We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Is CBD legal? Hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. Cannabis-derived CBD products, on the other hand, are illegal federally but legal under some state laws. Check local legislation, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved nonprescription CBD products, which may be inaccurately labeled.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound present in the Cannabis sativa plant that may help treat anxiety disorders and other conditions.

This article explores whether CBD can help with anxiety. It also discusses some products to consider and outlines regulations and health considerations.

Quick links

The plant Cannabis sativa contains two active ingredients: CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC has psychoactive properties that are responsible for the high feeling that some people experience with cannabis use.

However, CBD derives from the hemp plant, which is a variety of C. sativa. CBD is nonpsychoactive, so a person should not experience the high feeling that cannabis delivers. However, some CBD products may contain traces of THC.

Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC here.

There are three types of CBD products:

  • Full-spectrum CBD: These products contain naturally occurring extracts from the cannabis plant. They also contain up to 0.3% THC.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: These products contain naturally occurring compounds that come from the cannabis plant. However, they are free of THC.
  • CBD isolate: This is the pure form of CBD that does not contain THC, other cannabinoids, or plant compounds. It has no odor or taste.

Learn about the different types of CBD here.

Anxiety is a feeling of unease and the body’s natural reaction to stress. People may develop anxiety when they experience a stressful event or have a chronic condition or other disorders, such as alcohol use disorder.

There are different types of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, phobia-related disorders, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which affects 6.8 million adults in the United States.

People with anxiety disorders may experience:

Anxiety can cause depression, heart disease, stroke, and sometimes premature death if left untreated.

Learn how to recognize an anxiety attack here.

A 2019 case study notes that CBD products may benefit people with anxiety disorders. The researchers studied the effects of CBD in 72 individuals with anxiety and poor sleep patterns.

After treatment with CBD, 79% of the participants experienced decreased anxiety levels, and 66.7% saw improved sleep scores. However, these scores fluctuated over time.

Authors of another study claim that there is insufficient research to determine the appropriate dosage of CBD for anxiety-related disorders.

However, they examined the role of CBD in individuals with GAD, social anxiety disorder, and anxiety associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They found that the participants tolerated CBD well and reported minimal adverse effects, such as fatigue and sedation.

Learn more about CBD and anxiety here.

Research is ongoing into CBD’s potential to treat depression and anxiety, along with a host of other conditions.

In order to confirm the effective dosages for specific conditions, scientists still need to conduct large-scale clinical trials.

Currently, a 2015 review of existing studies demonstrates that CBD has the potential to treat anxiety disorders, such as:

Learn more about research into CBD dosages here.

There are pros and cons of using CBD oil, depending on a person’s preferences and health requirements.

These include:

Pros

  • CBD may reduce some symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Most CBD products are easily portable, and people can use them on-the-go.
  • CBD products are available in a range of pleasing flavors.
  • CBD products are easy to self-administer and suitable for people who may not like swallowing pills.

Generally, experts consider CBD oil to be safe. However, CBD products may still cause side effects, including:

  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite
  • undesired weight loss or weight gain

A person should always talk with a doctor before taking any new supplement, including CBD. This is especially true if somebody is taking medication, as CBD products may interact with some medications.

Individuals taking CDB may wish to avoid taking CBD along with high fat meals. According to a 2020 study, fats can increase the risk of side effects by increasing the concentration of CBD in the blood.

Some 2019 research suggests that CBD can cause liver toxicity. However, this study took place on mice, and researchers concluded that a person would have to take an extremely high dose to incur this risk.

Learn whether CBD is addictive here.

There are several things a person should consider when selecting a CBD product for themselves.

Look for products that a third-party lab has tested. Third-party testing means a CBD company has sent their product to an accredited lab to test for quality. The manufacturer then makes the testing results publicly available through certificates of analysis (COAs).

Compare the COA to the product label to ensure the product contains the listed amount of THC, CBD, or both and that it does not contain contaminants, such as heavy metals or pesticides.

Besides quality and safety, the main criteria that guide a person’s choice of CBD products will be their personal preferences and requirements. Someone whose anxiety primarily affects them during the day when they are busy may want to look for a low-potency CBD product that they can consume while they are out and about.

Depending on the effects they want from a CBD product, a person should check labels for the terms full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate.

  • Full-spectrum means a product contains THC and will produce an entourage effect when all the phytocannabinoids and terpenes work together.
  • Broad-spectrum means the product contains other cannabis plant compounds but is generally THC-free.
  • CBD isolateonly contains pure CBD and no other compounds from the cannabis plant.

If a person has particular concerns about the potential psychoactive effects of full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD products, they may opt for a CBD isolate.

Learn more about buying CBD here.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: Products contain safe and high quality ingredients and list all ingredients clearly. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: Products contain or recommend a serving size of a safe CBD dosage. Product clearly states dosage.
  • Third-party labs: Products undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: The company demonstrates transparency and shares its products certificate of analysis (COA) following lab results.

A person should ingest CBD oils and tinctures by:

  • using the dropper to measure the desired amount
  • squeezing the drops under the tongue
  • holding them there for 20 seconds before swallowing

Anyone new to CBD should start with a low dose and gradually build up the amount they take should they want to.

Learn the difference between CBD oils and tinctures here.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

Kanibi CBD Pure Isolate (Skittles flavor)

This CBD isolate contains pure CBD from organic hemp and no THC. It has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

A 1-milliliter (ml) dropper of a 750-milligram (mg) tincture contains 25 mg of CBD, while a 1 ml dropper of a 1,500-mg tincture contains 50 mg of CBD.

Kanibi recommends that a person begins with 10 mg per day if they have never tried CBD before. If it is not effective, they may wish to increase the dose by 5 or 10 mg every 5 days.

The company states that the extract in its pure isolate goes through an extra purification step to remove additional ingredients, such as THC, terpenes, and plant compounds. This process creates a crystalline powder of pure CBD, and the company infuses it into MCT oil.

Learn about some of the benefits of hemp oil here.

Lazarus Naturals High Potency Tincture

The Lazarus Naturals high potency tincture is a full-spectrum CBD oil that contains 50 mg of CBD per ml.

The product comes in 15-, 30-, 60-, and 120-ml bottles with serving sizes ranging from 25 to 200 mg.

The company suggests that a person starts with 50 mg to find the right amount. They may increase the dosage as needed after 2 hours.

However, people who have never used CBD before might prefer to start with a much lower dosage of about 5-10 mg and increase the amount as they become more accustomed to it.

The company uses hemp grown on its farm, and it extracts CBD using ethanol-based processes. It then dilutes the extract with coconut oil to ensure that the product contains the right CBD concentration.

Lazarus Naturals claims its products do not cure or treat health conditions, so if individuals have any health concerns, they should contact a qualified healthcare professional for advice.

The company states that all its tinctures have undergone third-party testing for potency, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Learn more about Lazarus Naturals here.

Papa & Barkley Hemp Releaf Drops

These drops contain full-spectrum hemp and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil. It is available in two flavors: lemongrass ginger and natural.

A person can purchase 15-ml drops containing 450 mg of CBD or 30-ml drops containing 900 mg of CBD.

The drops are chemical-free, as they do not contain isolates, distillates, or solvents. This is because the company uses a whole plant infusion process to extract CBD, which avoids harsh chemicals.

Individuals with anxiety may consider this product to help them:

  • manage stress better
  • focus and concentrate
  • fall and stay asleep

The company states that people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or chestfeeding, or taking prescription-based medications should seek medical advice before using these drops.

The company collaborates with Nutrasource, ensuring that Papa & Barkley products do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMO).

Learn more about Papa & Barkley here.

LiftMode Hemp Simply Distilled CBD Distillate Oil

LiftMode Hemp extract oil is a full-spectrum product containing terpenes, organic coconut oil, and oleic acid. It contains less than 0.3% THC.

LiftMode Hemp recommends using half a dropper, or 0.5 ml, up to twice per day. The product may cause drowsiness, so individuals should avoid driving after use.

People taking prescription-based medications should seek medical advice before purchasing this CBD oil. However, it may not be safe for pregnant people or those that are breastfeeding, or chestfeeding, to use.

The product is free from gluten, lactose, GMOs, and excipients, including preservatives and coloring agents.

Learn about the difference between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD here.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or quality of CBD products that a person can purchase over the counter or without prescription.

According to the FDA, many companies market unapproved products containing CBD. The FDA can take action against CBD companies that make baseless health claims to protect public health.

The FDA has approved one product called Epidiolex to treat three rare and severe forms of epilepsy. This product is only available with a prescription.

All 50 U.S. states have different restrictions and laws regarding CBD use. A person can check this information with their state Health and Human Services department.

Learn more about using CBD for seizures here.

CBD may be safe if a person takes it by mouth or sprays it under the tongue. However, some people may experience:

Individuals should seek medical advice before using CBD products.

According to the FDA, people may experience sedation and drowsiness if they take CBD while receiving treatment for anxiety, stress, panic, or sleep disorders.

Learn more about CBD and sleep here.

Below are some answers to common questions people may ask about CBD:

Do CBD products do what their manufacturers claim?

Some research supports CBD’s ability to treat various conditions, such as sleep difficulties, anxiety, and pain.

However, the FDA state that there is little evidence to support most of these claims.

Although some manufacturers claim their products can treat conditions such as diabetes, it is illegal for companies to claim that the CBD products they manufacture can treat or cure any serious diseases.

Learn what the research says about CBD and diabetes here.

Is CBD legal?

CBD products are legal to a certain extent, with some caveats. CBD products made from hemp are legal under federal law if they contain less than 0.3% THC.

State laws vary considerably; therefore, individuals should check with the relevant regulations in their home state before purchasing any CBD products

Does CBD produce a high?

CBD does not produce a euphoric or high feeling.

THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants and their derivatives that cause a high feeling.

CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC under federal law, and some do not contain any THC at all.

Learn whether CBD causes a high here.

Researchers are still studying the effectiveness of CBD on anxiety and other health conditions. The FDA does not regulate CBD, and rules differ in all 50 U.S. states.

Some CBD products may help people manage stressful situations, sleep better, and reduce their anxiety levels, but researchers need to carry out more studies to confirm this.

CBD products may not suit everyone. People taking supplements or prescription medications should seek guidance from a doctor before using any product containing CBD.