Can CBD Oil Cause Anxiety

April 12, 2019

Anxiety has been one of the issues with the modern world so far. There are indeed reasons for anxiety given how the things turn out to be for people. It is becoming tough in life to juggle things & a slight miss leads to troubles like anxiety. On the other hand, CBD oil has emerged up on the course of things after a long legal struggle & made a name for itself as a cure to many troubles. The neurological benefits that CBD oil brings with it might lead people to a question – can CBD oil cause anxiety?

For an answer, NO, CBD oil doesn?t cause anxiety. It rather uplifts those in anxiety & helps them with ease & calmness away from it


CBD or cannabidiol is one pf the phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa & cannabis indica plant families, i.e in industrial hemp & marijuana plants. Cannabidiol oil is a food supplement disguised as a medicinal extract. Though it can be made from both variants of cannabis plant, it is mainly made from hemp due to the high content of CBD & negligibly low content of THC (partly because CBD from hemp is legal as well). Thus, the main constituent is CBD or cannabidiol & has traces of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, other cannabinoids & terpenes based on the type of CBD oil being manufactured. Since CBD oil is made from the CBD extract derived from the cannabis or industrial hemp plants, it CBD can vary in three different categories & so will the oil. This is because of the difference in the types of CBD extracts namely:

  1. CBD Isolate-This form of extract is of 99% purity & is available as powder. The extract is free from all sorts of cannabinoids that normally the plant will contain & leave us with purest CBD extract. The powder is then processed with a carrier oil like olive oil or MCT oil.
  2. Full Spectrum CBDAs the name indicates, full spectrum CBD extract contains all sorts of cannabinoids that were available in the plant from which it is extracted. This will maintain a mixture of terpenes & CBD, CBG, THC CBC, etc & all other cannabinoids present in the source plant. Thus, CBD oil from full spectrum CBD will have THC as well.
  3. Broad Spectrum CBDThis is the mid-road between the first two categories above & contains all cannabinoids in the extract but for THC. This brings the benefits of all other cannabinoids & terpenes from the source plant without bringing the trouble of ?high? or trance feeling. Thus, in case where CBD needs the entourage effects without causing a high, this is a good option.

The basic method of extraction of CBD oil is typically through CO2 extraction where CO2 gas is made to pass through plant material at high pressure & low temperature thus liquifying it. The extract obtained towards the end is then heated due to which CO2 part of it vapourises out giving us pure CBD extract with other terpenes & CBD at hand. In other methods, the solvents might continue to exist with CBD & are hard to remove unless guided professionally with extreme caution thus having a direct impact on quality. This is why Superficial CO2 Extraction method is still preferred as the best method for CBD extraction.

CBD, however, given the lineage, is still illegal in most parts of the world apart from a few countries where it is legal for either medicinal or both medicinal & industrial purposes. While UK has legalized it quite recently, the US has legalized it under the limits of certain on-paper boundations. Thankfully, CBD can be derived from INDUSTRIAL HEMP too which is legal in most countries where cannabis cultivation for good has been accepted. Industrial Hemp is used in paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, and fuel apart from extracting CBD for medical benefits.


America has been one of anxiety?s favourite victims with 1 in 4 Americans suffering from an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Anxiety is a feeling where unpreparedness, over-consciousness & imminent danger prevail in your brain constantly. This condition triggers the release of the stress hormone called cortisol which prepares the body into a ?fight or flight? situation. Long-term existence of such condition can be very harmful for the person with direct negative impact on the brain?s chemistry & structure making zones in the brain either hyperactive or pushing them towards atrophy along with change in the levels of neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine & endocannabinoids) & their receptors. The major consequences of the increase in stress hormones are as below:

  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Muscular tension
  • Endocannabinoid imbalance

Knowing these, it is quintessential to know the main factors that cause anxiety & beware of to avoid trouble:

  • Environmental Factors
    Elements in the environment around an individual can increase anxiety. Stress from a personal relationship, job, school, or financial troubles can play a great hand in anxiety disorders. Environmentally, low oxygen levels in high-altitude areas can add to anxiety symptoms.
  • Genetics
    As a matter of fact, anxiety disorders can transfer through genes as well. So, there are chances for it in case the family has had a medical history related to anxiety disorders.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms
    Addiction to illicit substance being stopped suddenly triggers anxiety too.
  • Brain Chemistry
    Disruptions in electrical signals in brain often leads to anxiety too. Unwanted experiences or genetic problems often activate disturbances in brain?s signals which might trigger anxiety disorders that never took place previously.
  • Medical Issues
    Side-effects from medicines or an underlying problem can cause anxiety too. Often, they might happen to alter the brain slowly without our realisation & then suddenly, one day, we might feel symptoms of anxiety suddenly.


Both CBD & THC influence the way the endocannabinoids (eCBs – cannabinoids produced within the mammalian body) interact with the receptors within the human body. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is involved in maintaining homeostasis in many physiological functions such as sleep, pain, memory, digestion & immune functions.

Backed with researches & studies, CBD has been seen as a good help in countering anxiety. A 2011 study observed that people with generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) when dosed with 600 mg of CBD oil prior to a public speaking test, as opposed to a placebo group, experienced significantly lesser anxiety, difficulty & discomfort during their speech.

CBD has more than 65 target points throughout the body. Thus, it is a bit tough to figure out the exacts points of its extensive therapeutic properties. Studies suggest that CBD counters anxiety by stimulating neurotransmitter systems & neural regeneration. This can be explained as under:

  • Serotonin:
    It is considered to be ?happy hormone? & its role is extremely complex. Extremely low serotonin levels lead to depression, a decrease in levels of it can throw the individual into anxiety. Where serotonin is & what it binds to.determines the course of its effects & though it has a minimum of 14 different receptors, CBD specifically binds to 5-HT1A (considered to have the strongest role in anxiety disorders). Buspirone – the anti-anxiety drug binds substantially to this receptor as concluded in the anti-anxiety experiment on rats exposed to stressful stimuli.
  • Endocannabinoids:
    The human body is a natural producer of cannabinoids which are used throughout our body & brain in the endocannabinoid system. It helps to keep our bodily functions balanced. Chronic stress may deregulate this system which derails the body?s physiological undertakings. CBD is considered to help restore the balance of the endocannabinoid system by influencing the CB2 receptors. As studies estimate, CBD activates the HT1A receptor which is a target for antidepressant & anti-anxiety drugs.Rodent experiments have shown that CBD curbs OCD & other anxious behaviors by acting on the endocannabinoid system, which is highly involved in processing and forgetting our fears ? vital for extinction learning.
  • Neural Regeneration:
    Chronic stress can be dangerous. It keeps the brain at the edge always by reminding it repeatedly & working hard to not make it forget the occurrence so that more stress could be avoided in the future. However, that?s not what we need as we don?t run into dangers every day & every time. This gives it the ability to shrink the brain in size whilst damaging the neurons. But, certain areas of the brain remain capable of regeneration.CBD oil helps in hippocampal neurogenesis, i.e. neural regeneration in the hippocampus (region of the brain associated with cognition & memory). CBD oil helps to build new connections by inducing the growth of new neurons thus growing our brain & achieving neural regeneration. This means that CBD could help counterbalance the brain damage caused by chronic stress.

Given the fact that anxiety disorders impact 18% of the American population annually, CBD oil is being looked up to as a good remedy for anxiety. Though there are individual claims shining brightly on the treatment of anxiety using CBD oil, there are lab tests as well that fortify its position as a defender against anxiety, stress & other disorders associated with it. There have been various experiments on rodents since human experiments come with a long list of legal & costing complications. In one of the studies, when dosed with CBD oil, rodents behaved better with a boa constrictor by looking for alternatives instead of surrendering which showed how anxiety got lessened under stress. People suffering from Post Traumatic Anxiety Disorder or PTSD, have been benefited greatly by CBD oil especially in case of Extinction Learning.

Thus, CBD oil has a good role with anxiety due to which people are accepting it. Also, it doesn?t any heavy side-effect that come with normal anxiolytics. It is advisable to consult a physician when resorting to CBD oil especially when the individual is already on prescription medications. CBD oil has certain side-effects which include drowsiness, loss of appetite, dry mouth, nausea, etc. It is hence advisable to not be a doctor or physician & consult one & proceeding only with proper guidance when switching to this line of treatment involving CBD oil.

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