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Looking for a safer and more effective way to deal with anxiety? Read on and discover the best CBD oil for anxiety, its qualities, how to buy, and much more. Cannabidiol (CBD) in the Self-Treatment of Depression-Exploratory Study and a New Phenomenon of Concern for Psychiatrists This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the

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To say that our modern lifestyles are stressful would be an understatement. So many people struggle with stress today with work, families, investments, and business. Amidst all the pressure, many people can’t cope effectively with the stress. Consequently, mental conditions such as anxiety disorders are on the rise. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil offers an effective and safe treatment for anxiety.

Using the best CBD oil for anxiety, millions of people suffering from anxiety disorders can enjoy a better quality of life. However, one thing to note about CBD is that it works naturally on your body to produce a calming effect. Moreover, while the compound has a similar effect as antidepressants, there’s no risk of addiction and other harmful effects.

As research on CBD products continues, positive results have influenced more brands to join the market. Thus, if you struggle with anxiety attacks or other symptoms of anxiety disorders, CBD oil can have a life-changing impact. After all, anxiety has debilitating effects on your body. First, untreated anxiety can affect the quality of life in diverse ways. For instance, you grapple with headaches, panic attacks, breathing problems, loss of libido, increased blood pressure, muscle aches, and fatigue.

Now that many brands have launched products onto the market, consumers have a new problem on their hands. CBD products are new on the market, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about them. As such, we took it upon ourselves to review as many products as possible to identify the best. Additionally, we’ve leveraged our experience in the cannabis-based and organic farming fields to do our research. Ultimately, our research has revealed the top five CBD oils which can provide relief for millions of people suffering from anxiety disorders.

Read on and discover the five best high-quality CBD oils to treat anxiety.

List of Top Rated Hemp Brands for the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety: Top 5 Picks

During our research, we reviewed hundreds of CBD oils for anxiety. Thus, after the tedious task, we’re happy to announce that these are the top five CBD oils to treat anxiety. Each also performed exceptionally well in a category.

  1. Exhale Wellness: Overall Best CBD Oil On The Market
  2. BudPop: Best CBD Oil for Anxiety
  3. Hollyweed CBD: Best Value High-Potency CBD Oil
  4. Cheef Botanicals: Best Researched CBD Oil for Anxiety
  5. FAB CBD: Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil for Anxiety Disorders

#1. Exhale Wellness: Overall Best CBD Oil On The Market

One of the most exciting brands in the CBD industry is Exhale Wellness. Based in Los Angeles, California, the company leverages the founders’ experience in the cannabis industry and organic farming. As such, their products feature among the top-rated for quality and potency. What distinguishes the brand from the rest is its commitment to high standards.

First, the company only uses high-quality Colorado-grown hemp plant species to produce the best CBD oil for anxiety. Second, the team supervises every production phase to guarantee their products meet stringent conditions. In addition, the company commits to 100% organic and natural products. For transparency, Exhale Wellness CBD oil for anxiety also goes through third-party lab tests, and the results are available on their website. Moreover, if you look at the customer testimonials, there’s no doubt this brand has the best CBD oil for anxiety.

Highlights

Full Spectrum CBD Oil: Exhale Wellness CBD oil for anxiety contains a variety of cannabis plant extracts for more effectiveness.

Stress-Free Shopping: The company has invested in a professional e-commerce website. For a start, you’ll love the attractive theme colors. Next, you’ll love the easy-to-use design, making it simple to pick your CBD anxiety oil.

Quality Guarantee: Exhale Wellness commits to exceptional standards in its products through independent third-party lab testing. Additionally, the Certificate of Analysis (COA) is accessible on their shopping website.

Brand Reputation: By leveraging years of experience in the hemp industry, the company makes CBD products that meet the buyers’ needs.

High-Quality CBD Oil: Through CO2 extraction of cannabidiol, the company ensures the purity and safety of the CBD used for their oil. Additionally, the CBD retains its potency without the risk of contamination in the extraction process.

Organic Ingredients: The company only uses non-GMO products grown with no pesticides to guarantee safety.

Variety: You can choose CBD oil for anxiety in different potency levels. The oil also comes in 30 ml dropper bottles with 600mg and 1,200mg potency.

Subscription Service: To save 25%, the company gives buyers a chance to subscribe to their shopping service.

Efficiency: The high-potency CBD oil for anxiety works fast, and customers have commented positively about the effects.

  • 100% organic ingredients
  • High-quality, locally-grown hemp
  • Clean CO2 extraction
  • Convenient dropper bottle
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use website
  • Free shipping
  • Third-party lab tested
  • Products only available online

#2. BudPop: Best CBD Oil for Anxiety

Another exciting brand that’s innovating the CBD industry is BudPop. To begin with, this CBD brand has connected with the market because of the unique demographic of the founders. BudPop stands out for its passion. The group of hemp farmers, growers, and researchers has built something distinct in this market. The founders also state they created the brand because they were dissatisfied with the industry.

The founders set out to study CBD production to spruce up things. Therefore, the team checks the seed quality, cultivation, product handling, distribution, packaging, and the overall customer experience. In addition, the team set out to produce hemp-based products that met the consumer’s needs with their findings. Hence, the company’s CBD oils are highly effective in treating specific conditions. For example, BudPop’s CBD oil may help manage symptoms associated with anxiety, including pain, panic attacks, and headaches.

The quality of a product is often illuminated by its customer feedback. In BudPop’s case, their high-potency CBD oil has received rave reviews for its effectiveness in helping alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorders or any generalized anxiety disorder. Furthermore, the company builds trust by publishing Certificates of Analysis (COAs) from third-party lab tests. Therefore, when you consume any CBD oil products from BudPop, you’re assured of their quality, safety, and effectiveness.

Highlights

Passion and Enthusiasm: One thing that sets apart BudPop from the other CBD brands is the founders’ passion. The team of CBD advocates has built a brand that seeks to help ordinary people to get the most of hemp-derived products.

Certificates of Analysis (COAs): Publishing the results of independent third-party lab tests gives users more confidence about the safety and quality of the CBD oil.

Organic CBD Oil for Anxiety: All ingredients used for this CBD oil for anxiety are 100% natural. There are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or additives in this CBD oil for anxiety. Ingredients include hemp-derived cannabinol, natural peppermint oil, water, coconut oil, sucralose, and natural terpenes.

High Potency CBD Oil: BudPop produces high potency CBD oil for anxiety, with each serving of 1ml containing 50mg of CBD and 1,500 mg in each bottle.

Variety: BudPop offers a natural flavor or a peppermint flavor CBD oil to suit different taste buds.

Federal Compliance: The CBD oil for anxiety from BudPop contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC under the 2018 Farm Bill.

  • High potency CBD oil for anxiety
  • 100% natural products
  • Vegan-friendly CBD products
  • Safe CO2 extraction
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Quick and easy online shopping
  • Third-party lab tested
  • Free shipping
  • Products only available online
  • No international shipping

#3. Hollyweed: Best Value High-Potency CBD Oil

Hollyweed seeks to change the industry by manufacturing CBD products for everyday use. Since its launch in 2017, Hollyweed has continued to excite the business with innovative CBD offerings. To illustrate their commitment to new ideas, the company has picked Zach “Jesushands” Fernandez, a renowned advocate of CBD products, as part of the team.

By choosing all-natural, non-GMO products, the company delivers safe CBD oil for anxiety. Users don’t have to worry about additives or preservatives, which can cause allergies or other harmful effects. In addition, the company uses high-quality, locally-sourced hemp. Hollyweed has stirred up the industry because of its commitment to consistency and transparency. For instance, shoppers can verify results of third-party lab tests from the company’s website. Furthermore, the company is transparent about the source of hemp, extraction method, and the ingredients used.

As the outcry on the use of animal products rages, the company has produced CBD oil free of animal byproducts for anxiety. The vegan-friendly CBD products are a hit on the market. Further, the company monitors the CBD process from the farm to the distribution channels for quality and safety.

Highlights

Innovative Approach: Hollyweed CBD comes to the market with solutions to the founders’ gaps. No wonder then the company’s products are so popular with users. After listening to the market needs, the company has continued launching top-rated CBD products.

Commitment to Wellness: The brand has made the best CBD oil for anxiety through a commitment to wellness. The focus is not primarily on profits but instead on helping the public realize the benefits of CBD in their lives.

Federal-Compliant CBD Products: All the company’s CBD products meet the requirements of the Farm Bill of 2018. You can safely take CBD oil for anxiety as it contains less than 0.3% delta 9 THC.

Exceptional Shopping: Shopping for CBD oil for anxiety just got easier through the Hollyweed website. The company has an easy-to-use and informative website where you quickly find products and learn a lot about CBD.

100% Natural Products: All ingredients in the Hollyweed CBD oil for anxiety are organic and natural.

Different Product Strengths: You can choose CBD oils for anxiety in 300mg, 600mg, 1200mg, and 3000mg.

Clean/Pure Extraction: The advanced CO2 CBD extraction method guarantees CBD purity and effectiveness. The technology ensures more compounds in the full spectrum CBD oil infused with hemp seed.

  • Effective full spectrum CBD oil for anxiety
  • Easy online shopping
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Safe and pure CBD
  • Less than 0.3% delta-9 THC
  • Third-party lab tested
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Vegan-friendly CBD oil for anxiety
  • Convenient glass dropper vial
  • Free shipping
  • Products only available online

#4. Cheef Botanicals: Best Researched CBD Oil for Anxiety

Cheef Botanicals is a California-based CBD company. The founders bring on board over 25 years of experience in organic farming and dedication to health and wellness. If you’re after natural alternatives to treat your anxiety disorder, consider the company’s CBD oil for anxiety. Besides investing in research, the company also commits to cruelty-free CBD products. What’s more, the company not only markets its products but devotes a lot of resources to consumer education. For this reason, the company’s website is one of the best CBD resources you can find online. Not only does the website make it easy to shop, but you also learn a lot about each product.

But there are even more great things about Cheef Botanicals. First, the company commits to quality CBD products by relying only on Colorado-grown hemp. Second, the brand has stringent internal quality testing and uses a third-party lab to guarantee quality. Furthermore, the team monitors every step of the CBD process from the farms, CBD extraction, and production to the packaging. By overseeing the handling of the process, the team at Cheef Botanicals guarantees safety and quality. Moreover, all ingredients in CBD products are 100% organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

Another distinguishing feature of this brand is the emphasis on research and development (R&D). Indeed, the research has helped the company deliver some of the most popular CBD products, including one of the best CBD oils for anxiety.

Highlights

Effective CBD Oil for Anxiety: The full spectrum CBD oil contains only hemp seed for moderation and has a full range of CBD benefits. The secondary cannabinoids and terpenes in CBD oil make it more efficient and help to treat anxiety.

100% Organic CBD Oil: The CBD oil for anxiety contains 100% natural, vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and non-GMO ingredients. There’s no artificial flavoring or additives.

Legal Compliance: The CBD oil for anxiety contains less than 0.3% THC to comply with federal law.

Research & Development: The company’s commitment to research and development has helped it launch some of the most effective CBD products on the market, including CBD oil for anxiety.

Safety and Quality: Through close monitoring of the CBD process, the company maintains outstanding standards in its CBD oil for anxiety.

  • High-quality CBD oil for anxiety
  • High potency CBD oil
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Cost-saving subscription
  • Wide range of CBD oils
  • Third-party lab tested
  • Natural and vegan-friendly ingredients
  • Free shipping
  • No international shipping
  • Limited flavors

#5. FAB CBD: Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil for Anxiety Disorders

Established in 2017, FAB CBD has become a trendsetter in the CBD industry. To begin with, the company now boasts the best CBD oil for anxiety. The company uses only the finest organically grown Colorado hemp for the highest-quality CBD oil. Furthermore, the company leverages the industry-preferred, clean CO2 extraction process. Therefore, the CBD used in their products is pure and contains beneficial terpenes. The CBD has less than 0.3% THC to meet federal law.

Owing to their uniqueness, the company offers different CBD oil strengths, including 300mg, 600mg, 1200mg, and 2400mg. Better still, you can choose from delicious citrus, mint, natural, berry, and vanilla flavors. Have you been looking for the best way to consume CBD oil? FAB CBD makes one of the best CBD oils for anxiety and in multiple flavors to suit different taste buds.

FAB CBD has high standards, and the CBD oil goes through third-party lab tests by ProVerde Laboratories. Everything about the brand is straightforward, including the lab tests, simple instructions, and convenient dropper bottle. You’ll love the easy-to-understand instructions and the measurement markers on the droppers. This brand simplifies CBD and makes it an alternative treatment for people suffering from anxiety disorders.

Highlights

Variety of Strengths: Different users have unique anxiety disorders and treatment needs. For this reason, the company produces four strengths to give beginners and more experienced users variety.

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Brand Standing: The company might have launched in 2017, but in 4 years, it has emerged as one of the most inventive CBD brands. Most users trust the brand based on their quality products from the customer reviews.

High-Efficiency CBD Oil: The advanced CO2 extraction method delivers highly effective full spectrum CBD with beneficial compounds.

Safe and Legal CBD Oil: The CBD oil for anxiety from FAB CBD contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC and complies with the 2018 Farm Bill.

Authenticity: This CBD oil for anxiety passes the highest reliability through third-party tests. Everyone can access the results of the independent lab tests.

Cost-Savings: The brand offers free shipping on orders of $99 or more and other discounts on their website.

  • Convenient bottle and dropper
  • Easy-to-follow usage instructions
  • Quality tested products
  • Four different strengths
  • Delicious flavors
  • Effective anxiety treatment
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free U.S. shipping on orders over $99
  • Third-party lab tested
  • No free shipping for all orders

How We Made This List of CBD Oil and Tinctures for Treating Anxiety

By using the best CBD oil for anxiety, you can get your life back in control. In addition, hemp-derived products are safe and won’t change your behavior. Moreover, these are legal products that go through stringent quality standardization before entering the market.

With our insight into these incredible benefits of CBD oils, we want to help buyers quickly find the best products to treat their anxiety. To start with, we knew this was an arduous task, with so many brands on the market. However, we set high standards for our research to make the findings objective and reliable.

We had cannabis enthusiasts, medical experts, journalists, product reviewers, and growers in our team. Furthermore, we designed essential criteria to determine products that would meet the highest standards to get started. The requirements would include brand reputation, lab results, safety, and customer reviews.

Next, we searched for the best CBD oils for anxiety, and of course, our search returned many brands. Consequently, we used our previously agreed criteria to cut down the list to the ultimate top five products presented in this guide.

What We Looked For

Here are the things we looked for to shortlist the best CBD oil for anxiety:

  • Source of Hemp: From our long-running experience in the CBD industry, we knew that locally-grown hemp meets the highest standards. Therefore, we only shortlisted brands that used locally-grown hemp.
  • Potency: For high-efficiency levels, we assessed the level of strength for all the CBD oil for anxiety in our list. Moreover, our team checked the quantity of CBD per serving and in an entire bottle.
  • Independent Lab Testing: We checked whether they independently tested each of these CBD oils for anxiety at a third-party lab for safety and quality evaluation. Moreover, we looked at the availability of these lab results.
  • Type of CBD: Different CBD types deliver extraordinary results in the final product. As a result, we reviewed whether the product contains full spectrum, broad spectrum CBD oil, or isolate.
  • Variety of Flavors: We looked for diversity in flavors that would make the oils more enjoyable to consume.
  • Organic vs. Artificial Ingredients: We looked at the type of ingredients used to determine if they were 100% organic, non-GMO, and organically farmed.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Through extensive research, we checked for customer feedback to evaluate the reception of these products on the market. In addition to customer reviews, we read testimonials, checked BBB ratings and customer experiences shared on different platforms.

What to Consider Before Purchasing the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety

Truth be told, anyone suffering from anxiety-related disorders would like to find the best treatment. The debilitating symptoms of anxiety can turn your life upside down, leading to loss of employment, relationships, and other problems. Whereas various medications are available to treat anxiety disorders, these can have equally harmful consequences. Luckily, the best CBD oil or CBD tincture for anxiety offers a calming effect without accompanying side effects. But how do you choose the right product in a fast-growing market?

We appreciate that many people haven’t benefited from CBD products because of misconceptions and misinformation. To this end, we started researching the best products on the market, culminating in this guide listing the best CBD oils for anxiety. When you begin shopping for CBD oil for anxiety, here are some factors to consider:

Reliability of the Brand

How well do you know the CBD brand selling the product? The best CBD brands invest heavily in their websites. First, check out the company’s website and learn about the company. Second, search the brand on search engines and see the reviews, comments, and other types of brand mentions you find. Although a brand might be relatively new in the market, you can still discover a lot about its background.

Quality of the CBD Oil

Now that you’ve found a top-rated CBD oil and pure CBD isolate tincture for anxiety, what next? Take time to discover the type of ingredients used in CBD oil. Mostly, the best CBD products have 100% natural ingredients and have no additives or artificial flavors. More importantly, confirm if the product has gone through third-party lab testing. Before consuming CBD oil, check the company’s website and verify the Certificates of Analysis (COAs).

Customer Reviews/ Testimonials

What have other users said about CBD oil for anxiety? In this age of information, it’s easy to learn everything about a brand through the internet. Customers can quickly review products and leave comments about brands and their products. Hence, don’t rush to buy any CBD oil for anxiety, but rather, start your research with customer reviews. If you find multiple complaints about a product, continue your search.

Shopping Experience

When comparing different CBD oils, visit company websites and check how easy it is to shop. For example, try navigating from one page to the other, check product descriptions, try the live chat if available, and read the shipping policy. Only buy CBD oil for anxiety from a brand that has a reliable website. The last thing you want is a lack of customer support if your order has an issue.

Extraction Method

The CBD extraction method determines the CBD oil’s purity, cleanliness, and effectiveness. Accordingly, check the company’s website to confirm the technology used in the production. Among the extraction methods, CO2 extraction of cannabidiol (CBD) is the most popular. By using superficial CO2 extraction, manufacturers guarantee the safety and purity of the final CBD product. Nevertheless, you have to confirm whether this is the technology used from the company’s website. If there’s no such information, continue shopping for the best CBD oil for anxiety.

FAQs: CBD Oil for Anxiety

Is CBD oil for anxiety effective?

Yes. CBD works naturally on the endocannabinoid system, influencing mood, anxiety, and other emotions. While research continues, so far, the results are positive. The best thing about CBD for anxiety is its calming effect on your body as it attains homeostasis. This biological balance has a significant influence on your emotions, and it helps deal with anxiety symptoms such as increased heart rate, muscle pains, and headaches. Further, the best CBD oil for anxiety doesn’t include harmful products, making it an alternative to common medications for anxiety.

Can CBD show up in a drug test?

No. There are specific substances targeted in a standard drug test, but these don’t include CBD. Delta THC content in CBD oil for anxiety is negligible at less than 0.3% and won’t affect your drug test. There’s no reason to worry about CBD if you have an upcoming drug test. After all, the body even produces its endogenous cannabinoids.

Is CBD oil for anxiety legal?

Yes. Hemp-derived products such as CBD are now legal after passing the 2018 Farm Bill. To comply with the law’s stringent requirements, the CBD must contain less than 0.3% delta 9 THC. As you shop for CBD oil for anxiety, don’t forget to confirm the composition of the CBD to ensure it complies with federal law.

Is CBD oil for anxiety safe?

Yes. The fact that manufacturers use locally grown hemp to extract CBD is one factor that guarantees the safety of CBD oil. The industry is now regulated, and most CBD brands use independent lab tests to ensure the safety of their products. Moreover, these brands only use 100% organic products with no additives or artificial flavors that can have harmful effects. When you shop for CBD oil for anxiety, check for any complaints about side effects and read further about the causes.

Which is the best CBD oil for anxiety?

You have various products to choose from but to identify the best, carry out due diligence. First, check the brand’s reputation, credibility, customer reviews, type of ingredients in their CBD oil, and CBD extraction process. Don’t rush to buy the first CBD oil for anxiety you find on the market. Instead, do your research and compare different products. Check a review page that has already shortlisted the best products in this category. Our review of the five best CBD oils for anxiety is an excellent place to start.

How do I start using CBD oil for anxiety?

Every CBD oil user has unique needs and goals. If you suffer from severe anxiety symptoms, your dosage will differ from a user with mild anxiety attacks. Furthermore, different brands offer different strengths. When using CBD oil for anxiety, start on a low dosage/low potency. You can increase the dosage based on the reaction to the CBD. The best CBD brands have recommended dosages for CBD newbies and regular users. Follow these instructions for the best results.

CBD Oil and Tinctures for Anxiety: Conclusion

Do you feel overwhelmed with so much stuff in your life? You’re not alone. Indeed, anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses. While these are treatable conditions, only a tiny percentage of patients receive adequate treatment for various reasons. Fortunately, the best CBD oil for anxiety is safe and enjoyable to use.

As research into cannabidiol (CBD) continues, scientists and medical practitioners continue to discover more benefits of the hemp-derived compound. CBD oil for anxiety is a lifesaver for millions of people struggling with anxiety. At last, you can get back control of your life through this safe and natural alternative treatment. You can now join many CBD users enjoying the calming effect of cannabidiol oil.

Whatever anxiety disorder you suffer from, the products in this review can offer some relief. To make things easier for you, we’ve done the hard lifting for you through this comprehensive guide.

So, do you want to conquer your anxiety disorder? Well, you now have a solution through the best CBD oil for anxiety. Check the products reviewed here and place your order. It’s the perfect gift from Mother Nature.

The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.

Cannabidiol (CBD) in the Self-Treatment of Depression-Exploratory Study and a New Phenomenon of Concern for Psychiatrists

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Associated Data

The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.

Abstract

Cannabis sativa, whose flowers are also known as marijuana or marihuana, is a recreational plant that contains many chemicals that are constantly being studied by scientists around the world. One of these substances is cannabidiol (CBD), which has gained widespread popularity on the internet as a cure for mental health problems, leading many people to use CBD to self-treat depression and anxiety. This article presents an exploratory cohort study (n = 90) of a group of people aged 16–69 using CBD to self-heal depression symptoms. The survey included basic sociodemographic questionnaire and validated Hospital Depression and Anxiety Scale. And was distributed via the Internet. The results were statistically analyzed. High school degree was the most commonly held education (46%), large city was the most popular place of living (33%) and majority of the respondents have a full-time job (53%). Only 19% of the respondents consult their doctor or pharmacists about taking CBD. On the group of psychiatric patients, only 49% of respondents tell their psychiatrist about using the compound. Psychiatrists should be aware of CBD use in their patients during their daily practice, as CBD use can be found within people from all walks of life, and due to public interest, there is a need for education and research on the efficacy and safety of CBD use for mental disorders.

Introduction

Cannabis sativa, commonly known as marijuana or marihuana, is a plant with psychoactive properties used primarily for recreational purposes. However, in recent years, numerous studies have been conducted that have found its beneficial effects in the treatment of many diseases (1). Marijuana-derived compounds, known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antinecrotic properties, are considered promising agents that are increasingly used in research related to Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia, as well as in the treatment of chronic pain (2–4). The substances contained in marijuana are called cannabinoid com-pounds. The most potent constituent of cannabis is natural tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the psychoactive properties of marijuana (1). Among other compounds, one is especially notable–cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound which could be useful in depression treatment, as the studies have demon-strated the activity of CBD as a partial agonist of 5HT1a serotonin receptors, which could be beneficial in the treatment of depression and anxiety by using this substance, but this still requires extensive research (5).

CBD appears to be relatively safe substance in preliminary studies, but there are several side effects that should be mentioned. CBD is one of the better tolerated substances compared to THC, mainly due to its lower addictive potential (6). In the available literature, the adverse effects described mainly refer to studies in animal models and depend on the dose taken and the duration of use. The use of CBD in animals resulted in the development of drug toxicity, increased fetal mortality, liver cell damage, inhibition of spermatogenesis, and hypotension, but it should be mentioned that the doses used in animals were above the recommended amounts for humans (7). The most common side effects reported in studies of cannabinoid use for epilepsy or psychotic disorders were fatigue, diarrhea, and appetite disturbances (8). Other side effects reported after CBD use included vomiting, insomnia, and hepatologic disorders. Nonetheless, in certain conditions CBD could be dangerous, as it is metabolized in the liver with the involvement of CYP3A4, which affects its interactions with many drugs that are also processed with the involvement of this enzyme system (including anti-fungals, clarithromycin, or rifampicin) (7).

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The public is very interested in natural methods to treat depression. Scientists are focusing on the study of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic substance found in many plants, and psilocybin, a psychedelic that occurs naturally in mushrooms such as psilocybin cubensis (9). The popularity of CBD in the treatment of depression is as great in society as the popularity of the use of DMT or psilocybin-on October 15, 2021, the Google search engine returns 6,370,000 results for the term “CBD depression treatment,” and information on this topic can be found on such well-known websites as the New York Times or Forbes (10, 11). Despite the great popularity that the use of CBD for depression enjoys on the Internet, in our opinion, the scientific data on the efficacy and safety of this substance in the treatment of depression remain sparse. It is not difficult to find groups on social media (e.g., Facebook) where experiences are shared about the use of CBD for self-care for mental health and where people (often without medical training) recommend certain products from the Internet along with dosage. Self-care for mental health has its limits, and that is when patients turn to supplements and products purchased online without the knowledge of their doctor, as this is potentially dangerous. There are documented over-the-counter uses of St. John’s wort in combination with serotonin reuptake inhibitors that resulted in the development of serotonin syndrome (12). Because we do not know much about CBD, we believe that people who use CBD to self-medicate should be closely monitored. We were unable to find appropriate studies describing this phenomenon in any disease, although previous literature suggests that self-medication with CBD exists for chronic pain, anxiety, and depression (13). In our opinion, the availability of CBD on the retail market is disproportionate to the number of scientific reports on the efficacy and safety of CBD, because in many European countries such as Austria, Spain, Sweden, Germany or France you can easily buy CBD legally (14). This situation is potentially dangerous from a medical perspective for both patients and medical staff, as people risk potentially treacherous intoxication by searching social media for unverified data on the ingestion of rather unknown substances. Therefore, as a group of psychiatrists, we decided to investigate the problematic phenomenon of using CBD to self-treat depressive symptoms, as it is important to learn more about the people who choose to do so. We aimed to explore the basic demographic and epidemiological characteristics of people who use CBD to self-treat their depressive disorders and to demonstrate the fact that this phenomenon exists. The study was exploratory in nature, therefore we did not rise any particular research questions.

Materials and Methods

The study was designed by psychiatrists from the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice and was conducted according to the guide-lines of the Declaration of Helsinki and Good Clinical Practice. It included 23 questions in Polish in the areas of: general sociodemographic parameters, general psychiatric interview of patients, questions related to CBD intake: frequency, dosage and form of consumption, improvement of wellbeing after CBD intake and additionally included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaire. The HADS is one of the most widely used self-assessment questionnaires for screening anxiety/depression symptoms and focuses mainly on the cognitive and psychological aspects. It is used in both the general medical population and the healthy population. The HADS consists of a total of 14 items on 2 separate subscales: Anxiety (HADS-A) and Depression (HADS-D), and the total score ranges from 0 to 42 points. Currently, the categorization system includes several groups: 0–7, normal; 8–10, mild; 11–15, moderate; over 16, severe (15). The survey was uploaded to the Internet via Google Forms, Google’s original online survey tool. The form consisted of 5 separate pages-consent to the study, questions about demographic data, questions about previous psychiatric treatment, questions about CBD use, and the HADS questionnaire. Data were collected via Facebook from August 27, 2021 to September 16, 2021. We asked administrators of depression, mental illness, and CBD use groups and websites to help us collect data, and they actively provided a link to the form on their websites, therefore we could not estimate the amount of people who received the link to the survey. Incomplete questionnaires were rejected. To ensure complete anonymity, as marihuana is still generally a taboo subject, no personal or contact information was collected, including email addresses or IP addresses that would identify respondents. For that reason, we had to avoid sampling methods that would be normally used in such study. We had to avoid using data collection enhancement methods, as they would require us to use more complex technical methods that would not allow data anonymization. Participation in the survey was voluntary, respondents were informed of the purpose of the survey and were required to answer in the affirmative to the first question “I use CBD oil to improve symptoms of depression and agree to participate in this anonymous study (or as a minor, I have the consent of my legal guardian to participate),” otherwise they were not given access to the questionnaire. Ninety seven responses were collected, of which 7 subjects, after reading the manual, did not agree to submit their anonymous responses to analysis.

The collected data were analyzed using STATISTICA 13.0 software (StatSoft, Kraków, Poland). Qualitative variables were tested using the chi-square test. The Shapiro-Wilk test was used to check whether quantitative variables conformed to the normal distribution. The test revealed that not all variables conformed to the normal distribution. In case of non-normal distribution, Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare two independent groups, while Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare multiple independent samples. Spearman’s rank order correlation test was used to test the relationship between the variables. Statistical significance was assumed at p < 0.05.

Results

We collected 90 correctly completed questionnaires from the respondents. The study comprised a group of males and females of comparable size who did not differ significantly in age, education and type of occupation. One person reported being non-binary and was excluded from the statistical analysis. The youngest respondent was 16 years old and the oldest was 69 years old. High school degree was the most commonly held education (46%), large city was the most popular place of living (33%) and majority of the respondents have a full-time job (53%). Majority of the respondents claim that they either trust or probably trust the psychiatrists. The detailed characteristics of the study population are shown in Table 1 . There is no difference in trust in psychiatrists between the groups. Respondents’ place of residence differs between gender groups, but the significance level is borderline, which could be tested if a larger sample of respondents were used.

Table 1

All Male Female
n 90 42 48
% 100% 46,7% 53,3%
Average age 33,7 32,9 34,5
Education High school degree 46% 43% 50%
Vocational school 9% 7% 8%
Higher bachelor’s degree or equivalent 14% 14% 15%
Higher masters or equivalent 30% 33% 27%
Doctorate or higher academic title 1% 2% 0%
Place of living Village 21% 26% 17%
Small town (up to 50,000 inhabitants) 21% 12% 29%
Medium-sized city (from 50,000 to 200,000 inhabitants) 25% 19% 29%
A large city (over 200,000 inhabitants) 33% 43% 25%
Type of work Full-time job 53% 50% 54%
Entrepreneur 15% 21% 10%
Another form of employment 10% 10% 10%
Unemployed 7% 10% 4%
Seasonal job 7% 2% 10%
Student 5% 2% 8%
Pupil 3% 5% 2%
Do you trust psychiatrists? Definitely not 6% 2% 8%
Probably not 29% 36% 23%
Probably yes 44% 43% 46%
Yes 21% 19% 23%

Majority of the respondents were or still are treated by a psychiatrist (55%) and started using CBD for depressed mood (69%). The most commonly consumed other psychoactive substance was caffeine (47%). Only 19% of respondents consulted a doctor or pharmacists about taking CBD, and most respondents (59%) consume CBD daily. Majority of the respondents (57%) are currently under the supervision of a psychiatrist and a little over half (51%) do not tell their psychiatrists about their use of CBD. Majority of respondents said they felt better after CBD treatment (86%). The detailed characteristics of CBD use for self-treatment of mental disorders are shown in Table 2 .

Table 2

CBD consumption characteristics.

All Male Female
n 90 42 48
% 100% 46,7% 53,3%
Have you ever been diagnosed / diagnosed or treated / treated by a psychiatrist? Yes 55% 40% 67%
No 45% 60% 33%
Answers only from the group of people who have ever been diagnosed or treated by a psychiatrist (n = 50) Why did you receive psychiatric treatment? Anxiety disorders 76% 94% 66%
Depression 72% 76% 69%
Insomnia 36% 35% 37%
Personality disorder 16% 18% 13%
Addiction 14% 18% 13%
Bipolar affective disorder 4% 0% 6%
Schizophrenia 4% 6% 3%
Does your psychiatrist know you are taking CBD? Yes 49% 47% 50%
No 51% 53% 50%
Are you undergoing psychiatric treatment right now? Yes 57% 41% 66%
No 43% 59% 34%
Why did you start to use CBD? Depressed mood 69% 74% 65%
Anxiety 62% 60% 65%
Insomnia 58% 45% 69%
No motivation 48% 38% 56%
Problems with concentration 40% 33% 46%
Energy drop 37% 26% 46%
What other psychoactive substances are you using? Caffeine 47% 55% 40%
THC 38% 50% 27%
Nicotine 33% 26% 40%
Alcohol 21% 33% 10%
Hallucinogenic substances 7% 7% 6%
Psychostimulants 2% 0% 4%
None 29% 19% 38%
Where did you first heard of CBD? Internet 62% 76% 50%
Friends 29% 17% 40%
Family 8% 5% 10%
Television 1% 2% 0%
Have you consulted CBD consumption with a doctor or a pharmacist? Yes 19% 14% 23%
No 81% 86% 77%
Where do you buy CBD most often? Online shop 66% 67% 65%
Local store 22% 24% 21%
Pharmacy 2% 0% 4%
Friends 10% 10% 10%
What form do you most often consume CBD? CBD oil 73% 62% 83%
Hemp drought 26% 38% 15%
Pure CBD in the form of a spray 1% 0% 2%
How often do you consume CBD? Every day 59% 60% 58%
A few times a week 22% 21% 23%
Several times a month 13% 10% 17%
Several times a year 4% 7% 2%
Less often 1% 2% 0%
Do you usually measure the same doses of CBD? No, I’m not measuring my doses 38% 43% 33%
Yes, 1–50 milligrams a day 39% 33% 44%
Yes, 51 to 100 milligrams a day 9% 10% 8%
Yes, 101 to 150 milligrams a day 9% 10% 8%
Yes, 151 to 200 milligrams a day 3% 5% 2%
More than 200 milligrams a day 2% 0% 4%

Women were more likely to be diagnosed or treated by a psychiatrist compared to men (χ 2 =; 6.19 p = 0.01; chi-square test). Among the psychiatric disorders treated, men were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders (χ 2 = 4.87; p = 0.027; chi-square test). No significant difference was found between genders for the other disorders. Women were significantly more likely than men to take CBD due to insomnia (χ 2 = 5.07; p = 0.024) and energy depletion (χ 2 = 3.72; p = 0.05 (borderline); chi-square test). Men were significantly more likely than women to use THC (χ 2 = 5; p = 0.025) and alcohol (χ 2 = 7.06; p = 0.008 chi-square test).

Men were significantly more likely than women to learn about CBD from the Internet, while women learned from friends and family (χ 2 = 8.61; p = 0.04 chi-square test). Respondents most frequently purchased CBD from online stores, while the most common form of CBD consumption was CBD oil, which was significantly more frequently consumed by women (χ 2 = 7.12; p = 0.03 chi-square test).

Majority of the respondents (53%) claim that CBD made them feel overall better and 88% of the respondents would more likely take CBD than a prescription drug from a psychiatrist. Table 3 shows detailed psychiatric outcome analysis for respondents using CBD.

Table 3

Assessment of CBD effects on mental health of respondents.

All Male Female
n 90 42,00 48,00
% 100% 46,7% 53,3%
Did CBD make you feel overall better? Definitely not 6% 7% 4%
Probably not 8% 10% 6%
Probably yes 33% 31% 35%
Definitely yes 53% 52% 54%
With your current knowledge, would you be more likely to take CBD or prescription drugs from a psychiatrist? Prescription drugs 12% 64% 36%
CBD 88% 44% 56%
HADS–average result Anxiety 10,43 9,17 11,58
Depression 8,04 8 8,16
HADS categories in anxiety subscale Normal 31% 43% 21%
Mild 20% 19% 21%
Moderate 31% 24% 38%
Severe 18% 14% 21%
HADS categories in depression subscale Normal 53% 52% 54%
Mild 17% 21% 13%
Moderate 26% 21% 29%
Severe 4% 5% 4%

Out of respondents who are or were treated by a psychiatrist, the most commonly drugs prescribed were selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (16%). Table 4 shows which prescription medications were or are being taken by respondents. Greater improvement in wellbeing was reported by younger respondents (r = −0.22; p < 0.02; Spearman's rank-order correlation). There was no correlation between reported improvement in wellbeing after CBD use and: (1) frequency of CBD use, (2) amount of CBD dose taken, or (3) form of CBD use.

Table 4

Psychiatric medications taken by respondents.

Substance n
Medications taken by respondents in the past Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors 16%
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors 12%
Trazodone 6%
Opipramol 4%
Alprazolam 3%
Hydroxyzine 3%
Pregabalin 3%
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors 2%
Quetiapine 2%
Aripiprazole 1%
Lamotrigine 1%
Mianserin 1%
Mirtazapine 1%
Olanzapine 1%
Risperidone 1%
I do not remember the names 16%
I have never received any prescription drugs from my psychiatrist 7%
Medications currently taken by respondents Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors 8%
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors 8%
Pregabalin 6%
Trazodone 3%
Alprazolam 1%
Aripiprazole 1%
Quetiapine 1%
Lamotrigine 1%
Mirtazapine 1%
Olanzapine 1%
Opipramole 1%
I am currently not using any prescription drugs 38%
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Under the HADS Anxiety subscale, 69% of respondents qualified for the group that exceeded the norm criteria (score > 7 points), while in the case of the HADS sub-scale, 47% exceeded this cut-off point.

93% of the respondents did not observe any negative effects of CBD consumption. Two respondents reported the occurrence of anxiety disorders during therapy, while 1 respondent reported the following symptoms: depressed mood, addiction, diarrhea, xerostomia.

Only 17% of respondents reported that they were currently taking psychotropic drugs. This group is too small to perform a statistical analysis using the above statistical tests. 49% of respondents admit to having taken the above drugs in their lifetime. Individuals who admit to taking psychotropic drugs in the past are significantly more likely to trust psychiatrists (p < 0.0001; Mann Whitney U test).

Discussion

The path to the use of CBD in psychiatry is partially clear, as CBD has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a drug for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy, suggesting that the compound has a satisfactory long-term safety profile for this neurological condition (16). Data on the benefits of CBD in reducing the severity of depressive symptoms and anxiety are limited but promising. Some studies show that CBD is useful in treating depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and even problematic cannabis use, as well as in reducing the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, with little to no side effects such as diarrhea, which decreased over time (17, 18). Clinical studies are also encouraged by the authors of publications summarizing the achievements of science in the field of CBD use in psychiatry. They point out that studies in larger groups of people are necessary not only to determine the safety and usefulness of the substances in psychiatric treatment, but also to determine the efficacy of the treatment in the context of differences in symptoms of gender disorders, since most clinical trials have been conducted mainly in men (19, 20). There is still too many question marks to not monitor people who use CBD on their own. The situation in which patients decide to self-medicate their symptoms with a drug for which there is, for the time being, limited evidence of efficacy and safety is potentially dangerous because, apart from the side effects, such actions may worsen their mental state through the natural progression of depressive disorders, especially since some respondents choose to take more than CBD, including THC or hallucinogens, which may not be neutral among respondents.

The survey involved people of different ages (both minors and retirees), with different levels of education, and living in both rural and urban communities, which means that the use of CBD for self-treatment of depression is not limited to certain social groups. This information may be useful in further planning of scientific and educational activities in this area.

When analyzing the above responses, it should first be noted that only 19% of respondents consulted their doctor or pharmacist about taking CBD. At the same time, in the group of psychiatric patients, only 49% of respondents informed their psychiatrist about the use of CBD during psychiatric treatment. This situation is potentially dangerous because when patients buy CBD outside the pharmacy, this sale escapes the control of the pharmaceutical regulatory authority, which may encourage the accidental ingestion of other substances than intended, because when sales are outside the control of pharmaceutical regulators, consumers need to trust the honesty of the sellers. The situation of physicians and pharmacists being informed by the patient of the use of a psychoactive substance that is not an approved drug for the condition being treated is also extremely difficult. Categorical prohibition is unlikely to be effective, but it will limit the patient’s honesty at subsequent visits, and acceptance of this state of affairs means that the patient accepts responsibility-at least in part – for the possible adverse effects of taking a psychoactive substance. The situation of physicians and pharmacists will not improve until they have accurate knowledge of the effects of CBD in various clinical situations and of interactions with the most common psychotropic drugs. There is an urgent need to complete this knowledge.

An important element in the mystery of the CBD phenomenon is the chemical composition of the oil itself or the dried fruit you buy. You should keep in mind that in addition to CBD and other cannabinoids, there are substances from other chemical groups, such as terpenoids, flavonoids, and alkaloids. It is possible that these substances may have an impact on the patient’s wellbeing (21). It is important to know this because a possible complex antidepressant effect of Cannabis sativa- derived substances cannot be excluded. Research suggests that CB1 and CB2 receptors are associated with depression and bipolar disorder, and a single nucleotide polymorphism in the CB1 receptor has been observed in patients with treatment-resistant depression (22). CBD is an agonist of the 5HT-1A receptor, which in combination with its action on cannabinoid receptors may lead to a new unique effect (5).

As mentioned in the introduction, the media is eagerly interested in the topic of using CBD to treat depression, and society is picking up on the topic in social media. In public discourse, healthcare professionals should stick to facts. There is not enough data to conclusively confirm or rule out the claim that CBD is useful in treating mental illness. Given the social aspect of CBD use, further research by interdisciplinary teams made up of psychiatrists and pharmacists seems well warranted.

The responses collected shed light on another aspect. When planning further research on the use of CBD to improve symptoms of depressive disorders, it is important to pay attention to validated instruments that help in the diagnosis of depression. The responses to the question about reasons for starting CBD use may suggest that although we asked about self-treatment of depression, and this was clearly explained in the survey instructions and in the first question, some of the public may not fully understand the nature of this disorder. Patients could be suffering from major depressive disorder or mixed depression-anxiety disorder, and since it makes a difference in terms of the proper medical solutions offered byphysicians, it may not make a difference to patients. They might just call both disorders “depression,” whereas according to our HADS-A and HADS-D results, anxiety is actually more prevalent in our study group. Differentiating the causes of depressive disorders on the basis of the currently used International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems will make it possible to reduce methodological errors, contribute to a more rapid resolution of scientific problems and avoid inaccuracy in providing data to other scientists.

Study Limitations

This study is probably the only study to examine the extent of self-treatment of depression with CBD, but it is not free of limitations. The data was collected during COVID-19 pandemic, which could have an impact on the respondents wellbeing in terms of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Due to anonymity of the study, the study was anonymous and was not prospective, therefore, we could not explain if CBD actually helps people who use the substance. The survey was conducted over the Internet, which limits the ability to rule out respondent error in completing the survey and prevents intentional bias from being ruled out. A small group of respondents does not allow for indepth statistical analysis and it is not necessarily representative for the population; furthermore, the selection of the group depends on activity on the Internet. However, the exploratory nature of this study provides solid justification for further research and analysis in this area.

Conclusions

Psychiatrists should be aware of CBD use in their patients during their daily practice, as CBD use can be found within people from all walks of life for self-treatment of depression due to depressed mood. Due to public interest, there is a need for education and research on the efficacy and safety of CBD use for mental disorders.

Data Availability Statement

The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.

Ethics Statement

Ethical review and approval was not required for the study on human participants in accordance with the local legislation and institutional requirements. Written informed consent from the participants’ legal guardian/next of kin was not required to participate in this study in accordance with the national legislation and the institutional requirements.

Author Contributions

GW: conceptualization, project administration, and visualization. GW and MS: methodology and software. GW and RP: validation and writing—review and editing. GW, IS, and MS: formal analysis, investigation, and writing—original draft preparation. GW and IS: resources. MS: data curation. PG and RP: supervision. All authors contributed to the article and approved the submitted version.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher’s Note

All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Kombinat Konopny, HempNation, Dr. Konopny Siedlce, and Depresja, Stany Lekowe, Ataki Paniki, Fobie. Grupa integracyjna. Facebook group for making their networking channels available so the authors could collect the data.

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