Cannabidiol as a Treatment Alternative in Anxiety Disorders

E. Council, B.S. Research Biologist

At low doses cannabidiol exerts antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective effects, and at high doses cannabidiol has been shown to treat psychiatric disorders. Anxiety is a psychiatric disorder that causes a mental state elicited by anticipation of threat. Anxiety disorders include separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder/agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Though the most prevalent psychiatric disorders, anxiety disorders are difficult to treat because the etiology is still unknown.

Similar to current anxiety medications, cannabidiol relieves anxiety by desensitizing serotonin autoreceptors so that more serotonin can reach serotonin heteroreceptors. Unlike current anxiety medications, CBD does not cause harmful side effects. In fact, studies repeatedly show cannabidiol effectively reduces anxiety without adverse side effects or formation of dependency. Cannabidiol not only desensitizes serotonin autoreceptors, but acts upon inflammatory-control receptors to reduce neuroinflammation associated with anxiety disorders. Overall, research suggests cannabidiol is a safe, effective treatment option of anxiety disorders.

This information was gathered from “Cannabidiol as a Treatment Alternative in Anxiety Disorders: A Narrative Review”. For more information see:

Council, E. (2019) Cannabidiol as a Treatment Alternative in Anxiety Disorders: A Narrative Review. Manuscript Submitted for Publication.