If you’ve been paying attention to the news or scrolling through social media lately, you’ve probably seen that CBD oil is having a moment. This non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants is being lauded as a natural treatment for everything from pain to anxiety to inflammation.
And while there is some preliminary research to support these claims, it’s important to remember that CBD oil is not a miracle cure-all. In fact, when it comes to anxiety specifically, the research is still pretty inconclusive. So what does the science say about CBD and anxiety? Let’s take a look.
Anecdotal Evidence vs Clinical Research
When it comes to CBD and anxiety, most of the available information is anecdotal—meaning it comes from individual stories and reports, rather than large-scale clinical trials. Anecdotal evidence can be helpful in terms of getting a general sense of whether or not a treatment like CBD oil might be effective. But it’s important to remember that these stories are not necessarily representative of the general population.
For example, one survey of 2500 people found that nearly 42% reported using CBD to treat a medical condition, with the top three being pain, anxiety, and depression. Of those who used CBD to treat their anxiety specifically, 79.2% said it was “very or extremely effective.” However, it’s worth noting that this particular study was sponsored by a company that sells CBD products, which means the results may be biased.
There have also been several studies conducted on animals that suggest CBD may help relieve anxiety. For example, one study on rats found that CBD could help reduce fear and cognitive impairment associated with exposure to a predator. Another study found that treating mice with CBD before exposure to stress could help reduce subsequent behavioral changes associated with anxiety and cognitive impairment.
When it comes to actual clinical trials on humans, the research is still pretty limited. One small study found that taking 600 mg of CBD oil daily could help reduce social anxiety in people with SAD (social anxiety disorder). And another study found that taking 25 mg of CBD oil four times daily could effectively treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, these studies were both very small involving only 24 and 57 participants respectively so more research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.
CBD oil has become hugely popular in recent years as more and more people tout its supposed health benefits. But what does the science say about its efficacy in treating anxiety? The answer is it’s complicated. While there have been some animal studies and small human trials that suggest CBD might be helpful in reducing anxiety symptoms, the research is still inconclusive. So if you’re thinking about trying CBD oil for your anxiety, chat with your doctor first and start slow to see how your body reacts.
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