• The American Psychiatric Association states that anxiety is a normal stress response that can help individuals prepare for various scenarios and potential dangers(1).  
  • Recent research suggests that CBD may help in reducing anxiety(2). Compared to several previous studies that utilized the use of 300mg to 600mg of CBD daily, Shannon and colleagues only used 25mg to 175mg of CBD per day. According to the research, a lower dose may elicit an adequate clinical response to anxiety. 
  • Researchers are still investigating the long-term effects of CBD use. Consequently, users should always seek medical advice before using CBD products to manage their anxiety.

CBD Dosage for Anxiety in mg

According to the American Psychiatric Association, anxiety is a normal stress response. The stress response can help individuals prepare for different scenarios and alert them to potential dangers. However, anxiety disorders are different from normal feelings of stress(3).

Individuals with anxiety should better manage situations that cause or intensify their symptoms with the help of a professional. Work, school, and personal relationships may be affected(4)

Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis plant compound, has been extensively explored as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Research seeks to determine the aspects that contribute to its therapeutic potential(5).

​​CBD may reduce anxiety by interacting with the endocannabinoid system through CB1 and CB2 receptors on brain nerve cells(6). These receptors also play a significant role in activating pain responses.

Note that the limbic system in the brain is in charge of mood regulation, hormone production, movement, and learning(7). On the other hand, CBD has been demonstrated to interact with many receptors, including adenosine, serotonin, and GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a neurotransmitter that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain.

These receptors have been linked to anxiety(8).

Meanwhile, a 2019 study from The Permanente Journal indicated that cannabidiol has the potential to manage anxiety levels and sleep disorders(9).

The sample consisted of 72 individuals with primary concerns of anxiety or poor sleep. About 57 patients reported decreased anxiety scores within the first month of CBD administration(10).

Meanwhile, about 48 patients reported an improved sleep score within the first month of the study(11)

In another clinical study, experts analyzed various formulations and dosage schemes(12). Other clinical trials also identified multiple effects, such as anxiolytic effects.

Additionally, there was also data supporting the positive effects of a single dosage of CBD on social anxiety disorder and schizophrenia(13). The results show that a single dosage had a beneficial impact on social anxiety, a short-medium-term effect on symptomatic improvement in schizophrenia, and no impact on cognitive performance in psychotic illnesses.

Overall, researchers hypothesized that the participants could mildly tolerate CBD.

Although there were promising results, the studies were generally inconclusive due to the varying dosages and routes of administration. 

Dosage in mg

Consumers must figure out the dose of CBD to use for their anxiety. Individuals may start with a low dose and work their way up to a high dose based on how their bodies react.

Also, the time it takes for CBD to help with pain may depend on the user’s body weight, the administration method used, and CBD potency.

Other clinical studies begin by evaluating large dosages of a drug straight away. Such high doses are not likely necessary, though. The following are examples of effective dosages that have been assessed for anxiety relief:

  • Experts administered 600mg of CBD to individuals with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) or placebo(14). Pre-clinical studies using CBD considerably decreased the anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort during speech performance of the participants. Likewise, CBD dramatically decreased the alertness during anticipatory speaking.

On the other hand, the placebo group demonstrated significantly higher levels of anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alertness when compared to the control group using the VAMS or Visual Analog Mood Scale.

  • Researchers administered 300mg of CBD to male patients(15). Pretreatment with 300mg of CBD decreased anxiety during speaking compared to placebo.

Dosage Based on Product

Dosages, which are expressed in milligrams, may vary depending on the form of the product, and experts often suggest starting with products that have relatively low doses(16). Individuals may gradually increase the dose until they feel the desired effects

CBD is derived from cannabis. However, CBD does not cause users to feel “high,” unlike the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) from the same cannabis plant.

However, the appropriate CBD dosage for anxiety differs without clear FDA advice. The Food and Drug Administration only authorized a CBD-based medication to treat two severe epilepsy(17). Epidiolex is also used for managing seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in patients one year of age and older(18).

Look for CBD products that display how much CBD is in each dosage, not just the overall product, says Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University at Albany, New York(19)

CBD users may discover that one technique works better for them than another. CBD is available in the following forms:

  • CBD oils’ potency is represented by the milligrams mg of CBD contained in the CBD product. To ensure that the CBD oil is of the best quality, read the CoA provided by the manufacturers.
  • CBD tinctures are administered orally in dropper vials. Earleywine advises starting with a “low dose, maybe 10mg, to assess sensitivity.” Do not be surprised if consumers do not experience any effect until they reach 30mg of CBD. Earleywine also says that chronic pain responds better to daily dosing(20).
  • CBD edibles like CBD gummies are formulated in 5mg to 25mg of CBD per piece.
  • Users can swallow CBD capsules, soft gels, or tablets separately like pills. Other CBD capsules may contain 5 milligrams of CBD.
  • CBD vapes are devices that heat CBD oil without igniting it, creating an inhalable vapor. Note that the labels on vaping devices may be confusing(21). A vape oil may say that it has 1,000mg of CBD, but it may not be clear how much is in the bottle. 

Nevertheless, vaping and smoking may absorb more CBD than edibles like gummies(22). However, vaping may damage the lungs(23). 

  • CBD topical creams and gels that deliver CBD through the skin provide more targeted therapy.

There are three types of CBD extracts: CBD isolate, CBD broad-spectrum, and CBD full-spectrum.

Full-spectrum CBD oil comprises all compounds of the cannabis plant and contains less than 0.3% THC concentration(24).

Full-spectrum CBD provides an entourage effect(25). The entourage effect is the concept wherein the biologically active compounds of cannabis work better when taken together. 

Broad-spectrum CBD oil also contains all compounds of the cannabis plant. However, this variant is THC-free.

On the other hand, CBD isolates contain pure CBD and no other cannabinoids.

Taking CBD with other cannabinoids may help minimize the effects of THC, giving the entourage effect(26).  

Consumers may need to experiment with many CBD forms and dosages to see which one best addresses the anxiety.  

CBD Sublingual Oil vs. CBD Vapor – Which Is Better?

CBD sublingual oil is a form of cannabis extract. CO2 extraction is a method that is often used to extract cannabidiol from plants.

CO2 extraction uses pressurized carbon dioxide in extracting cannabinoids, terpenes, and key waxes from the cannabis plant. The result is a golden, thick extract that users may vape or suspend in a carrier oil.

On the other hand, e-liquids that contain CBD oil (CBD vapor) are made with a different carrier oil, which is then thinned with agents such as vegetable glycerin(27).

According to Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D., inhaled CBD enters the bloodstream more quickly than other forms—in as little as 30 seconds or less(28).

The quick action means it should affect the body sooner, which could be especially useful to ease immediate pain or anxiety(29).

Meanwhile, 24 of the 792 Pubmed publications mentioned CBD pharmacokinetic parameters or how the CBD is absorbed after administration in humans(30)

Cannabidiol has a half-life of between 1.4 and 10.9 hours with oromucosal spray, 2 to 5 days following chronic oral administration, 24 hours following intravenous administration, and 31 hours following smoking(31)

Meanwhile, bioavailability is how a particular substance becomes entirely available to its intended biological destinations.

Although the bioavailability of CBD after CBD smoking was 31%, no additional research tried to describe the absolute bioavailability of CBD following other routes in humans, despite the existence of i.v formulation(32)

Because an i.v. dosage is injected directly into the systemic circulation, its bioavailability is 100%(33).

Dosing Procedure

There are no definite dosing guidelines on how CBD is used to manage anxiety. Therefore, consumers need to use their discretion in using CBD products. 

After determining the optimum delivery method, and dosage, create a regimen that progresses from a microdose to a full dose(34)

Note that every individual has a varied reaction to CBD. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all dosage for everyone or every medical condition. Consumers may consult a healthcare provider with expertise in CBD usage. 

Considerations: What Dosages Are Safe?

The World Health Organization noted that cannabidiol in its pure state does not appear to cause harm(35).

For safety precautions, it is advisable to consult with a doctor before consumers start taking any form of CBD to ensure that the compound will not interfere with any medication. Seeking medical advice is also the best way to rule out any potential side effects.

Can Consumers Take Too Much CBD?

One study noted that CBD doses of up to 1,500mg per day are safe and well tolerated(36).

Nonetheless, it is crucial to remember that CBD research is still in its infancy. Researchers do not entirely explore the possible long-term consequences of the amount of CBD used. As a result, consumers should always consult with a healthcare expert before beginning CBD use. 

CBD users may start with a lower dose and gradually increase CBD mg until they reach the quantity the users need.

Safety and Side Effects of CBD

Recent studies raised concerns about the safety and long-term effects of CBD. One study noted that giving mice an equivalent amount of Epidiolex increased their liver damage risk(37). However, the most common side effects are actually dry mouth, fatigue, drowsiness, diarrhea, and stomach upset.

Also, higher cannabidiol (CBD) doses are generally well tolerated in humans. However, some studies have shown that it can induce various side effects, such as decreased in vitro cell viability and altered drug metabolism(38).

A cell’s viability is a vital measure of its health and is used to study the effects of toxic agents on the body(39).

Recent advances in cannabidiol administration have led to the possibility of safe use in human and animal studies. However, more conclusive studies are needed to verify the safety and efficacy of controlled effects of cannabidiol(40).

Research: Will CBD Help Anxiety?

CBD has shown efficacy in managing various physical and mental health issues. A PubMed search in December 2017 noted 30 publications published since 2012 on cannabis and cannabinoids for medical pain therapy(41).

More importantly, CBD works on the brain have been studied for various neurological disorders. A large, well-controlled study of children with epilepsy showed that CBD reduced seizure frequency by over 50%. The compound’s anxiolytic and antidepressant effects have been linked to its 5-HT1A receptor activity(42).

Human brain imaging and genetic research indicate that 5-HT 1A and 5-HT 1B receptors are involved in major depressive disorder and antidepressant responsiveness(43)

Meanwhile, a thorough review published in The Lancet Psychiatry in 2019 looked at previously published findings on mental disorders(44).   

The study noted that the medicinal cannabinoids, which include medicinal cannabis and pharmaceutical cannabinoids, and their synthetic counterparts, such as THC and CBD, have been hypothesized to have a therapeutic role in managing some mental illnesses(45).  

The study recommended that further research be conducted to establish the use of CBD to manage the symptoms of diseases such as anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness(46).

In addition, early data suggests that CBD may have anxiolytic effects in humans. Although CBD is not yet widely used for managing anxiety disorders, further research is needed to establish its long-term effectiveness(47).

Several studies have shown that cannabidiol may provide health benefits of CBD for various physical and mental health conditions. However, more study is required to understand the substance’s potential uses and long-term adverse effects.

FDA Guidelines

The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) authorized only one CBD product, a prescription medicinal drug used to manage seizure frequency associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in persons one year of age and older. The FDA has approved no other CBD products to date(48).

Note that the FDA has not regulated over-the-counter CBD products. Hence, many CBD items do not come with dose recommendations.

CBD product manufacturers must not claim that they have the best CBD products to treat any illness or medical condition, including anxiety-related problems.

The FDA consistently reminds consumers to always see a physician for medical advice before adding nutritional supplements to their diet.

  1. What Are Anxiety Disorders?
  2. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
  3. What Are Anxiety Disorders?
  4. Ibid.
  5. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
  6. The limbic system
  7. Ibid.
  8. Molecular Targets of Cannabidiol in Neurological Disorders
  9. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Journal of Clinical Medicine Research
  13. Ibid.
  14. Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients
  15. Cannabidiol Presents an Inverted U-shaped Dose-Response Curve in a Simulated Public Speaking Test
  16. CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis, page 316.
  17. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
  18. FDA Approves New Indication for Drug Containing an Active Ingredient Derived from Cannabis to Treat Seizures in Rare Genetic Disease
  19. Cannabidiol
  20. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Can vaping damage your lungs? What we do (and don’t) know
  24. Cannabidiol Primer for Healthcare Professionals
  25. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain
  26. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects
  27. Major Constituents of Cannabis Vape Oil Liquid, Vapor and Aerosol in California Vape Oil Cartridge Samples
  28. How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?
  29. Ibid.
  30. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans
  31. Ibid.
  32. Ibid.
  33. Bioavailability
  34. CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medical Cannabis pg. 21
  35. Drugs (psychoactive): Cannabidiol (compound of cannabis)
  36. Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa Constituent
  37. Hepatotoxicity of a Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract in the Mouse Model
  38. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies
  39. Cell Proliferation and Cytotoxicity Assays
  40. Hepatotoxicity of a Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract in the Mouse Model
  41. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
  42. Ibid.
  43. Serotonin receptors in depression: from A to B
  44. Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mental Disorders and Symptoms of Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  45. Ibid.
  46. Ibid.
  47. Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence
  48. What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD
CBD Clinicals is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more