It’s no surprise that cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive chemical compound otherwise known as CBD found in cannabis plants, is having a real moment in the health and wellness spotlight. After all, the list of purported benefits of CBD sounds nearly too good to be true.
Though scientific research on the effects of CBD remains scarce, growing anecdotal evidence shows it could help people with everything from generalized aches and pains to insomnia, and may even help cancer patients overcome chemo-related nausea. Perhaps one of the most widely recognized things CBD may help with, though, is anxiety.
According to a 2018 cross-sectional study of CBD users, “anxiety” ranks as one of the top three reasons for consuming the cannabis-derived product, along with “depression” and “pain.” Considering nearly 20 percent of the adult population in the United States reports suffering from some form of anxiety, CBD may come as welcome relief.
However, before you put anything in your body—for any reason—you should talk to your doctor and, of course, do your homework. To get started, here’s everything you need to know about CBD and if it really can help with anxiety.
Wait, what’s CBD again?
CBD is one of the more than 100 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, which produces both marijuana and industrial hemp. CBD is an extremely close chemical cousin of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. In fact, the two chemicals are separated by the arrangement of a single atom. However, there’s one major difference between the two: THC gets you high, while CBD cannot.