A huge segment of the human population is affected by anxiety-related disorders. And, though there are many conventional drugs for treating these disorders, some people don’t respond to them favorably. In fact, some patients don’t show improvement after using these drugs and others can’t tolerate their side effects. Additionally, some tranquilizers can be very addictive. Perhaps, that’s why many patients are turning to alternative treatments for anxiety. Today, CBD is among the most promising treatments for anxiety.

Brief Background

Over the recent years, cannabidiol has generated a lot of interest among scientists, clinicians, and consumers. That’s because there is evidence that suggests that it counteracts the adverse effects of THC. Numerous studies and accumulating evidence from clinical, epidemiological, and experimental studies also shows that CBD has strong anti-anxiety properties. And, when administered acutely, it seems to be well-tolerated, safe, and beneficial in treating several anxiety-related disorders.

These include:

  • Panic disorder
  • Social phobia
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Mild and moderate depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

How It Works

CBD helps with anxiety and depression in two noticeable ways:

  • Effect on 5-HT1A Agonist
    CBD works by exerting several actions on the brain. It has been proven effective in boosting signaling via a serotonin receptor 5-HT1A agonist. 5-HT1A is a serotonin receptor subtype that is important because depression and anxiety can be treated with drugs that target serotonin system. That why selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), works by blocking serotonin re-absorption in the brain. This, in turn, increases serotonin availability in the synaptic space. Consequently, there is an increase in the signals that are transmitted by the brain cells thereby boosting mood and reducing anxiety in some cases. CBD works like SSRIs. It boosts signaling via serotonin receptors. In fact, some studies have shown that CBD can enhance 5HT1A transmission and its effect on serotonin may be faster than those of SSRIs.


  • Effect on Hippocampus
    The hippocampus is a brain area that plays a significant role in various brain functions. It is particularly popular for its role in cognition and memory formation. Scans of anxiety and depression patients reveal a smaller hippocampus. And, depression treatments show regeneration of neurons or neurogenesis in this area. That means these treatments can be used to treat depression and anxiety. Both CBD and SSRIs have been proven effective in promoting neurogenesis. This is important because evidence shows that when severely impaired, neuronal plasticity can lead to suicidal behaviors.

Therefore, considering the potential role that CBD can play in the treatment of an anxiety-related disorder, it may eventually become a highly favorable, safer, and effective treatment for anxiety compared to the available conventional drugs.

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