Best CBD Oil for Anxiety and Depression in 2022: Top 5 CBD Oil Brands
CBD’s capacity to help us cope with stress and anxiety is one of the most researched and scientifically validated benefits. CBD has been demonstrated to affect serotonin levels in the body and appears to replicate many of the effects of antidepressants, but without the adverse side effects.
As a result, CBD oil has become very popular, and it may be the best option for your anxiety problems. However, CBD products are widely available on the market, which could make it difficult to choose the right one for your needs.
As a result, we have compiled a list of the best CBD oils for anxiety from the top brands in the industry.
After reading this article, you will be armed with a plethora of useful information, and you will be able to choose the best CBD oil for anxiety comfortably.
Top 5 Best CBD Oil & Tinctures In 2022:
: Overall Best CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression; Editor’s Choice Most Potent CBD Oil for Anxiety : Preferred CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety : CBD Oil & Tincture for Stress Relief : Highly Rated CBD Oil for Depression
Here are the detailed reviews of our top picks:
#1. Exhale Wellness: Overall Best CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression; Editor’s Choice
Exhale Wellness is our top recommendation, as it is a well-known CBD brand that is available on a variety of platforms. Overall, it seeks to improve people’s lifestyles by providing high-quality CBD products. So, if you are looking to acquire the best CBD oil, Exhale is the place to go.
Its headquarters are in Los Angeles, California, and it has extensive experience in this industry. Some of the top CBD products on the market are grown, extracted, and manufactured by this company. Moreover, Exhale’s products are designed to provide users with a healthier approach to living a better life and improving their well-being.
The company believes nature contains the secret to good health and wellness, and as such, it has become their philosophy in developing CBD products. As a result, we recommend their full-spectrum CBD oil as the most refined option for anxiety reduction. Furthermore, the oil contains a whole spectrum of cannabinoids.
The full-spectrum CBD oil comes in an easy-to-use glass dropper bottle and in two potency options — 600mg and 1,200mg. It can be readily purchased from their official website, and if you choose the subscribe and save option, you will receive a 25% discount.
Exhale Wellness collaborates with Colorado farms to obtain organic hemp that is grown locally. The hemp used to make CBD extracts is of the highest quality and comes from an organically produced hemp plant that is grown under rigorous quality control norms and laws.
Advanced Extraction Method
The company obtains CBD extracts from full-spectrum hemp using the CO2 extraction process, which is the most advanced and the best method. The CBD oil is also subjected to stringent quality control procedures during the manufacturing process.
- Third-party lab tested
- 18-month shelf life
- Transparent about manufacturing processes
- U.S.-grown, organic hemp
- Wide range of products
- Free shipping on all orders
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only available for purchase online
Our research and consumer feedback shows that Exhale’s CBD oil is the most potent in the market. Aside from its strength, the CBD oil has quick-acting effects, making the brand number one on our list.
Customers will find it easy to make purchases on the site because it is incredibly user-friendly. The company also employs industry-standard production procedures and testing to assure quality and safety, along with offering user-friendly policies to all customers.
#2. BudPop: Most Potent CBD Oil for Anxiety
BudPop is now one of the most well-known brands on the market. The company has released several high-quality CBD products, and customers have reacted positively. Moreover, BudPop’s CBD oil is pure, as it contains no unnecessary ingredients.
This CBD oil is offered in two flavors — Peppermint and Natural — and it comes in a glass bottle dropper with a 30ml capacity. Each bottle contains 1,500mg of CBD, and each serving contains 50mg of CBD. The oil’s contents are listed on the packaging, and all of the ingredients are natural and organic.
Furthermore, BudPop’s products are sent to a third-party lab, which checks them for toxins and additives. As a result, customers receive the best goods of the finest quality. You can also get discounts on the products if you bundle them with other BudPop products.
BudPop’s high-quality products have received glowing reviews from customers online, on social media, and in several high-profile publications.
In addition, BudPop’s lab-tested goods adhere to all authorized manufacturing methods, including federal requirements that ensure safe and pure lab-tested products produced entirely of non-GMO, vegan, and organic components.
Shipping & Customer Service
BudPop is quickly establishing a reputation for providing excellent customer service and a high level of client satisfaction. When a product refund is required, they provide it quickly and contact their consumers in a courteous, friendly, and prompt manner. Moreover, free shipping is available on all orders.
- Third-party lab tested
- Superior quality CBD oil
- Easily available lab reports
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free shipping
- Only available on the official website
Many individuals have compared BudPop’s CBD oil to other brands and found it superior. BudPop’s CBD oils are said to have unrivaled taste and effectiveness. Furthermore, several users have stated that the top CBD oils have aided them in dealing with daily stress.
After using this product, one customer even claimed he could now tell the difference between highly potent and less effective CBD oils, and as a result, he is now a regular customer at BudPop.
#3. Hollyweed CBD: Preferred CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety
Hollyweed’s staff consists of wellness-oriented individuals with extensive experience in the medical cannabinoid sector. These individuals believe in the beneficial properties of hemp and are working to develop products that reflect their beliefs. When it comes to CBD oil, Hollyweed is our third recommendation for you to consider.
Hollyweed’s CBD oil is made using an ultra-clean CO2 extraction technique. After extracting the full-spectrum CBD, they combine it with pure hemp seed oil. As a result, you get a soothing and tranquil CBD boost by putting a few drops on your tongue or by combining it with food and drink.
Hollyweed’s oil has been lab tested and is kept in a glass dropper bottle. Because it contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, it does not provide a psychoactive effect. Moreover, this CBD oil is both safe and effective, as natural, organic, and non-GMO ingredients are used in every recipe.
Because most brands lack consistency and transparency, Hollyweed has used various methods to gain each customer’s trust by ensuring their entire satisfaction and general wellness. If one thing sets them apart, it is their sincerity. Each product is made with carefully chosen ingredients that reflect the brand’s work ethic and credibility.
Hollyweed CBD oil provides a calming and relaxing effect on the central nervous system, which may encourage deeper, more natural sleep. Furthermore, it may also lessen the symptoms of anxiety and stress.
CO2 Extraction Method
Hollyweed uses the cutting-edge and ultra-clean CO2 extraction technique to create CBD oil. Their team combines full-spectrum CBD oil with high-quality hemp seed oil to generate full-spectrum CBD oil.
- Third-party lab tested
- Excellent for calming and relaxing the mind
- Non-GMO and gluten-free
- Free of any additives
- Full-spectrum oil
- Long-lasting effects
- High potency
- Free shipping
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only available for purchase online
We conducted extensive research and examined all social media reviews, as well as the leading review sites, to provide you with a comprehensive assessment of the brand’s overall rating.
We noticed a lot of positive feedback regarding the oil’s potency, with many customers stating they could feel the desired results in a short period. Customers also appreciate the products’ packaging and the brand’s comprehensive website detailing all of the products it sells.
#4. Cheef Botanicals: CBD Oil & Tincture for Stress Relief
Cheef Botanicals sources and manufactures its products through a network of Colorado farmers. The company was founded because the owners saw a gap in California’s health-conscious, plant-based cannabis products.
The organization maintains stringent quality control at every level and uses organic procedures. Cheef Botanicals also has their products verified for quality and accuracy by third-party labs. Cheef Botanicals offers a collection of vegan-friendly, plant-based, one-of-a-kind organic items, which are non-GMO, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and dairy-free.
Artificial flavors and colors are not used in any of the products, and a 30-day money-back guarantee is also available from the company. Cheef Botanicals’ CBD oil comes in four distinct quantities, with 300mg being the smallest and 3,000mg being the largest. Aside from that, you can get the products as a bundle and save money.
Cheef Botanicals fills a need in plant-based medicine for health-conscious people. CBD products from Cheef Botanicals are legal in all 50 states across the United States, and all items are eligible for free shipping.
Cheef Botanicals’ CBD oil was created using a CO2 extraction technology that is entirely natural. They have developed the most potent concentrated oil that is simple to take and delivers rapid benefits. The drops have no flavor and are placed under the tongue for quick absorption into the bloodstream.
This product is composed entirely of natural ingredients and will not cause you to become inebriated. The CBD oil is non-GMO, organic, and free of chemicals and preservatives. The bottle comes in various sizes, including 300mg, 600mg, 1,200mg, and 3,000mg.
Furthermore, if you sign up for their newsletter, you will receive a 25% discount on your first purchase.
- All-natural and organic
- No additives or preservatives
- Non-GMO and dairy-free
- Four sizes available
- Provides immediate effects
- High potency
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free shipping
- Larger bottles are more costly
If you are looking for a natural CBD health supplement to help with anxiety, Cheef Botanicals’ CBD oil is your best alternative. It will perform significantly better than any other item due to its organic and natural structure.
You may notice a noticeable improvement in your overall health as well as the efficiency with which your body performs. This CBD oil may also help you sleep better, along with providing other beneficial effects.
#5. FAB CBD: Highly Rated CBD Oil for Depression
FAB CBD has been busy working since 2017, delivering clients high-quality, clean, and unique CBD products. In truth, the brand’s CBD oils for anxiety are powerful and outstanding. FAB CBD’s team has extensive experience in the health and wellness industry, which is one of the main reasons for the company’s success.
The brand’s objective has always been to offer the safest, most effective CBD products so customers can live a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to developing its award-winning CBD products, the brand has never strayed from its rigorous set of criteria.
FAB CBD offers full-spectrum CBD oils in various concentrations and natural tastes, and there are five different tastes and four different sizes to choose from. In addition, the hemp used by FAB CBD is all organic and produced and harvested in Colorado.
The brand’s pure and strong hemp extracts are extracted using the CO2 extraction method, which is widely used in the industry. This procedure ensures all extracts are pure and devoid of contaminants. As a result, the cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients in FAB CBD’s products are all healthy.
FAB CBD sources all of the organic hemp it utilizes in its high-quality products from Colorado. The hemp is cultivated and harvested utilizing cutting-edge cloning and growth technology, which ensures it is clean, potent, and devoid of pesticides, herbicides, and other toxic chemicals.
Third-Party Lab Testing
ProVerde Labs, an independent third-party lab, regularly tests every product that FAB CBD makes. Transparency is also important to the brand, which is why the brand posts each lab test report on its website for customers to view.
- Top-notch, kind, and knowledgeable customer support
- Third-party lab tested
- Shipping is quick and secure
- Free shipping on orders of $99 or more
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No options for auto-ship or subscription
Customers claim FAB has the greatest CBD oil on the market. They appreciate that this company offers flavored CBD oils, making them easier to swallow. Some users claimed to have received multiple benefits.
We also enjoy that the brand’s website contains a lot of information about the products, along with being simple to navigate. Many customers appreciate both the packaging and the potency of FAB CBD’s oil.
Factors to Consider While Buying CBD Oil for Anxiety
CBD oils are derived from hemp, as can be observed. But, for hemp to be effective and safe to use, it must be of high grade. As a result, it is critical to look for hemp products grown organically on farms in the United States. You should probably look for another brand if a company does not disclose information about the hemp they utilize.
It is also vital to inspect the oil’s complementing ingredients to ensure it is all-natural and does not contain any potentially harmful synthetic compounds. If you are searching for diversity, seek products that offer it, such as ones that come in various flavors.
The potency of a CBD oil is another key element to consider before purchasing it. The potency will tell you how much CBD is in the product and how many milliliters of oil it contains.
You should be aware that a higher potency does not necessarily imply that the oil will be more effective for you. Lower amounts have been shown to help some people; therefore, a 250mg CBD oil bottle may suffice for your pain.
As a beginner, you should start with a small dose and gradually raise it as your tolerance develops. However, keep in mind that dose varies depending on the person’s metabolism, tolerance level, and consumption mode. Each person is unique, and if you exceed your dosage limit, you may experience minor adverse effects.
CBD oil comes in both unflavored and flavored varieties. The unflavored version is the simpler of the two, and regardless of CBD or THC concentrations, natural CBD oils and hemp extracts have an earthy, musky flavor.
If you plan to mix it with food or drinks, a product with flavoring may be preferable. Some manufacturers add a dash of lime, organic coconut oil, or berry juice for a delightful finish. Even a modest amount of flavor can dramatically improve the acceptability of CBD oil.
The fact that the products have been tested or not is a critical issue to consider as well. This is because third-party testing assures quality, safety, and potency.
You can also examine the hemp source, components utilized, oil strength, and other vital information if a manufacturer has given lab test findings on their website. It is not a good sign if a brand does not disclose lab testing reports on its website.
The manner of extraction is equally crucial, and CO2 extraction is the gold standard. It is utilized as a solvent to convert a solid state to a liquid by entering the plant and extracting the cannabinoids.
The CO2 will then disappear, leaving an oily, sticky extract behind. On the other hand, alternative extraction procedures include olive oil or alcohol.
If you want to understand if a product is worth buying, read the reviews first. One of the most crucial elements to consider is the customer experience. People are always willing to share their stories, and they are always brutally honest.
You can quickly assess whether a product is worth buying or not based on their statements. Each company’s website has a section for reviews, so scroll down and read what others have to say. If most of the comments are positive, the product is likely of great quality.
There will be negative feedback because the product will not work for everyone. You can base your decision on your requirements and previous customer experiences. The evaluations will also provide sufficient information about the company’s service, which is important for final decisions.
You can also ask friends who have tried the product for the most up-to-date information, and you can request that they let you test out their product to see if it works for you and whether or not it will be beneficial.
It is usually preferable to have fewer components in CBD oil, as it should only include CBD and a high-quality carrier oil. Some CBD oil companies additionally include natural flavors as a third ingredient.
If there are too many ingredients in the best CBD oils for anxiety, it is no longer pure and may not be as effective. Because some people dislike the flavor of hemp, improving the taste of CBD is beneficial. As a result, some brands turn to flavoring their CBD products.
There are hundreds of CBD natural extracts available, making it difficult to choose the ideal one for your anxiety or depression. Investing effort in researching ingredients can make a huge difference. To do so, you must first grasp the distinctions between CBD and hemp seed oils.
Both of these are made from hemp. The difference is that hemp oil is extracted from the seed and does not contain cannabidiol, whereas CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and contains a variety of cannabinoids. The amount of CBD in each extract varies, with broad-spectrum CBD being THC-free and full-spectrum CBD including trace quantities of THC.
Cannabinoids interact to create an entourage effect, which is one of the most critical advantages of full-spectrum CBD. It is thought that taking all industrial hemp plant parts together is more beneficial than taking them separately, and CBD with a broad spectrum of effects provides more targeted alleviation for specific depression and anxiety symptoms.
Other Benefits To Buy CBD Online:
CBD has been found in scientific research to help alleviate pain by interacting positively with the body’s endocannabinoid process to minimize inflammation.
- Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms
CBD has been shown to help with cancer treatment side effects such as vomiting, discomfort, and nausea.
CBD has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for neurological illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. It has also been shown to have neuroprotective properties.
CBD is also beneficial for one’s heart health. For example, nine healthy men were given 600mg CBD oil in one study, and researchers found their resting blood pressure lower.
Anxiety, sadness, coffee, medicine, medical ailments, and some environmental factors like loud noises or a bad mattress, for example, can all disrupt your sleep-wake pattern.
CBD improved sleep while also lowering anxiety disorders and social anxiety in a 2019 study. A total of 72 people were administered CBD every day for the duration of the study. 79.2% reported less anxiety in the first month, and 66.7% reported improved sleep.
FAQs: CBD Oil for Stress & Anxiety
Q1. Why should you use CBD oil instead of conventional medicine?
CBD oil is not designed to cure or treat anxiety, and it should not be used as a substitute for prescription medications or your existing treatment plan. Always consult with your doctor to identify the best course of action for your generalized social anxiety disorder and other diagnoses.
Many individuals appreciate CBD products because they help them relax, particularly during stressful situations, and also because they help them fall asleep sooner and remain asleep longer. Traditional drugs have a long list of adverse effects, and while they might help with generalized anxiety disorder, they can also make people feel disconnected and numb.
CBD helps alleviate the unpleasant feelings associated with anxiety disorders while also helping you stay present and enjoy the good things in life. Each person must select which form of assistance is best for them. Overall, CBD is gaining a good reputation, making it worthwhile for many to try.
Q2. What is the recommended dose of CBD oil for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for determining how much CBD oil to ingest. To begin with, everyone is unique. To attain the same potential advantages as someone twice their weight, a 150-pound individual needs substantially less CBD.
It is also crucial to think about CBD oil’s composition. Full-spectrum cannabidiol, for example, comprises a wide range of components that can have a stronger effect than broad-spectrum cannabidiol.
On the other hand, CBD isolate is a kind of pure cannabidiol that gives the best pound-for-pound outcomes. Therefore, you should only take a small quantity. Start with 5-10mg of CBD each serving as a general rule, and check the label if you are not sure how much that is. CBD products are labeled to indicate how much cannabidiol is in a single serving.
Q3. What is the difference between CBD oil and CBD tincture?
A tincture is often a solution made by steeping herbs in an ethanol solution to produce a concentrated liquid containing the herb’s active components. Oil is any liquid extract of a herb generally mixed with a carrier oil such as MCT oil. The terms tincture and oil are almost interchangeable in the CBD market for the most part.
Q4. Is CBD addictive?
According to the latest WHO studies, CBD does not cause habit-forming or addictive effects.
Above, we discussed the best CBD oil for anxiety disorders that has proven to be effective in assisting people in overcoming their anxiety disorders. We believe that having this knowledge will aid you in determining which brand to purchase.
All of the brands we have featured have done exceptionally well in the CBD industry, and we are confident their CBD oil will not disappoint you. If you are unsure whether CBD oil should be added to your current supplement regimen, talk to your primary care doctor or a medical professional.
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!
CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression: The Pros & Cons
Everyone’s talking about it, so we’re here to help you weigh up the pros and cons, without bias.
The pros & cons of taking CBD oil:
1. Depression & Anxiety
With symptoms like excessive worry, extreme self-consciousness, chest pain, and panic attacks, anxiety can be a debilitating condition. Depression can be equally destructive—feeling sad, with little interest in the activities you once enjoyed.
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of options for treating anxiety and depression. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are popular, but they come with a host of side effects. Others have the risk of addiction.
Many people search for a safer, more natural way to treat anxiety and depression, so new options are being developed and researched all the time.
One emerging treatment is CBD oil. It’s becoming more popular with each passing day, but there are still major questions about how effective it is at treating anxiety and depression—and how exactly it helps.
As a fairly new and little-understood product, it’s important to learn as much as you can about CBD oil for anxiety and depression—and speak to your mental health provider—before you decide to try it.
2. What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a type of cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are chemicals that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is extracted from the plant and made into an oil.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is another type of cannabinoid. It’s the chemical responsible for the “high” one feels after using marijuana. Because CBD is not THC, you cannot get high from using CBD oil.
CBD oil is suggested to have positive effects for people with:
- and other mental health disorders
- in addition to depression and anxiety
- Studies have shown inconclusive results for most of these uses, with the exceptions of epilepsy, anxiety, and depression
3. How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD oil for depression and anxiety is still being studied and doesn’t have as much research to back it up as many other treatments do. Make sure you talk to your doctor about whether it’s a good fit for you and how to incorporate it into your treatment plan.
4. CBD for anxiety
It isn’t known exactly how CBD oil combats anxiety, but it’s thought to work with a receptor in your brain called CB1. Researchers believe the interactions between CBD oil and CB1 alter serotonin signals.
The core problem at the heart of anxiety disorders is low serotonin—a neurotransmitter related to mood and well-being. SSRIs, for instance, work by blocking the absorption of serotonin in your brain, meaning you get more serotonin. CBD oil may do something similar.
Studies have shown that CBD oil can be effective in treating various types of anxiety, including:
- Social anxiety disorder (PTSD)
Behavioral symptoms of anxiety and physiological symptoms of anxiety, like rapid heartbeat, were reduced in some studies. It’s also been shown to be effective against anxiety-related insomnia.
5. CBD for Depression
CBD oil works similarly for people suffering from depression because depression happens when serotonin levels are low. Increasing the amount of serotonin in your brain has a positive effect on your emotions and motor skills.
CBD oil may also affect the hippocampus, which plays a large role in regulating your emotions. When you have depression, your hippocampus doesn’t function as well. CBD oil may help promote neurogenesis or the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus.
6. How to use CBD
You take CBD oil by either putting a few drops under your tongue with a dropper or mixing it with food. CBD gummies are also becoming popular.
7.Disadvantages of CBD Oil
While CBD oil for anxiety and depression holds promise, there are significant disadvantages to its use.
First, it isn’t widely available. You can only buy CBD oil in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Second, no CBD oil products are approved by the FDA for the treatment of anxiety or depressive disorders. Only one CBD oil product is FDA-approved, and that is for the treatment of epilepsy.
Without the oversight and regulation of the FDA, CBD oils vary widely in quality. Manufacturers can more or less put whatever they want on labels.
According to Marcel Bonn-Miller, adjunct assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 43% of CBD oil products contain too little CBD, while about 26% contain too much.
Due to its lack of regulation, approximately one in five CBD products contain THC, meaning they could give you a high. THC can increase anxiety instead of reducing it. The additional risk in taking CBD oil is that even if the product contains trace amounts of THC, you could still test positive for marijuana on a drug test.
Quality CBD oil is considered safe, but it does come with a few side effects.
- Dry mouth
- Sleeping problems
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
More concerning than these side effects is the potential harm CBD oil can inflict on your liver. About 10% of people taking CBD in studies showed increases in liver enzymes. This increase could indicate potential liver damage. These concerns were severe enough for 2% to 3% of participants in the study to drop out due to concerns from the people running the study.
There is also the potential for dangerous drug interactions when taking CBD oil with another medication. If you are taking an antidepressant or any other medications, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking CBD oil.
8. Other Alternative Anxiety & Depression Treatments
Although CBD oil as a treatment for anxiety disorders and depression is a potentially viable option, there are alternative treatments—besides medication—that are safe and effective.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is one such treatment. It offers hope for patients with anxiety disorders by restoring the neurons in the amygdala—the part of your brain involved in the fight-or-flight response—to a normal level of functioning. In those with depression, TMS stimulates the thalamus and hippocampus, which work to control the brain’s emotional responses.
TMS does this by stimulating your brain using electromagnetic pulses. It has very few side effects, and results can be felt in just two weeks.
Explore TMS side effects
Many people are searching for natural treatments for anxiety and depression, and it isn’t hard to see why.
It’s always a good idea to be open-minded to new treatments, especially when there is clinical evidence to back them up. The most important things to do are conduct thorough research and discuss any options you’re considering with your doctor.
Can CBD Help With Depression?
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Interest in the potential mental health uses of cannabidiol (CBD) has grown tremendously in recent years, including the use of CBD for depression. CBD is a chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as marijuana or hemp.
Cannabis contains more than 80 compounds, known as cannabinoids. The main cannabinoid that most people are more familiar with is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive substance that produces the “high” characteristic of marijuana.
CBD, on the other hand, is purported to have a wide range of health benefits without these psychoactive effects. Some research suggests that CBD has antidepressant-like effects, which means it may hold promise in alleviating symptoms of depression.
Despite claims about CBD’s purported mental health benefits, it is important to understand that the research on its use is still limited. There have been studies done, but many of these have limitations and further research is needed in order to fully understand CBD’s therapeutic potential.
Research suggests that CBD has antidepressant effects, although it is important to note that many of these are animal studies.
Other studies suggest that CBD may help alleviate symptoms of depression by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in a range of functions in the body including the regulation of mood. It may help contribute to feelings of happiness and well-being. It is also often implicated in the onset of depression and many types of antidepressant drugs work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
One study published in 2018 suggested that cannabidiol does not increase serotonin levels; rather, it appears to work by influencing how the brain responds to serotonin that is already there.
Another study found that CBD had a “clear anti-stress effect,” which might play a role in reducing stress levels that contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
How It’s Taken
Cannabidiol is available in several different forms, although only those that are ingested are likely to produce any antidepressant-like effects or other mental health benefits. It may be taken orally as an oil, spray, or capsule. CBD may also be added to edible products including beverages, candies, or chewable gummies.
CBD can also be used topically in creams, salves, lotions, and balms, although it is likely to only produce localized effects in this form. E-liquids that are inhaled via vaping are also available, though vaping comes with its own risks.
It is also important to note that CBD is available in isolate (only CBD), broad-spectrum (contains other cannabinoids but not THC), and full-spectrum (contains other cannabinoids, including THC).
Possible Side Effects
Most of the available research suggests that CBD is generally well-tolerated and produces few side effects. However, this does not mean that people may not experience any unwanted side effects, which may include:
- Appetite changes
- Mood changes
- Elevated liver enzymes
According to the World Health Organization, the available evidence suggests that CBD is relatively safe. However, the long-term effects are not entirely clear.
One of the biggest concerns that consumers face when purchasing CBD products is the lack of FDA regulation.
CBD products are not subject to regulation because they are marketed as supplements, which means that you don’t know if you are really getting what is described on the label. Because these products are not regulated, you have no way of knowing for sure what you are getting in terms of purity, safety, and dosage.
- One study found that a whopping 70% of CBD products sold online were mislabeled, with many containing much more THC than the packaging claimed. So while many CBD products are labeled as not containing THC, many do contain significant amounts. This could potentially result in a positive result on a drug test. This is a major concern, particularly if you want to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC.
- Another study found that CBD products may also contain potentially dangerous chemicals and medications, including synthetic cannabinoids and cough medicine. Such contamination could lead to health problems including allergic reactions or drug interactions.
CBD vs. Antidepressants
So how does CBD compare to traditional antidepressants? True comparisons of the effects are not yet possible simply because there is not enough research on CBD’s effects.
However, one animal study suggests that CBD might have some possible benefits by comparison:
- A 2018 study published in Molecular Neurobiology concluded that CBD had promise as a fast-acting antidepressant drug. While traditional antidepressant drugs typically take some time to begin working, research on rodents found that CBD showed rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects.
- CBD also appears to have relatively few side effects. Antidepressant drugs may sometimes cause things such as appetite changes and sexual side effects.
CBD holds promise, but that does not mean that you should turn to cannabidiol products over traditional treatments for depression.
A Word From Verywell
The bottom line when it comes to CBD’s potential as a treatment for depression is that more research is needed. Most of the evidence supporting CBD’s antidepressant effects comes from animal studies or small trials, and one of the largest reviews of the research found that the available evidence is not strong enough to recommend CBD as a treatment for depression.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is important to talk to a doctor or mental health professional. Depression may worsen over time if left untreated, but there are effective treatments available including psychotherapy and medications.
If you are interested in using CBD to alleviate symptoms of depression in conjunction with other treatments, always talk to your doctor first about how to use it and about any possible medication interactions.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.