Chances are, there is someone in our life right now struggling with some form of anxiety.  It is a common mental health disorder in the USA, with up to 18% of the population suffering at any moment.  It takes many different forms.  Sometimes, traumatic events spark a new wiring in the brain.  Other times, it is a chemical imbalance that makes it easier for fear and stress to pop up. Interestingly enough, almost all states exclude anxiety as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.  However, these same states may also have active hemp programs, which pushes anxiety sufferers to try alternative treatments aka “self-medication”.  CBD may be one of these treatments.  For years, doctors and researchers have been experimenting and conducting clinical trials to determine the efficacy of CBD for anxiety.  Today, we take a look at CBD for social anxiety research studies and their respective results.

CBD for Social Anxiety – Public Speaking Study

While it may not seem like the most dire form of anxiety, social anxiety disorder, or SAD, causes countless struggles.  Think about how much of the daily routine involves interacting with people.  Now take this and multiply it by a thousand by asking someone to speak in front of a crowd.  In a 2011 study of SAD symptom expressing individuals, public speaking ranked as the most stressful and anxiety inducing activity.  Half of these subjects, in a double blind study, were given CBD at a high dose (600mg).

cbd for social anxiety
Comparing results of CBD/Healthy/Placebo groups, CBD taking SAD sufferers performed much better under the stressful situation, in line with healthy patients.

In the study, measuring key data like heart rate and blood pressure, participants who took the high dose of CBD prior to speaking publicly showed markedly less stress than their counterparts in the placebo group.  They showed lower heart rates and a more normal blood pressure.  This was not the case for the placebos.

CBD for Social Anxiety – Public Speaking & Panic Disorder

Piggybacking on the 2011 study, a more recent 2017 study on CBD’s effects on panic disorder sufferers in public speaking situations also proved successful.  This study, more so than the 2011, focused on the brain dynamics during the stressful situation.  This study notes CBD effectiveness comes from activity in amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus – which are all structurally different in panic disorder sufferers.  Furthermore, the study notes CBD’s activity with serotonin receptor 5-HT1a.  Long term SSRI’s are usually the first treatments for panic disorders, but  they come with terrible side effects.  CBD, as determined by the World Health Organization, has a “good side effect profile” and is “well tolerated.”   Additionally, long term SSRI’s cannot be taken for immediate action for panic/anxiety inducing situations, like public speaking.

cbd for social anxiety
A visual model of brain sites affected by CBD in both humans and rats.

Due to the rapidly changing views on CBD across the globe, research is continuing at a rapid pace.  If someone you know is suffering from social anxiety, try exploring studies open at their local university.  If they are conducting a CBD for any type of anxiety, not only could relief be felt perhaps they could be part of historic changes in CBD policy.  As the FDA lets us know, it is the routine and successful testing that gave them the security to approve Epidiolex for epilepsy.  Who knows what is next?


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