Many people use CBD to relieve themselves from stress. There is not enough scientific evidence to prove that CBD can treat stress. This blog helps you know CBD, its role in stress relief, and how to use it for stress if you choose the CBD route.

CBD is one of the chemical substances that have picked up fame over recent years. It remained fully illegal for the longest time, but in 2018, courtesy of the Farm Bill passing, it was deemed legal at federal levels, although the state laws vary widely. Since then, people have been using CBD for many things, including sleep issues and pain. Still, there is a need for more studies to prove that it can help with these conditions. This article explores all you need to know about CBD and stress relief.

The Basics About CBD

CBD is one of the cannabinoids or active chemical compounds in cannabis plants. It can come from hemp or marijuana plants, and unlike THC, another abundant cannabinoid, CBD is non-psychoactive, which is why many people have embraced it. You can have CBD in tinctures, edibles, capsules, vapes, and topicals that feature any of the following three formulations;

  1. Full-spectrum CBD; comprises a whole gamut of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids and is linked to the full entourage effect.
  2. Broad-spectrum CBD; has as many cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids as full-spectrum CBD but lacks the psychoactive THC. It is also linked to the full entourage effect of multiple compounds.
  3. Isolate-based CBD; has pure CBD without additional cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids and makes a great CBD choice for whoever needs pure CBD, although it is not linked to the full entourage effect.

Can CBD Treat or Relieve Stress?

CBD studies are ongoing. There is not enough evidence for CBD to treat stress. Some studies indicate that CBD might help relieve stress. How?

A small study by Bloomfield et al. (2020) noted that CBD could help relieve people of stress. The research looked at the role of CBD in 15 participants with stress from various conditions and disorders, including PTSD, Alzheimer’s disease, OCD, and many other conditions affecting memory processing. Still, the study used a small population that is not statistically significant despite being significant in real life.

Earlier, Elms et al. (2019) investigated the role of CBD in stress management among PTSD patients. The research also saw potential in CBD to help patients manage stress. Besides, CBD seemed to help reduce the nightmares the PTSD patients would receive and end up in stress. Still, the study acknowledged that further studies were needed to look at the role of CBD in stress management, particularly in PTSD patients. It is clear that existing studies see a potential in CBD helping people manage stress, but they also acknowledge that we need more studies on the same topic. Consequently, we hold on from recommending CBD for stress relief in people with various conditions until more advanced studies with sufficient evidence prove CBD as efficacious for stress management.

Pros of Using CBD for Stress

Although it is clear that there are many uncertainties surrounding CBD for stress relief, you might choose to go that route anyway. The positive side of things is that you might help yourself handle stress better, although this is not guaranteed with CBD. Besides, Capano et al. (2020) noted that CBD might help with pain, so if you have pain from illness or other factors, you might expect CBD to be of help. Chagas et al. (2014) also reported that CBD might boost one’s sleep quality, and you might experience this with your CBD for stress relief. If anything, pain, stress, and sleep are interrelated, and once you solve pain or stress, you can have a better sleep.

Cons of CBD for Stress

CBD is a chemical substance that is fairly new in the market, and most studies on it, including research on its role in stress relief, are inconclusive. As if that’s not enough, the FDA does not control CBD production, meaning that some brands might as well deal in substandard products. There are no recommended dosages for CBD oil, and one has to fumble with the cannabinoid for long to determine how much the body can comfortably bear. It’s no wonder people are advised to seek a doctor’s advice before incorporating CBD into their regimen.

How to Use CBD for Stress

Since studies on CBD and stress are inconclusive, there is no recommended type of CBD deliverable for stress. There are many methods of taking CBD, including edibles, capsules, tinctures, oils, vapes, and topicals. Most CBD users who take the cannabinoid have been taking capsules and tinctures, and you might benefit from these too. However, you will have to use them for some time to figure out how much CBD the body can sustain. You need to see a doctor to find out the starting dosage ideal for you for a start. Keep this low and track how the body responds before upping the dose.

Should You Use CBD for Stress?

Many people are already using CBD for stress relief. Much comes to determine whether to use CBD for any reason, including stress. Much that’s not understood about CBD, so keep this in mind. Besides, do your research to know the reputable brands you can buy from, especially because the CBD market is largely unregulated. Ultimately, you need to consult your doctor before trying any CBD product.


Existing studies show that CBD may reduce stress in people, especially for memory processing, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and related conditions. Still, there is not enough evidence to prove that CBD might treat stress. If you choose CBD for stress, ensure you consult your doctor first, at least to be sure of the starting dosage. Keep the dosages low until you fully figure out how much CBD you can comfortably take.


     Bloomfield, M. A. P., Green, S. F., Hindocha, C., Yamamori, Y., Yim, J. L. L., Jones, A. P. M., Walker, H. R., Tokarczuk, P., Statton, B., Howes, O. D., Curran, H. V., & Freeman, T. P. (2020). The Effects Of Acute Cannabidiol On Cerebral Blood Flow And Its Relationship To Memory: An Arterial Spin Labelling Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study. Journal Of Psychopharmacology34(9), 981–989.

     Capano, A., Weaver, R., & Burkman, E. (2020). Evaluation Of The Effects Of CBD Hemp Extract On Opioid Use And Quality Of Life Indicators In Chronic Pain Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study. Postgraduate Medicine132(1), 56-61.

    Chagas, M. H., Eckeli, A. L., Zuardi, A. W., Pena‐Pereira, M. A., Sobreira‐Neto, M. A., Sobreira, E. T., … & Crippa, J. A. S. (2014). Cannabidiol Can Improve Complex Sleep‐Related Behaviours Associated With Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behaviour Disorder In Parkinson’s Disease Patients: A Case Series. Journal Of Clinical Pharmacy And Therapeutics39(5), 564-566.

Elms, L., Shannon, S., Hughes, S., & Lewis, N. (2019). Cannabidiol In The Treatment Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine25(4), 392-397.

Julia Davis

Mental health expert
MS, University of Latvia

I am deeply convinced that each patient needs a unique, individual approach. Therefore, I use different psychotherapy methods in my work. During my studies, I discovered an in-depth interest in people as a whole and the belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and the importance of emotional health in physical health. In my spare time, I enjoy reading (a big fan of thrillers) and going on hikes.

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