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Chasing Calm in 2024: CBD and Anxiety Relief

If your New Year’s resolution is already fading into the background and the prospects of 2024 bring about a touch of anxiety, rest assured- you’re not alone. Sure, there are many sound options for dealing with anxiety and stress. Is CBD one of them?



 

Let’s explore what’s known and not known about CBD and anxiety.

 

First, let’s define CBD. CBD is short for cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in marijuana and hemp plants (Marijuana and hemp are different varieties of the cannabis plant). CBD is just one of over 100 different cannabinoids found in cannabis. Unlike THC, which is also a cannabinoid and is known for its intoxicating effects, CBD won’t get you high. But it looks like it can be an effective anxiolytic (in other words, reduce anxiety).

 

CBD and Social Anxiety Relief: Adults

In 2011, researchers put CBD to the test with a bunch of folks facing a public speaking challenge (1). And guess what? CBD, at a dose of 600mg, significantly reduced anxiety, as well as cognitive impairment and discomfort in speech performance. However, 600 mg seemed like quite a high dose for many people and likely cost-prohibitive (good quality CBD can cost more than $50.00 for 600 mg)

 

A few years later, researchers sought to determine if there might be an optimal dose for achieving CBD’s anxiolytic effects (2). They gave adults either a placebo or 150mg, 300mg, or 600mg of CBD 1.5 hours before a stressful public speaking test. It turns out 300 mg was the sweet spot. When people took 300 mg of CBD, their anxiety was significantly reduced, which was not true for those who took 150 mg or 600 mg. 

 

CBD and Social Anxiety Relief: Teenagers

 

The same 300 mg of CBD was also tested in a study of teenagers with a subtype of social anxiety known as avoidant personality disorder (3). In that study, researchers found that compared to a placebo, teenagers who took 300 mg of CBD daily for four weeks had a significant reduction of anxiety as measured by the Negative Evaluation Questionnaire and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale.

 

CBD and Social Anxiety Relief: How Much?

However, the dosage story takes a different turn in an adult psychiatric clinic (4). In a retrospective medical chart review, researchers found that the dose of CBD prescribed to avoid or reduce psychiatric medication for anxiety and sleep problems ranged from 25 mg/day to 175 mg/day and that within the first month, 79% had significantly reduced anxiety and 67% had improved sleep scores.

 

What does this all mean? Dose matters! But dosage is probably only one piece of the puzzle as to why CBD helps reduce anxiety for some people but not for others. The other puzzle pieces include, but are not limited to, the type of anxiety, an individual’s comorbidities, and the quality and delivery method of CBD.

 

As all of us navigate the uncertainties of 2024, we hope we’ve provided y’all with some useful information about CBD and its potential for achieving some much-needed calm. Don’t hesitate to email us if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 References

 

1.Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011 May;36(6):1219–26. doi: 10.1038/npp.2011.6

 

2. Linares IM, Zuardi AW, Pereira LC, et al. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Braz J Psychiatry. 2019;41(1):9-14. doi:10.1590/1516-4446-2017-0015.

 

3. Masataka N. Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders. Front Psychol. 2019;10:2466. Published 2019 Nov 8. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02466

 

4. Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041

 

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