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CBD is an alternative treatment option for stress and anxiety. Some research suggests CBD is effective for stress, although more information is needed overall.

Many brands claim their CBD products can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and reduce everyday stress.

However, research into how effective CBD is for anxiety — and whether it is safe for this purpose — is still ongoing.

This article looks into the different CBD products that may help a person manage anxiety and stress. It also discusses how much CBD a person should take and answers some frequently asked questions.

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.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a compound in the Cannabis sativa plant. There are around 60 cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant. Research suggests that CBD works by binding to certain receptors in the brain and may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits, as well as some benefits for anxiety.

While CBD alone cannot make a person feel the “high” usually associated with cannabis, an important psychoactive compound in the plant is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC.

Learn more about the difference between CBD and THC.

For more information and resources on CBD and CBD products, please visit our dedicated hub.

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Medical News Today’s methodology

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high quality, clearly labeled ingredients. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the CBD dosage and THC content.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a dosage and how to take it.
  • Third-party labs: MNT chooses products that undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) after receiving its third-party lab results.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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There is a wide range of CBD products for stress online. Below, we look at seven of the best options.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Best liquid capsules: Charlotte’s Web 25 mg CBD Capsules

  • Price: $74.99 for 30 capsules
  • Dose: 15 mg per capsule
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • COA: available online
  • Key features: USA-grown hemp, CO2 extracted, vegan, gluten-free

These full-spectrum liquid capsules include organic hemp extract and olive oil. Charlotte’s Web writes that they also contain terpenes, flavonoids, phytocannabinoids, and essential fatty acids.

As a full-spectrum product, these capsules contain all of the naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including up to 0.3% THC. This makes them unsuitable for people who need to take frequent urine or drug tests, as THC can show up in results.

However, full-spectrum products like these capsules may produce the “entourage effect.” Researchers theorize that full-spectrum products may be more effective as cannabinoids work better together than in isolation.

The company recommends these capsules for managing everyday stress, promoting calm, and improving sleep.

The capsules are suitable for vegans.

Read our review of Charlotte’s Web here.


  • vegan and gluten-free
  • may promote calm and improve sleep
  • lower dose may be suitable for beginners
  • more affordable than many brands


  • unsuitable for those who take regular urine or drug tests
  • 15 mg may not be potent enough for some
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Best full-spectrum gummies: Cornbread Hemp Full Spectrum CBD Gummies

  • Price: $39.99–$71.99
  • Dose: 20 or 50 mg per gummy
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • COA: available online
  • Key features: vegan formula, gluten-free, USDA organic, up to 2 mg THC per gummy

Cornbread writes that these gummies can help manage everyday stress.

They come in 300 mg or 1,500 mg strengths. The 300 mg option contains 20 mg of CBD and up to 1 mg of THC per gummy, while the 1,500 mg option contains 50 mg of CBD and up to 2 mg of THC.

The company uses a flower-only formula, which does not include the cannabis plant stalks, stems, or leaves. Cornbread Hemp states that this means there are more cannabinoids and less chlorophyll in its products.

Customers can choose from berry or peach flavors, and these gummies come with a 30-day guarantee.

Read our Cornbread Hemp review here.


  • USDA organic
  • COAs are very easy to access
  • vegan and gluten-free


  • THC is not suitable for everyone
  • more limited strengths than other brands
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Best full-spectrum softgels: cbdMD Full Spectrum CBD Oil Softgels

  • Price: $89.99–$189.99
  • Dose: 50–200 mg CBD and 1.5–3 mg THC
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • COA: available online
  • Key features: easy to take, contains THC, range of strengths, long lasting effects

cdbMD states that these softgels promote relaxation and a sense of calm. People can choose from three strengths: 1,500, 3,000, or 6,000 mg. The CBD dose per softgel ranges from 50, 100, to 200 mg, respectively.

The 50 and 100 mg options offer 1.5 mg of THC, while the 200 mg option offers 3 mg.

The company notes that softgels can produce effects more slowly, but they may last longer. For instance, cbdMD claims the effects of these softgels can last up to 7 hours.

These softgels also contain vitamin E, gelatin, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) carrier oil. cbdMD also notes that it can take up to 30 days for a person’s body to adjust to CBD and produce the desired effects.

Read our review of CBDmd here.


  • comes in a range of strengths
  • may produce long lasting effects
  • precise CBD dose per softgel


  • may take 30 days for people to notice results
  • expensive
  • unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans
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Best THC-free gummies: Joy Organics Organic CBD Gummies (THC-Free)

  • Price: $39.95–$49.95
  • Dose: 10–25 mg per gummy
  • CBD type: broad-spectrum
  • COA: available online
  • Key features: USDA-certified organic, carbon-neutral shipping, THC-free

Joy Organic states that these gummies help alleviate daily stress. They do not contain THC or artificial flavors, and the ingredients are USDA-certified organic, and gluten-free.

The company notes that it has formulated these gummies to produce some of the “entourage effect” without using THC.

The gummies come in two flavors: strawberry lemonade and green apple.

Read our Joy Organics review here.


  • THC-free
  • USDA-certified organic
  • lower dose may be suitable for beginners
  • more affordable than many brands


  • only one flavor comes in 25 mg doses
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Best calming CBD balm: Lazarus Naturals Full-Spectrum CBD Balm

  • Price: $12
  • Dose: 1,000–2,000 mg
  • CBD type: full-spectrum
  • COA: available online
  • Key features: Leaping Bunny certified, topical product, may provide pain relief

If a person does not want to use an ingestible CBD product, they can consider a topical product like this CBD balm from Lazarus Naturals.

A CBD balm may be suitable for people who find everyday aches and pains make their anxiety or stress levels worse.

It contains lavender and chamomile to promote a sense of calm. It may also provide localized relief from muscle pain. Other ingredients include jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, and mango seed butter.

However, it contains beeswax, making this balm unsuitable for people following a vegan lifestyle. Lazarus Naturals also produces this balm in a facility that processes tree nuts.

Read our Lazarus Naturals review here.

The table below compares each of the CBD products in this article for price, dose, and more.

FormCBD typeCBD doseContains THCPrice
CBD.Cocapsulesfull-spectrum15 mgyes$74.99
Cornbread Hempgummiesfull-spectrum20 or 50 mgyes$39.99–$71.99
cbdMDsoftgelsfull-spectrum50–200 mgyes$89.99–$189.99
Joy Organicsgummiesbroad-spectrum10–25 mgno$39.95–$49.95
Lazarus Naturalsbalmfull-spectrum1,000–2,000 per tinyes$12

There are several factors people should consider when buying CBD for stress, including:

  • Budget: The prices for CBD products vary widely. Stronger products are generally more expensive. Those who are new to CBD may wish to buy a less potent, more affordable product to see if it produces the effects they want.
  • Dose: CBD doses typically range from 5–50 mg of CBD per serving. People who want stronger effects may wish to try a more potent product, although they may be unsuitable for people new to CBD. Ideally, a person should start at a low dose and work up to a dose that produces the effect they want.
  • CBD type: Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate formulas contain different ranges of cannabinoids. Full- and broad-spectrum can contain THC. People who want to avoid THC should look for THC-free or CBD isolate products.
  • Ingredients: People should only buy CBD products that clearly list all of the ingredients. People may also wish to choose products with organic ingredients, and they should check their chosen product does not contain ingredients they are allergic to. Many companies use coconut or sunflower seed oil, which can be allergens for some people.
  • Testing: It is important to check that CBD products have gone through third-party testing and that the company provides the results online. Third-party testing verifies that the products contain the ingredients the company lists and they match the potency on the product labeling.

Research into how CBD affects the body and brain is still fairly limited. However, some research suggests that CBD can help manage stress.

For instance, a 2020 New Zealand study involved the first 400 people to receive CBD prescriptions from a CBD clinic called Cannabis Care.

Each person received CBD oil containing 100 mg of CBD per milliliter (ml). Dosages varied among the study participants, ranging from 40–300 mg a day. However, the authors wrote that dosage data existed for just 110 out of the 400 participants.

The researchers concluded that CBD oil was beneficial to those with anxiety. They also wrote that it was well-tolerated and safe for people with mental health conditions. That said, some people reported they experienced side effects such as sedation and vivid dreams.

A 2019 retrospective study discussed the effects of CBD in people with anxiety or sleep problems. After 2 months of treatment, 78.1–79.2% of the study participants reported improved anxiety symptoms. However, a large percentage of people reported worsening symptoms after treatment with CBD.

Learn more about how stress can impact sleep.

A later 2020 systematic review concluded that CBD shows promise as an alternative treatment for anxiety. However, the authors call for more studies to fully understand the best dosage.

People should speak with a doctor before using CBD to treat a health condition.

Below, we look at the main pros and cons of CBD for stress.


  • Early research suggests that CBD may be beneficial for anxiety and stress.
  • CBD may provide other benefits, such as pain relief.
  • CBD products are widely available online.
  • CBD products are typically easy to take.
  • CBD will not make a person feel “high.”


  • The FDA has not approved any CBD products as anxiety treatments.
  • CBD may interact with certain medications.
  • CBD may produce side effects.
  • Research into the efficacy, safety, and recommended CBD dosages is still ongoing.
  • Many CBD products are expensive.
  • Products may not always contain the CBD dose a company lists.
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one CBD product for medical use. It is called Epidiolex, and doctors prescribe it to treat severe forms of epilepsy. Because the FDA has approved this drug, there are recommended dosages people can follow.

However, no other CBD products have these set guidelines because they are not FDA-approved. The best dosage will depend on the individual product and how a person is using it. CBD oils, capsules, gummies, and topical products will have different dosage instructions.

People should speak with a qualified healthcare professional before using CBD to discuss the best dosage for their needs. CBD may not be safe for everyone to use.

Those interested in trying CBD should start at the lowest possible dose and work up until they get the desired effect.

Learn more about correct CBD dosages.

A 2019 review found that the majority of people tested can tolerate CBD well. However, scientists are still researching the long-term effects of CBD.

Potential CBD side effects include:

People should speak with a healthcare professional before using CBD for a health condition to ensure it will not interact with medication or make existing health conditions worse.

Anyone who experiences side effects from CBD products should stop using it and speak with a healthcare professional.

People should speak with a healthcare professional about any symptoms of stress they are experiencing, such as:

  • feelings of fear, anger, sadness, and worry
  • changes in appetite
  • difficulty concentrating
  • changes in interests and desires
  • sleep problems, including nightmares
  • headaches, body pain, skin rashes, or stomach problems
  • worsening physical or mental health problems

Below, we answer some of the top frequently asked questions about CBD for stress.

Can I take CBD for stress and anxiety?

There is some evidence that CBD can benefit stress and anxiety. However, research is ongoing, and there are no set guidelines on how much to take or the long-term effects of taking CBD for stress and anxiety.

A person should speak with a healthcare professional before taking CBD for this purpose.

What kind of CBD helps with stress?

There is limited research into the best type of CBD for stress. People looking for more potent effects may wish to try full- or broad-spectrum CBD. However, it is best to start with a low dose and build up.

Does CBD relieve anxiety immediately?

How quickly a person will feel the effects of their CBD product will depend on the type of product they use, how they administer it, and the dose.

Although scientific research into the effects of CBD on stress is limited, recent studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that it can be beneficial.

People can choose from CBD gummies, oils, capsules, and topical products.

Anyone considering CBD for stress should speak with a healthcare professional before using it.