Review: Available Data Supports the Use of CBD for Treatment of Social Anxiety

New Haven, CT: Data indicates that CBD is “effective” for improving social anxiety and suggests that it may have “key benefits over existing pharmacotherapies” for social anxiety disorder (SAD), according to a systemic review of human studies published in the journal Psychiatry Research Communications.

A pair of researchers affiliated with Yale University reviewed data from seven studies involving 278 total participants. 

Authors reported: “Overall, the literature reviewed supports the anxiolytic effect of CBD administration, both among healthy volunteers undergoing experimental social anxiety paradigms, as well as individuals with SAD. … Additionally, CBD may have key advantages over existing treatments, including a rapid course of action, reduced abuse liability and potential for drug interactions with alcohol and opioids, as well as reduced sedative and cognitive side effects.”

They concluded: “Existing data suggest that acute administration of CBD significantly attenuates social anxiety, without significant sedation or cognitive impairment. However, additional research is needed to determine optimal dosing among individuals with SAD, assess the time-course of CBD’s acute effects, examine the efficacy and side effect profile of chronic CBD administration, assess sex differences in the use of CBD for social anxiety, as well as investigate CBD’s mechanisms of action.”

Open-label trial data published in June in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reported that the adjunctive use of CBD safely and effectively reduces severe anxiety in young people with treatment-resistant anxiety disorders.

Social anxiety disorder is characterized by clinical fear of one or more specific social situations. Some seven percent of US adults are estimated to have suffered from SAD within the past year.

Full text of the study, “Systemic literature review of human studies assessing the efficacy of cannabidiol for social anxiety,” appears in Psychiatry Research Communications.