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Can CBD Cause Panic Attacks for Some? [Cannabis Confusion]

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

The conversation surrounding the cannabis plant, specifically its components like CBD, has been buzzing in recent years. The United States and several other nations have witnessed a significant shift in perceptions regarding the cannabis sativa plant, with many turning to hemp-derived CBD products as a natural alternative to manage mental health issues, especially anxiety disorders. However, the question remains: Can CBD oil cause panic attacks for some?

Table of Contents:

Anxiety Disorders and CBD:

anxiety disorder head behind a yellow back drop

Anxiety disorders encompass a wide range of mental health conditions. From generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia to more acute conditions like panic disorder, these disorders manifest in feelings of anxiety, heightened anxiety levels, and even debilitating anxiety attacks. With the growing acceptance and interest in alternative treatments in the United States, full-spectrum CBD products have emerged as a focal point in the discussion surrounding mental health support.

CBD, derived from the cannabis plant, has caught the attention of many due to its potential interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system. This interaction might modulate and potentially reduce anxiety levels. Scientific evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in various physiological processes, including those linked to mood disorders.

For many, full-spectrum CBD oil provides a natural alternative to conventional anxiety medications. The effects of CBD might have something to do with its interaction with serotonin receptors, which are known to play a crucial role in mood stabilization and the regulation of feelings of anxiety.

However, not everyone has a similar experience with CBD. Some individuals, particularly those predisposed to panic disorder, might find that CBD exacerbates their anxiety levels, leading to cannabis-induced anxiety. Such instances underscore the need for caution and thorough research. A study from Medical News Today highlighted the importance of understanding individual variances in reactions to CBD, emphasizing that its effects can differ based on factors like dosage and individual biology.

Speaking of dosages, it's intriguing to note that the effects of CBD on anxiety levels can be dose-dependent. While lower doses have shown potential in reducing symptoms of anxiety, higher doses might, in rare cases, have the opposite effect. This makes the process of determining the appropriate serving size essential. ARCannabisClinic's detailed guide on anxiety can be beneficial for those looking to understand this relationship better.

When considering any CBD product, it's essential to understand its origin and composition. Hemp plants, a variant of the cannabis sativa plant, often serve as the source for hemp-derived CBD products. While these typically have lower THC content, there's an array of full-spectrum CBD extracts, broad-spectrum CBD, and other forms to choose from.

In concluding, while CBD holds promise for those battling anxiety disorders, it's crucial to proceed with care. The ARCannabisClinic offers a comprehensive MMJ Therapy Visit to ensure patients have a clear treatment plan, including advice on strains, ratios, and dosing instructions, allowing them to benefit from the therapeutic potential of the cannabis plant without unnecessary risks.

Tweet-Worthy Message: "Exploring the intricate relationship between #AnxietyDisorders and #CBD. Understanding individual needs is key. 🌿 #MentalHealthMatters @ARCannabisclin1"

Key Takeaway: CBD offers potential as an alternative treatment for anxiety disorders. However, its effects can be individual-specific, making personal research, consultation, and cautious application vital for its effective use in managing anxiety symptoms.

The Endocannabinoid System's Role:

doctor assisting patient for medical marijuana in office

In recent years, the intrigue surrounding the endocannabinoid system has been on the rise, especially in the United States. This complex cell-signaling system plays a pivotal role in maintaining physiological homeostasis, impacting a range of functions from mood disorders to appetite and pain sensation. But how does this system interact with compounds from the cannabis plant, such as full-spectrum CBD products?

The endocannabinoid system comprises endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes that break down these endocannabinoids once they have served their purpose. This system's receptors are spread throughout the body, with the CB1 receptors predominantly found in the central nervous system and CB2 receptors in peripheral organs and immune cells.

CBD, when introduced to the body, interacts with these receptors, particularly CB2. This interaction has the potential to influence serotonin receptors, affecting mood stabilization and feelings of anxiety. Scientific evidence from Harvard Health suggests that CBD's effects on the endocannabinoid system might underlie its therapeutic potential, from anxiety relief to the management of chronic pain.

It's worth noting that the effects of THC, another compound from the cannabis plant, differ from those of CBD. THC binds more closely with the CB1 receptors, leading to the psychoactive effects commonly associated with marijuana use. This understanding becomes crucial when considering full-spectrum CBD oil or broad-spectrum CBD, as they can contain small amounts of THC. Therefore, while CBD itself might not induce a 'high', products with higher THC content could produce psychoactive effects.

For those inquiring about the therapeutic applications of CBD and its compatibility with their conditions, ARCannabisClinic's list of qualifying conditions provides a comprehensive guide. This repository ensures that individuals can make well-informed decisions regarding the use of CBD and other cannabis-derived products.

Tweet-Worthy Message: "Understanding the intricate role of the #EndocannabinoidSystem offers insights into the therapeutic potential of #CBD. Science meets nature. 🍃 @ARCannabisclin1"

Key Takeaway: The endocannabinoid system's intricate dynamics underscore the therapeutic potential of cannabis-derived compounds, especially CBD. However, a deep understanding of this system, combined with careful product selection, remains paramount for optimal benefits.

Effects of THC vs. CBD:

effects of cbd vs thc written with marijuana leaves

The dynamic world of cannabis research has unveiled two prominent compounds in the cannabis plant: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Both have gained significant attention, yet their effects are distinctively different. Let's delve into the nuances that set these two apart.

THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC, is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. When consumed, it binds with the brain's cannabinoid receptors, notably the CB1 receptors, producing a sense of euphoria or the "high" commonly associated with marijuana consumption. THC possesses various therapeutic effects, such as pain relief, appetite stimulation, and reduction of nausea. However, it can also lead to side effects like increased heart rate, dry mouth, and short-term memory disruption.

CBD: Contrary to THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn't produce a "high". Found abundantly in the hemp plant, a variety of the cannabis plant with low THC content, CBD has become a cornerstone for those seeking holistic health solutions. CBD interacts predominantly with CB2 receptors in the body, influencing systems without a direct alteration of consciousness. Its potential benefits include pain relief, anti-inflammatory properties, anxiety reduction, and even seizure mitigation. An article from Mayo Clinic delves deeper into the therapeutic uses and efficacy of CBD.

It's crucial to realize that the presence of THC can amplify the benefits of CBD in what's known as the 'entourage effect'. However, the precise ratio and consumption method can vary based on individual needs. For those considering the therapeutic applications of either THC or CBD, ARCannabisClinic's guide on how to get a marijuana card provides an informative pathway.

Tweet-Worthy Message: "Decoding the cannabis code: #THC brings the 'high', while #CBD offers therapeutic effects without the euphoria. Knowledge empowers choice. 🌱 @ARCannabisclin1"

Key Takeaway: THC and CBD are two distinct compounds within the cannabis plant, each with its own set of effects and therapeutic potentials. While THC induces psychoactive effects, CBD offers health benefits without altering one's consciousness. Understanding the differences can guide more informed decisions for potential users.

Adverse Effects of Full-Spectrum CBD Products:

assorted cannabis CBD products on a table behind yellow back drop

Full-spectrum CBD products have been a focal point in health and wellness circles due to their comprehensive cannabinoid and terpene profiles. Such products provide an "entourage effect," where the sum of the hemp plant's parts operates more efficiently than its individual elements. Yet, while these products have found resonance with many, understanding potential adverse effects is paramount for balanced and informed decision-making.

Digestive Concerns: A segment of CBD users have reported digestive problems after consumption. Issues range from slight stomach discomfort to changes in appetite or bouts of diarrhea. The exact causality remains elusive, but some suspect it's tied to dosage or specific compounds within the full spectrum.

Feeling Drowsy: The calming effects of CBD can sometimes translate to drowsiness for certain individuals, especially when taken in larger quantities or when the individual is new to its effects.

Dry Mouth Sensation: Many cannabinoids, including CBD, can reduce saliva production, leading to the common "cottonmouth" feeling. It's a minor inconvenience for most, but staying hydrated can counteract this sensation.

Medicinal Interactions: CBD might alter the efficiency of certain medications. It's a known factor that substances which carry a grapefruit warning often conflict with CBD. These medications, when taken with grapefruit or CBD, can have slowed metabolic rates due to enzyme inhibition. It's always wise to converse with healthcare professionals when introducing CBD to a medication regimen.

Blood Pressure Variability: There's evidence suggesting high CBD doses can instigate a minor drop in blood pressure. This could be beneficial for some, yet concerning for those who already contend with low blood pressure.

While CBD offers many therapeutic properties, ensuring it aligns with one's personal health status and requirements is vital. Sites like WebMD provide expansive details on CBD's interactions and potential side effects. For those exploring the realm of cannabis for therapeutic or medicinal purposes, ARCannabisClinic's guide on how to get a marijuana card serves as a robust resource to guide potential patients through the process.

Tweet-Worthy Message: "Full-spectrum CBD offers a wealth of benefits, but understanding potential side effects ensures a safer, more informed experience. #CBDEducation #SafetyFirst @ARCannabisclin1"

Key Takeaway: Full-spectrum CBD products, with their rich cannabinoid and terpene profiles, offer potential therapeutic benefits. However, as with any substance, understanding potential adverse effects is crucial for safe, informed use.

Scientific Evidence: CBD and Panic Disorder:

a man blowing air in a bag having panic attack.  wearing yellow shirt and blue back drop

Panic disorder, a form of anxiety disorder, places significant stress on individuals, often marked by sudden episodes of intense fear that may also invoke physical reactions despite any tangible threat. The rise of CBD as a potential therapeutic agent has drawn attention to its possible efficacy against such disorders. Let's delve into the scientific evidence surrounding CBD's role in managing panic disorder.

Research Insights

Studies have shown that CBD may have anxiolytic properties. In simple terms, it means CBD potentially helps alleviate anxiety. A research study demonstrated that CBD could significantly reduce anxiety levels in individuals with a generalized social anxiety disorder. While it's crucial to differentiate between various forms of anxiety disorders, the evidence suggests that CBD's interaction with serotonin receptors in the brain plays a pivotal role in its therapeutic effects.

CBD's Mechanism of Action

The human body's endocannabinoid system (ECS) is central to various physiological functions, including mood regulation. CBD interacts with the ECS, particularly the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These interactions can influence the release and uptake of neurotransmitters that play key roles in anxiety and panic disorders.

Clinical Trials and Observations

Most evidence on CBD and panic disorder originates from animal studies or clinical trials with human subjects subjected to anxiety-inducing situations. One such study demonstrated that CBD reduced the anxiety associated with public speaking, a situation known to provoke panic attacks in those predisposed to panic disorder.

Safety and Dosage

Like any therapeutic agent, it's essential to approach CBD with a measure of caution. Some individuals might experience side effects such as fatigue, changes in appetite, or even diarrhea. If considering CBD for panic disorder, it's beneficial to consult a healthcare provider, particularly if one is on other medications. Also, understanding the legal framework of CBD in one's jurisdiction, which can be gleaned from the how to apply for a medical marijuana card state-by-state guide, is essential.

Tweet-Worthy Message: "Evidence suggests that CBD holds potential in managing panic disorder. Delving into scientific studies offers insights and hope. #CBDResearch #PanicDisorderRelief @ARCannabisclin1"

Key Takeaway: While CBD offers promising potential in the realm of panic disorder management, understanding its mechanism, supported by scientific evidence, is paramount for informed therapeutic decisions. Proper consultation and adherence to legal guidelines further ensure a safe journey for those exploring CBD's benefits.


What are anxiety disorders? Anxiety disorders refer to a range of mental health conditions where individuals consistently experience heightened anxiety levels, encompassing conditions like social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

How do full-spectrum CBD products differ from pure CBD? Full-spectrum CBD products contain a broader range of compounds from the cannabis plant, including small amounts of THC, while pure CBD is isolated without the other compounds.

How does the endocannabinoid system influence anxiety? The endocannabinoid system, present in the human body, influences several physiological processes, including mood disorders and anxiety levels. Full-spectrum CBD products interact with this system, potentially modulating its activity to provide anxiety relief.

Can CBD oil cause panic attacks? Recent studies suggest that while many people experience anxiety relief with CBD, some individuals, especially those with a predisposition to panic disorder, might experience heightened feelings of anxiety or even cannabis-induced panic attacks.

What effects does THC have on anxiety levels? Higher doses of THC are often linked to cannabis-induced anxiety. In contrast, low doses may produce a calming effect for some users.

What's the entourage effect related to the cannabis plant? The entourage effect suggests that the various components of the cannabis plant, including CBD and THC, work synergistically, with full-spectrum CBD extracts potentially offering more holistic benefits than pure CBD.

What are the potential side effects of CBD? Some common side effects include dry mouth, changes in appetite, and disturbances in the digestive system. Adverse effects, like increased anxiety levels or feelings of panic, may arise in rare cases.

How does CBD interact with serotonin receptors? CBD might interact with serotonin receptors, playing a role in mood disorders and feelings of anxiety, although more research is required to confirm these findings.

Are there clinical trials highlighting CBD's effects on anxiety disorders? Yes, there are several clinical trials and systematic reviews that delve into the effectiveness of CBD in managing feelings of anxiety, though results can be varied.

Is there any link between CBD oil and chest pain? While it's rare, some users have reported symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath after using CBD oil. It's vital to consult with medical professionals if these symptoms occur.

How much CBD is recommended for first-time users? Starting with lower dosages and gradually increasing while monitoring any anxiety symptoms is typically advised. Serving sizes can vary based on individual needs.

Do hemp plants play a role in CBD production? Yes, hemp-derived CBD products are sourced from hemp plants, a variant of the cannabis sativa plant.

Can CBD be an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder? Some preliminary evidence suggests that CBD might help manage symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, though more extensive human studies are needed.

What forms does CBD come in? CBD is available in different forms, including full-spectrum CBD oil, CBD edibles, and broad-spectrum CBD, each with varying THC content.

How does cannabis-induced anxiety differ from general anxiety? Cannabis-induced anxiety specifically arises after consuming cannabis products, often linked to THC's psychoactive effects, whereas general anxiety can have various underlying causes.

Can people experience panic attacks from CBD with no prior history of anxiety disorders? It's possible, though rare, for individuals without a history of anxiety disorders to experience adverse reactions, including panic attacks, after using CBD.

Is there a risk of cannabis addiction when using full-spectrum CBD products? While full-spectrum CBD products contain THC, the risk of addiction is generally considered lower compared to products with higher THC content. However, always consult with medical professionals regarding substance use.

How do recent years compare in terms of cannabis research and acceptance? In recent years, there's been a surge in both research and acceptance surrounding the cannabis plant and its derivatives in the United States and globally.

How do CBD doses influence its effects on anxiety levels? Low doses of CBD often show potential in reducing anxiety symptoms, while higher doses might produce the opposite effect in some individuals.

Are there other natural alternatives to manage anxiety disorders? While many are exploring the benefits of CBD, there are several other natural alternatives, such as meditation, exercise, and certain herbal supplements, to manage anxiety disorders. Always consult with medical professionals before starting any new treatment.


The journey of understanding the intricate relationship between the cannabis plant, especially CBD, and mental health is ongoing. While many swear by the benefits of CBD for anxiety relief, it's vital to approach with caution, especially for those with a history of panic disorder or heightened anxiety levels. ARCannabisClinic, a trusted national network of marijuana doctors, offers an industry-leading MMJ Therapy Visit, ensuring patients receive a medical marijuana treatment plan tailored to their needs. Pioneers in full diagnosis evaluations, including PTSD and anxiety, ARCannabisClinic emphasizes the importance of seeking expert guidance when navigating the medical marijuana landscape. Trustworthy companies like ARCannabisClinic play a vital role in ensuring the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana treatments.

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