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Early research suggests CBD may help improve anxiety. Here, we review the best oils that may help with anxiety and stress.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

Medical News Today chooses CBD oils for anxiety that meet the following criteria:

  • CBD type: MNT features full-, broad-spectrum, and isolate products to suit users with different needs and preferences.
  • Suitability for anxiety: MNT chooses CBD oils that companies have recommended for anxiety.
  • Potency: MNT chooses CBD oils with various potencies to suit beginners and more experienced buyers.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content: MNT chooses CBD oils with and without THC. This is because THC will not be suitable for everyone, such as those new to taking CBD or people who have regular drug testing. Learn more about the differences between CBD and THC.
  • Transparency and purity: MNT will only feature CBD products with a current certificate of analysis (COA) that is easy to access online or via product packaging. Every brand MNT features will test its products for contamination, purity, and potency.
  • Customer reviews: MNT chooses CBD oils that have an overall positive reputation among customers.
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Medical News Today has tested some of the products below. Reviewers may have received some products from the manufacturers for free, which does not influence their review. All opinions are the reviewers’ own.

The following table compares the CBD oils in this article for CBD strength, price, and more. Each product’s review rating is from the brand’s website.

CBD strengthSizeReviewsPrice per mg
CBDistillery500 mg, CBD isolate30 mL4.3 out of 5 stars$0.13
CBDfx1,000 to 6,000 mg, full-spectrum30 mL5 out of 5 stars$0.07
Joy Organics450 to 2,250 mg, broad-spectrum30 mL4.8 out of 5 stars$0.06 to $0.10
Lazarus Naturals1,500 to 6,000 mg, full-spectrum30 to 120 mL5 out of 5 stars$0.03
Aspen Green3,000 mg, full-spectrum30 mL4.9 out of 5 stars$0.05
FOCL1,000 to 3,000 mg, broad-spectrum30 mL4.7 out of 5 stars$0.06
Charlotte’s Web1,800 to 6,000 mg, full-spectrum30 to 100 mLno rating available$0.07
Spruce750 mg, full-spectrum30 mL5 out of 5 stars$0.12
Bluebird Botanicals1,200 mg, full-spectrum30 mL4.8 out of 5 stars$0.06

There are several things a person should consider when selecting a CBD product for themselves, including:

  • Testing: Third-party testing means a CBD company has sent its product to an accredited lab to test for quality. The manufacturer then makes the testing results publicly available through COAs. People can compare this with the product information.
  • Strength: Those newer to CBD may need to start at a lower dose than those familiar. They can gradually increase their dose over time to get their desired effect. However, they should not exceed the recommended dosage on the product packaging.
  • Side effects: Some CBD products may make people feel sleepy. Someone whose anxiety primarily affects them during the day when they are busy may want to look for a low-potency CBD product that may make them less drowsy.
  • Spectrum: The different CBD spectrums will contain different ingredients. Those wishing to avoid THC should use isolate products. Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum can both contain THC. They will also have different effects. Full-spectrum can produce an entourage effect, which is when all the phytocannabinoids and terpenes work together.
  • Cost: CBD oils can be expensive. A person should consider how effective their chosen product will be for anxiety and consider other, well-researched treatments if they are not sure.

Learn more about buying CBD.

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

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

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.

Scientists must still conduct large-scale clinical trials to confirm the effective dosages for specific conditions.

Learn more about research into CBD dosages.

A small 2020 review confirms this, with the authors stating that CBD has a promising role as an alternative therapy for anxiety, but more studies with standardized dosing are necessary. The studies in this review noted that CBD could help reduce anxiety in GAD and seasonal affective disorder.

However, they found that the participants tolerated CBD well and reported minimal adverse effects, such as fatigue and sedation.

Learn more about CBD and anxiety.

The most suitable CBD dose will differ among individuals according to the severity of their symptoms, their physiology, and their tolerance for CBD. CBD manufacturers often recommend starting with the minimum dose and increasing it gradually if necessary. However, people should not exceed the dose that the company has stated on the product packaging.

Conclusions in research vary concerning the best CBD dose to ease anxiety.

A 2020 systematic review of the dosage and efficacy of CBD in adults with anxiety reported that study participants showed an improvement in anxiety levels after single, oral CBD doses of 300–600 mg.

In another 2020 study, researchers tested the effects of CBD oil at different doses across 397 people with various conditions. Participants with noncancer pain or mental health-related symptoms showed improvement in anxiety and depression with a dosage of 400 mg of CBD.

However, in a 2019 test, researchers compared the efficacy of three CBD isolate doses, 150 mg, 300 mg, and 600 mg, on participants who showed anxiety symptoms during public speaking. Researchers reported that 300 mg of CBD significantly reduced participants’ anxiety during the speech, but the 150 mg and 600 mg doses did not.

However, these doses may not be suitable for everyone, and a person should discuss CBD dosing with a healthcare professional knowledgeable about CBD before trying it.

Other trials suggest that a much lower dose can be effective in treating anxiety. For instance, researchers have found that doses of 25–75 mg seem to be effective when treating those with anxiety and sleep problems.

Research reports that CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system, but which type is best for one person may not suit another. Additionally, there is currently no research directly comparing each type of CBD for anxiety.

Research from 2020 suggests that the entourage effect can improve CBD’s mood-stabilizing properties. This effect is most likely to occur with full-spectrum CBD products. However, more work is necessary to confirm its benefits for conditions such as anxiety. Additionally, full-spectrum CBD may not suit people new to taking CBD, and it is also unsuitable for those avoiding THC.

Generally, experts believe that people can tolerate CBD oil well. 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 or other qualified healthcare professional before taking any new supplement, including CBD. This is especially true if somebody is taking medication, as CBD products may interact with some medications.

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

Individuals taking CBD 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 used mice, and researchers concluded that a person would have to take an extremely high dose to incur this risk.

Learn whether CBD is addictive.

Research reports that the entourage effect some CBD products produce may help stabilize mood. Typically, this refers to full-spectrum CBD. However, there is no research directly comparing each type of CBD for anxiety.

People may find that CBD oils that do not have any extra ingredients such as flavoring are best for travel anxiety, especially if they become nauseous while travelling.

The FDA has not approved the use of CBD for any mental health condition, and there is limited research into CBD’s benefits on anxiety. However, early research suggests it may help. As such, doctors may not always recommend CBD oil for anxiety and may prefer to prescribe or suggest FDA-approved and well-researched medications and treatments. People wishing to try CBD oil for anxiety can consult a doctor.

How quickly CBD works will depend on the dosage, a person’s physiology, how often they take CBD, what they have eaten, and more. Whether it works for anxiety will also depend on these factors and the severity of a person’s anxiety and any medication they are taking for the condition.

The Arthritis Foundation claims that individuals can feel the effects of oral CBD in 15–45 minutes. However, this does not refer to anxiety specifically.

While CBD brands claim that CBD oils can help people manage stress, sleep better, and reduce anxiety, much more research is necessary to confirm the benefits and safety of CBD for anxiety. Additionally, the FDA does not regulate CBD and has not approved it for any mental health condition. Rules regarding CBD use differ in all 50 U.S. states.

Those considering using CBD oil for anxiety should consider the side effects and any drug interactions it may cause. Speaking with a doctor before trying CBD products for mental health conditions is essential.