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Can CBD Cause Panic Attacks
Posted On: December 08, 2023

Can CBD Cause Panic Attacks?

If your heart starts pounding, have trouble breathing, and feel an intense fear of losing control, you might be having a panic attack. Sometimes panic attacks are confused with anxiety attacks. Although these attacks share some similar symptoms, they are not the same. 

People use a variety of medications, mostly tranquilizers to relieve panic attacks, a brief episodes of intense anxiety. However, most of the prescribed medicine comes with notable side effects. 

The use of the cannabis plant as a medication which is popularly known as CBD (Cannabidiol), has shown some promising and hopeful aspects in reducing anxiety disorders. 49% of Americans use CBD for anxiety and stress [1] which demonstrates how much attention it's getting among anxiety patients. 

But, everything has pros and cons! People who are interested in CBD (a type of cannabinoid), or using it for various conditions, are also asking for answers as to whether CBD causes panic attacks or not. So, today in this blog, we’ll discuss the answer to “Can CBD cause panic attacks?” in detail. 

The Anxiolytic Properties of CBD

Let’s begin with the bright side of CBD.  

A study published in the “Journal of Translational Medicine” stated that CBD has anxiolytic properties that can help reduce anxiety and stress-related disorders [2]. However, the research also added that consuming CBD products that have a high amount of THC can do the opposite. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been associated with anxiogenic response [2]. 

Another study published in PubMed, says existing preclinical evidence strongly supports that the anxiolytic role of CBD can be helpful as a treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, Panic Disorder (PD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post-Traumatic Disorder (PTSD) when administered acutely [3]. 

According to this research, CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors (CB1), serotonin receptors (5HT1A), and other receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviors [3] (Via Medical News Today).  

Another 2017 study conducted on both humans and animals showed the anti-panic actions of cannabidiol. Their study clearly suggests the anxiolytic-like effects of CBD in both animals and human volunteers [4]. 

Some other significant research also indicates that CBD has anxiolytic properties and people with anxiety and stress can receive immediate relief by consuming a recommended amount of CBD (10mg/kg).  

In short, the evidence is clear to support CBD as a treatment for anxiety attacks including generalized and social anxiety, and panic disorders. In addition, anecdotal reports reveal that the majority of the people who have used CBD for anxiety have felt better. 

Related: How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Work for Anxiety?

Can CBD Cause Panic Attacks?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. Research clearly says that CBD alone cannot cause panic attacks rather it can be used as a treatment for patients with anxiety and panic disorders. 
However, most CBD products such as CBD gummies, CBD oil, CBD syrups, and other types of CBD contain several cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. For instance, full-spectrum CBD products possess a small amount of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), a type of cannabinoid that is responsible for psychoactive, and intoxicating effects.  
One study published in PubMed asserts that cannabis may trigger the emergence of recurrent panic attacks [5]. So, there are some key factors that CBD users and anxiety patients need to keep in mind before using any form of CBD.  
Comparing full spectrum vs broad spectrum CBD can help to choose the suitable type of CBD products for anxiety and stress-related issues. In addition, knowing about CBD vs THC can also guide you towards the most suited CBD products for your health. 
Here are some key considerations that can help a CBD user avoid any unwanted effects including the potential occurrence of panic and anxiety attacks: 
•    Cannabis products that contain THC  
•    Medication Interaction  
•    CBD Dosage for Anxiety Patients  
•    Quality Products 

Cannabis Products with THC

CBD or cannabis products are not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Additionally, they are often mislabeled. 

One study published in PubMed on “Label accuracy of unregulated cannabidiol (CBD) products” reveals that out of 80 CBD product samples, 37 contain CBD concentration that is different from the concentration listed on the label [6]. 

The sales and distribution of unregulated and mislabeled CBD products don’t guarantee the product you’re using will contain the recommended amount of THC, and other ingredients. 

So, we strongly advise always opt. for CBD products that provide third-party lab test results or COA (Certificate of Analysis). Purchasing CBD from reputable and trustworthy brands also ensures high-quality CBD products. 

Medication Interaction

The most commonly used anti-anxiety medications can cause medicinal interaction with CBD. For instance, Benzodiazepines used for treating anxiety disorders can potentially interact with cannabidiol.  

According to Harvard Health, some prescription medications including antipsychotics, antidepressants, and antihistamines may increase the risk of CBD side effects, and toxicity such as sleepiness, increased sedation, and tiredness [7]. 

So, If you’re already using any prescribed medicines for anxiety or panic disorders, consult a healthcare provider and check out the possible drug interactions. 

CBD Dosage for Anxiety Patients

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADDA), there are 3.1% (6.8 million) of the U.S. population have Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD) [8]. Besides, PD (Panic Disorder) affects 2.7% of adults (6 million) [8]. 

These large numbers suggest how normal it can be to use CBD to combat anxiety. However, because the CBD business is still new, many people who use it don't know or may not follow the dosage guidelines. This may potentially trigger unwanted side effects. 

In the case of using CBD for anxiety, begin with a small dose and adjust based on the body’s response. According to Forbes, clinical trials indicate the following effective doses for anxiety relief [9]:  

1.    600 milligrams for SAD patients in a speech simulation  
2.    300 milligrams for male patients in a speech simulation 

Lower doses have also shown efficacy: 

1.    25 to 75 milligrams for generalized anxiety disorders (GAD) or sleep problems. 
2.    33 to 49 milligrams daily for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alongside routine psychiatric treatment. 

In short, studies highlight the effectiveness of doses ranging from 40 to 300 milligrams daily. However, it is always a good idea to consult a mental health expert or professional healthcare provider before making any decisions regarding CBD and anxiety. 

Quality Products

When it comes to getting the desired results, choosing high-quality CBD products is obligatory. Impurities and mislabeling of CBD products may lead to adverse consequences. 

While purchasing quality CBD products to avoid any potential panic attacks, consider the following factors:  
•    Look for hemp-derived CBD products 
•    Check whether the product is third-party lab tested or not 
•    Check the CoA (Certificate of Analysis)  
•    Purchase from a reputable and trustworthy physical or online CBD store 
•    Read a lot of reviews before buying CBD 
•    Ensure the product is free from pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers 
•    Check the type of CBD (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, Isolate CBD) 

⇒ Read More: Does Sour Candy Help With Anxiety?  

Is CBD Effective at Managing Panic Attacks

Long story short, anecdotal and scientific evidence suggest that CBD is worth trying to minimize panic attacks or other types of anxiety disorder. CBD is considered completely safe, and it is highly unlikely to be overdosed on CBD. 

Compared to some antidepressants and anti-anxiety medicines, CBD is more effective and has extremely mild and temporary side effects. Many people have tried CBD oil and other edibles for anxiety disorders and achieved significant positive results. 

However, it is also worth noting that panic attacks can occur suddenly without the triggering of any stressors. So, CBD alone might not give full relief for panic attacks. However, for social anxiety, stress, and phobia, CBD may work slightly better. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some questions that are asked by searchers to learn more about “CBD and anxiety”. We’ve answered these questions to provide better insight. 

Can Too Much CBD Cause Panic Attacks?

Ans: There is no “yes”, or “no” answer to this. If you’ve extreme anxiety issues, higher doses might or might not be helpful. So, it varies from person to person. As there is no measurement procedure, the only way to find the best dosing for yourself is through trial and error. It's always recommended to initiate with low doses and increase gradually if necessary. 

Can I Take CBD Oil for Anxiety Disorders? 

Ans: Yes. You can certainly use cannabidiol oil to reduce anxiety symptoms. Most people who use CBD oil to treat anxiety have received benefits due to its calming and anxiolytic effects. If you desire to try cannabidiol oil for anxiety, start with a lower dose (25mg to 75mg) to treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). 

Can Smoking Marijuana Cause Panic Attacks? 

Ans: Yes. Smoking cannabis marijuana may trigger cannabis-induced anxiety. This might show up as panic attacks. However, not every consumer of cannabis is prone to this attack. Do note marijuana doesn’t affect everyone similarly. If a panic attack occurs to you, know that you’re not in danger. Maintaining your calm, taking deep breaths, and eating some snacks will help you find relief. 

The Bottom Line

Hope you got your answer to “Can CBD cause panic attacks?”. To recapitulate, CBD itself isn’t linked to causing panic attacks. Instead, It does the opposite. The anxiolytic and calming properties of CBD have demonstrated an anti-anxiety mechanism. 

However, it is worth noting that high-THC products, medication interaction, improper dosage, and low-quality products must be avoided to eliminate the potential risks. If you’re on any anti-depression or anti-anxiety medications, consulting a mental health expert regarding CBD use is always the best option. 


1.    Julia, N. (2023, February 17). CBD Statistics & Facts (2023 Update) - CFAH. CFAH. https://cfah.org/cbd-statistics/

2.    Sharpe, L., Sinclair, J., Kramer, A., De Manincor, M. J., & Sarris, J. (2020). Cannabis, a cause for anxiety? A critical appraisal of the anxiogenic and anxiolytic properties. Journal of Translational Medicine, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02518-2

3.    Blessing, E., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1

4.    Soares, V. P., & Campos, A. C. (2017). Evidences for the anti-panic actions of cannabidiol. Current Neuropharmacology, 15(2), 291–299. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159x14666160509123955

5.    Langs, G., Fabisch, H., Fabisch, K., & Hg, Z. (1997). Can cannabis trigger recurrent panic attacks in susceptible patients? European Psychiatry, 12(8), 415–419. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0924-9338(97)83568-7

6.    Johnson, E. M., Kilgore, M., & Babalonis, S. (2022). Label accuracy of unregulated cannabidiol (CBD) products: measured concentration vs. label claim. Journal of Cannabis Research, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-022-00140-1

7.    ScD, K. B. P. (2021, January 11). CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cbd-and-other-medications-proceed-with-caution-2021011121743

8.    Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. (n.d.). https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics

9.    Silva, L. (2023, September 20). How to use CBD for anxiety: uses, dosage and side effects. Forbes Health. https://www.forbes.com/health/cbd/cbd-for-anxiety/