A 2019 study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that Cannabidiol might benefit anxiety-related disorders.
The study monitored 72 adults with primary concerns of anxiety or poor sleeping habits. In the first month, anxiety scores appeared to decrease in 57 of the 72 patients (79.2%). The symptoms remained reduced for the duration of the study. While sleep scores also improved within the first month in 48 of the 72 patients (66.7%).
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. This plant contains more than 80 different chemicals or cannabinoids. The two most popularly known and talked about are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known for its psychoactive properties, as this is what allows users to feel the "high" sensation. The cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD) is nonpsychoactive.
Medical Marijuana and CBD Oil Expert, Rachna Patel says that there are a couple of schools of thought regarding how CBD oil is combating anxiety. The first is that CBD affects the processing of fear in the amygdala. The amygdala is thought to be part of the limbic system in the brain and is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. In the below video, Patel references a 2010 study where participants were given CBD oil and then showed pictures that would evoke fear. Researchers then measured the associated anxiety levels that participants felt, as well as monitored what was going on in their brain in real time through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this study, CBD appeared to reduce the fight or flight response in the body, reducing that symptoms that people often feel when they have anxiety. The brain scans of participants also revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to feelings of anxiety.
Another school of thought is that CBD is interacting with the 5-HT1A receptor, a serotonin receptor, similarly to the way popular prescribed anxiety medications do. If this is the case, CBD oil could be a viable natural solution to popular anxiety medications.