CBD and Anxiety Research, Studies, and Trials

CBD and Anxiety Research, Studies, Trials


We've referenced 100's of NIH studies across dozens of pages on CBD and anxiety.


There's a lot to cover.


The question...is how do we make this easy to reference?


We finally settled on a multi-prong approach.


  • First, we would reference each page to access specific research on those pages
  • Secondly, we would show larger-scale trials of CBD and anxiety or its pathways


For those who are not tech-savvy, you can "Control F" (PC or Mac) to find a specific word such as "social" for social anxiety.


Hopefully, the information below shows just how dedicated we are to research and helping people understand not just the root of anxiety, but how to strike fear in ITS heart!


Happy researching!


List of Pages with Research on CBD and Anxiety

(ranked by importance - from general to specific pathways).


(You can click on any page to find dozens of studies specific to that topic)


Research on Types of Anxiety and CBD 


Research to Compare CBD and Anxiety Medications 


Research on CBD and the Components of Anxiety 

Practical Questions on CBD and Anxiety 


That's the current list specific to Anxiety.  


Each page will have dozens of studies and links.


Now, let's get to some of the bigger trials on CBD and anxiety.


 compare cbd isolate options


Next up, key Studies and Trials on CBD and Anxiety plus pathways


Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series



Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. 



Interesting Items: 

  • The doses used were lower than other studies; (25-175mg per day)
  • Participants originally listing sleep issues had a better response on anxiety
  • Hamilton score dropped approx 7 and 9 points (anxiety vs sleep) during the 3-month course.
  • 72 participants (47 anxiety, 25 sleep)


See CBD and Anxiety Benefits for CBD and General Anxiety Disorder


Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients


Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. 


Interesting Items: 

  • Single-dose of 600 mg 1 hour prior to simulated public speaking
  • One group of participants had diagnosed with social anxiety disorder
  • 24 participants 
  • Double-blind, Placebo


Big take-away: 

The SSPS-N scores evidenced significant increases during the testing of a placebo group that was almost abolished in the CBD group. 


SSPS-N is a Negative Self-Statement test to reflect a person's own judgment on themselves.  


See CBD and Public Speaking for full review or CBD and Performance Anxiety


Research on CBD dose

Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in the simulated public speaking test

Again, the acute administration of CBD produced anxiolytic effects with a dose-dependent bell-shaped curve in healthy subjects, since the personal anxiety quantities were reduced with CBD 300 mg, but not with the other CBD doses of 100 and 900 mg 



Interesting Items: 


THC versus CBD  for Anxiety

Distinct effects of {delta}9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on neural activation during emotional processing:

Cannabidiol attenuated the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal in the amygdala and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex while subjects were processing intensely fearful faces, and its suppression of the amygdala and anterior cingulate responses was correlated with the concurrent reduction in SCR fluctuations



Basically, CD calmed the fear center of the brain.


Interesting Items: 

New brain scans are showing shifts in brain area processing away from "fear" centers like the Amygdala with CBD

THC had the opposite effect: 

Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol increased anxiety, as well as levels of intoxication, sedation, and psychotic symptoms, whereas there was a trend for a reduction in anxiety following administration of CBD.

See CBD versus THC for anxiety or Why You must use CBD to protect from effects of THC

List of Animal Studies for CBD and Anxiety 

There are many studies on CBD's anti-anxiety effect across multiple animal models.

Link here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/table/Tab1/?report=objectonly


Interesting Items: 

  • The same bell-shaped curve pops up for these studies in terms of dosage (see above).
  • CBD has also been shown to enhance extinction of contextually conditioned fear responses.
  • The endocannabinoid system (which CBD bolsters) is key to forgetting fear and trauma.

List of Human Studies for CBD and Anxiety 

Link here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/table/Tab2/?report=objectonly 


shop and compare isolate cbd online


Neuroimaging Studies:

Link here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/table/Tab3/?report=objectonly


Interesting Items: 

  • We need to look at CBD by itself since THC has the opposite effect on anxiety
  • Range of dosages that are effective run from 300 to 600 mg

CBD and the pathway of SSRI's

Moreover, CB1 knockout mice displayed functional impairment of 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A/C receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the hippocampus [117] while a loss of antidepressants behavioral effects were described after genetic blocked of CB1 receptors 



This is fascinating.  Basically, the effects of SSRI's like Prozac, Lexapro, Zoloft, and Effexor is via the serotonin 5HT pathway.


When scientists, genetically blocked CB1 (endocannabinoid) receptors, the SSRI lost its effect.


This does two things… 

  • It ties the effect of SSRI's to serotonin (and really BDNF)
  • It also says that they must operate via CBD's primary system


Check out CBD versus SSRI or CBD and BDNF for anxiety

CBD, Estradiol, and Anxiety 

Then, there's the effect of estradiol on anxiety (for our perimenopausal ladies).


When they supplemented estradiol,  it resulted in anti-anxiety and anti-depression effects to counter the results of losing their ovaries.


Guess what happens when they block endocannabinoid function (CB1) to this effect of estradiol: 

Interestingly, however, anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects produced by estradiol administration are attenuated by CB1R blockade [112], whereas estradiol administration increases AEA levels 



This means that the endocannabinoid system (CB1 is a key receptor) is key to estradiol's effect on this pathway.


Check out our full review of Estradiol and anxiety or Pregnenelone and anxiety.


This brings up AEA, anandamide.

Reduced anxiety-like behavior induced by genetic and pharmacological inhibition of the endocannabinoid-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is mediated by CB1 receptor 



Interesting Items: 

  • FAAH eats up Anandamide, our Bliss molecule
  • CBD blocks FAAH which increases Anandamide
  • This entire pathway is the key to anxiety, depression, and pain


See the woman who can't feel pain or anxiety for more information.

CBD and Serotonin System 

This is the key lever for SSRI's, the main medication class for anxiety (see CBD versus SSRI's here).


CBD has been shown to help balance this pathway…

Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain.



Interesting Items: 

  • CBD "modulates", not boosts serotonin the way SSRI's do (with potential for serious side effects)
  • They could block the anti-anxiety effect of CBD (cannabidiol) by blocking serotonin pathways!

Notice how pain (allodynia) was also affected??  Interesting.


Then there's CBD's partner in crime (or building as it were)...BDNF.


CBD and BDNF for Anxiety

Cannabidiol Induces Rapid and Sustained Antidepressant-Like Effects Through Increased BDNF Signaling and Synaptogenesis in the Prefrontal Cortex.



Interesting Items: 

  • Depression and anxiety can share common pathways in the brain if resulting from inflammation, stress, trauma, and inadequate repair.
  • Synaptogenesis is the very cool process of building new pathways and networks in the brain
  • The prefrontal cortex is the key part of the anxiety circuit tasked with offsetting our fear response 

These are just a highlight of some of our favorite studies from all the pages above.


All told, there are probably a few hundred referenced studies, papers, trials across the pages above for anxiety.


CBD and the mechanisms of anxiety was one of the final reviews so it incorporated almost every aspect to that point.


That's a great place to start!


Anxiety from perimenopause was one of the key reasons we found CBD and even started IndigoNaturals.


We've now written a few 100 thousand words on every aspect we could tease out from research with a simple goal...


Help others avoid what we had to go through.


Enjoy.  Enlighten.  Empower.  


Be well!


Get specific links for CBD and Perimenopause symptoms and questions here.


Check out:


shop cbd isolate oil online

Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!

The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.




Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.