CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression

How does Cannabidiol (CBD) work?
We’ve compiled the current research below…

using cbd oil for anxiety and depression

This short video is part of the “30-second or less” series that aims to answer questions related to the use-cases of CBD asked by customers. 

Lets break down the research.

In short, studies show a strong correlation between relieving anxiety related symptoms and Cannabidiol (CBD), and that may seem confusing…

Almost everyone who has smoked in the past has occasionally experienced anxiety or, in some cases, full-blown panic attacks as a result.

Therefore, many are very surprised to learn that a compound found in the plant, Cannabidiol (CBD), may be an incredibly effective treatment for anxiety.

Cannabis has been grown to maxmize Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and as a result, reduce the levels of CBD. The Cannabis smoked by society contains hardly any CBD compared to 20 years ago, and exponentially more THC.

“THC is a psychoactive component of cannabis, it has mood-altering effects and on the whole gives the high, While CBD is not psychoactive, and when used in cannabis actually gives a number of people a relaxing, calming effect.” – (Canada.ca) Government of Canada.

Common Medications for Anxiety Disorders

Conventional drugs for anxiety disorders include:

Side Effects of Anti-Anxiety Drugs

Medications help control symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks but come with an extensive list of side effects including

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Incoordination and weakness
  • Headaches and vertigo
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision, sometimes with eye muscle spasms
  • GI upset — Nausea, diarrhea or constipation
  • Slurred speech
  • Swelling (fluid retention)
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Weight change
  • Tremors
  • Long-term damage to the heart, lungs, and kidneys

How Cannabidiol (CBD) can replace these drugs

The endocannabinoid system (ECS), has two primary cannabinoid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems which respond to endocannabinoids (body-produced cannabinoids) and phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from plants) to regulate pain, appetite, mood, and other physiological processes, like inflammation.

In recent years, researchers have begun to uncover the possibilities of using phytocannabinoids as an alternative treatment for a variety of illnesses and diseases, including anxiety disorders.  In particular, Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety without generating any of the psychoactive effects typically associated with cannabis.

CBD Boosts Serotonin Receptors

Serotonin receptors are found all over the brain, including the amygdala. Serotonin activates these receptors, creating a cascade of signals which decrease the heart and respiratory rate, reduce body temperature, produce a calming effect, and decrease anxiety and aggression.

Antidepressants increase serotonin in the brain, but too much serotonin causes the brain to stop releasing serotonin, causing antidepressants to take longer to control anxiety symptoms.

On the other hand, CBD boosts serotonin receptors and inhibits signaling its receptors, causing the brain to continue to release serotonin and achieving the antidepressant effect much faster. Serotonin is one way people use CBD oil for anxiety and depression.

CBD Inhibits the Uptake of GABA

GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, decreases neuron excitability, creating a calming effect and relaxing muscle tone. Low GABA levels can lead to heightened anxiety symptoms. CBD inhibits the uptake of this neurotransmitter. By blocking the reabsorption of GABA, CBD helps control excitatory neurotransmitters.

CBD Inhibits Dopamine Release

Dopamine can be either an excitatory or inhibitory neurotransmitter depending on the part of the brain it acts on and the receptor site to which it binds. Playing a role in “pleasure and reward” feelings, dopamine is commonly referred to as the “feel good” neurotransmitter, creating motivation and energy.

In anxiety disorders, irregular dopamine levels affect how the amygdala interprets the importance of an event. Higher dopamine levels can increase anxiety symptoms.

CBD activates adenosine receptors, which have an important role in regulating blood flow and heart rate, and suppressing the release of excitatory neurotransmitters like dopamine. Activating these receptors with CBD decreases anxiety symptoms by inhibiting the release of dopamine, slowing down the heart rate, and normalizing blood pressure.

CBD Inhibits Glutamate Release

Glutamate, a major excitatory neurotransmitter, plays a role in stress responses, especially how we develop, retain, and prioritize fears.

Lab research on rodents shows that stress affects normal glutamate transmission, and disruption contributes to anxiety. Adenosine receptors regulate the release of glutamate, and CBD activates these receptors, effectively blocking glutamate release.

CBD oil for anxiety and depression

Studies have found when using a placebo pill vs a CBD pill, participants have responded with lower levels of Social Anxiety Disorider (SAD) on CBD than placebo.

these studies demonstrate the action of CBD in limbic and paralimbic brain areas, which are known to be associated with anxiety.

the increase of negative self-evaluation during public speaking was almost abolished by CBD.

the effects of a single dose of CBD, observed in this study in the face of one of the main Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)’s phobic stimuli, is a promising indication of a rapid onset of therapeutic effect in patients with SAD.

We hope this helped you better understand Headery’s CBD Oil for anxiety and depression.


Headery is supporting McMaster University on their upcoming federally funded study in 2019. Focusing on Cannabidiols effect on mood disorders, such a depression, and looking into the compound on a molecular level. The result of our mental health week campaign which enabled the partnership.