CBD Oil for Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Depression and Pain.

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Sunshine Nutraceuticals has recently added a few CBD products.  We are now stocking hemp oil liquid concentrate, hemp oil softgels and CBD gummies.  

I will be writing posts on the possible uses of cannabidiol (CBD). 

While reading these, please be aware that the research is currently thin, mostly due to the fact that marijuana and its chemical components have been classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a schedule I substance until recently. 

It is also important to realize that these are just possible uses and we are not making any medical claims.  You should always consult a physician prior to ingesting CBD products for any specific condition.  There may be traditional medications necessary to effectively treat your medical condition.  CBD products are NOT meant to replace medical treatment from a licensed physician.

How we got here?

The FDA approved EpidiolexTM in 2018 for the treatment of seizures.  This drug contains CBD and was the first FDA-approved drug to contain purified extract from the marijuana plant. 

On December 20th, 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law.  This bill removed hemp from the controlled substance act meaning cannabis plants and derivatives containing no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry weight basis were no longer controlled substances under federal law.

Cannabidiol  is a substance found in the marijuana plant.  CBD is not psychoactive so it will not produce a “high” like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Cannabidiol has gained popularity for those searching for alternative natural treatments for many ailments.  This post will concentrate on the use of CBD for psychiatry disorders and pain relief.

Panic Attacks and Anxiety

I have had personal experience with panic attacks.  Panic attacks come on suddenly and consist of the following symptoms.

  • Increased heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sweating
  • Feeling of impending doom
  • Fear of losing control
  • Dizziness
  • Light headedness

These attacks often happen with no trigger and can lead to depression and self-isolation.  Although there are few studies specific to CBD and panic disorder, an article published in February of 2017 explored the anti-panic actions of cannabidiol.  The investigators concluded that CBD did exhibit anti-panic properties.  They also stated that CBD may prove to be a good alternative to benzodiazepines and antidepressant drugs in the treatment of panic disorder in the future.1

CBD was also reported to be safe and well-tolerated when taken orally in doses up to 1500 mg/day.2

Another study evaluated the use of CBD in reducing anxiety induced by simulated public speaking (SPST).  This was meant to simulate social anxiety disorder (SAD).    Treatment of SAD is often ineffective as only about 30% of patients achieve true recovery or remission.3

The researchers found that those pretreated with CBD experienced significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance.  They concluded that a single dose of CBD can reduce anxiety associated with SPST.  Cannabidiol was shown to inhibit the fear of public speaking which is one of the main symptoms of SAD.4





Many studies have demonstrated CBD’s ability to facilitate serotonin neurotransmission in some areas of the brain.5







Low serotonin levels are associated with depression.  Since we know our traditional antidepressant agents work, in part, by increasing the availability of serotonin at receptor sites, CBD’s effect on this neurotransmitter could also lead to antidepressant effects.  The CBD likely does not increase the amount of serotonin, but increases the effect of the serotonin that is available in the body.


Approximately 62% of those who use CBD do so to treat a medical condition.  The top use is to treat chronic pain, arthritis and joint pain.12

Unfortunately, there are few studies using CBD alone to treat pain.  Researchers believe CBD works best when combined with THC in the treatment of pain.  The studies that do exist have come to conflicting conclusions. 

I must point out that pain is a subjective feeling.  Those who are utilizing CBD for pain must believe it is helping. 

Research has also shown that combining cannabinoids with opioids leads to greater pain relief.13

This is especially important given the current opiate crisis and risk of death by overdose.  The combination of CBD and opiates may lead to a decrease in opiate dosages in future treatment of chronic pain.

I remember watching an episode of 60 Minutes years ago where a couple was giving marijuana to their young child who had a rare seizure disorder.  They had been to many doctors and traditional medicine had failed to stop the seizures.  They were forced to break the law in order to treat their child’s condition.  Marijuana was the most effective treatment for the seizures.

We have come a long way with regards to the marijuana stigma.  It certainly can be abused, but I believe it will prove to be useful for several psychiatric disorders as well as pain relief.  Thanks to the approval of EpidiolexTM  and the Farm Bill of 2018, CBD can be purchased legally.  Only time and research will answer the questions about how effective this substance can be for various ailments.

I would love to hear any comments you have regarding this post.  Have you used CBD for any of the conditions above?  Did it work?  Send me an email and I will post the comments at the bottom of this post.  I was forced to remove the comment section due to never-ending spamming.

Have a great week and stay safe!

  1. Soares VP, Campos AC. Evidences for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2017;15(2):291–299. doi:10.2174/1570159x14666160509123955
  2. Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219–1226. doi:10.1038/npp.2011.6
  3. Blanco C, Antia SX, Liebowitz MR (2002). Pharmacotherapy of social anxiety disorder. Biol Psychiatry 51: 109–120.
  4. Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219–1226. doi:10.1038/npp.2011.6
  5. Campos AC, Ferreira FR, Guimarães FS. Cannabidiol blocks long-lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress: possible involvement of 5HT1A receptors. J Psychiatr Res. (2012) 46:1501–10. 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.08.012
  6. Resstel LB, Tavares RF, Lisboa SF, Joca SR, Corrêa FM, Guimarães FS. 5-HT1A receptors are involved in the cannabidiol-induced attenuation of behavioral and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats. Br J Pharmacol. (2009) 156:181–8. 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2008.00046.x
  7. Gomes FV, Reis DG, Alves FH, Corrêa FM, Guimarães FS, Resstel LB. Cannabidiol injected into the bed nucleus of the stria terminallis reduces the expression of contextual fear conditioning via 5-HT1A receptors. J Psychopharmacol. (2012) 26:104–13. 10.1177/0269881110389095
  8. Soares Vde P, Campos AC, Bortoli VC, Zangrossi HJr, Guimarães FS, Zuardi AW. Intra-dorsal periaqueductal gray administration of cannabidiol blocks panic-like response by activating 5-HT1A receptors. Behav Brain Res. (2010) 213:225–9. 10.1016/j.bbr.2010.05.004
  9. Fogaça MV, Reis FM, Campos AC, Guimarães FS. Effects of intra-prelimbic prefrontal cortex injection of cannabidiol on anxiety-like behavior: involvement of 5HT1A receptors and previous stressful experience. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. (2014) 24:410–9. 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.10.012
  10. Marinho AL, Vila-Verde C, Fogaça MV, Guimarães FS. Effects of intra-infralimbic prefrontal cortex injections of cannabidiol in the modulation of emotional behaviors in rats: contribution of 5HT1A receptors and stressful experiences. Behav Brain Res. (2015) 286:49–56. 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.02.023
  11. Gomes FV, Del Bel EA, Guimarães FS. Cannabidiol attenuates catalepsy induced by distinct pharmacological mechanisms via 5-HT1A receptor activation in mice. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry (2013) 46:43–7. 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2013.06.005
  12. Corroon J, Phillips JA. A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2018;3(1):152–161. Published 2018 Jul 1. doi:10.1089/can.2018.0006
  13.  Nielsen S, Sabioni P, Trigo JM, et al. Opioid-Sparing Effect of Cannabinoids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017;42(9):1752–1765. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.51