Can CBD help anxiety?

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CBD is extracted from hemp plants and the oil is found in a variety of products.

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Anxiety is the leading mental health disorder in the United States, with at least 40 million Americans affected every year. Anxiety is a treatable condition and one recent popular supplement that is touted to potentially aid in stress reduction and relaxation is CBD (cannabidiol, extracted from hemp plants). Marketing agency Bigeye conducted a 2020 survey with approximately 750 people who use CBD products, and 38% reported using them specifically for anxiety.

CBD products are marketed and sold in a plethora of different types of product from gummies, chocolates and oils to creams and beyond. But given that the products are still a relatively new area, they don’t have that much solid science behind them (even though claims and anecdotal evidence are readily available).

CBD research is ever-growing and promising, but using it to treat a mental health disorder seems iffy at best, and at worst, dangerous. It’s important to understand that stress and anxiety are not the same thing — everyone experiences stress. But anxiety is a reaction to stress and a diagnosable mental health condition that should be addressed by appropriate mental health professionals. 

A lot of claims surrounding cbd sleep oil and anxiety are purely anecdotal (word of mouth, customer reviews or social media testimonials). So what should you do if you’re interested in trying CBD to help with anxiety? Does it really work? I consulted with psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Ditzell who specializes in medical marijuana treatment for mental health disorders. 

Disclaimer: CBD is still considered an unproven supplement or treatment. If you are experiencing mental health issues you should always seek the help of a professional first before trying supplements like CBD.

How CBD might help with anxiety 

“CBD is the over-the-counter, homeopathic equivalent to medical marijuana and has been touted by many to help with sleep, anxiety and depression,” says Ditzell, who compares using CBD to using melatonin instead of a prescription sleep aid like Ambien. 

“I have had many patients relate that they use CBD products and that generally they have experienced help with sleep, anxiety and in aiding in overall recovery (such as from physical training),” says Ditzell, which are, again, only anecdotally based claims.