their review, more human tests are needed to better understand how CBD works, what the ideal dosages should be, and if there are potential side effects or hazards.
A 2016 studyTrusted Source found that CBD can have antipsychotic effects in people with schizophrenia. Moreover, CBD doesn’t cause the significant debilitating side effects associated with some antipsychotic drugs.