Is CBD Good for Anxiety?
Derived from the same plant as marijuana and hemp, cannabidiol oil (aka CBD oil, sold in drops, supplements and added to food) is touted for its
agita-quelling powers, without the high. Much of the supporting evidence comes from animal studies, but there’s some promising human research too. One small study found that people with social anxiety experienced fewer symptoms, including cognitive impairment and negative self-talk, when they took a CBD supplement before speaking in public. Research suggests CBD increases anandamide, a feel-good brain chemical. It may also influence the release of neurotransmitters that control mood and behavior, and change blood flow to brain regions linked to fear and anxiety.
Should you try it? Experts aren’t ready to recommend it—yet. “Over-the-counter products may not be the right dose, might interact with other medications and could contain THC, which can make some people anxious,” says Esther Blessing, M.D., PH.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. Still, she and other researchers are excited for the future of CBD. “I’ve never come across a drug as promising as CBD to treat such a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety,” she says. If you want to try it, check your local laws (it’s not legal everywhere) and consult your doctor.