CBD for Stress and Anxiety: How CBD Improves Mental Health

CBD for stress and anxiety

Did you know that October is Emotional Wellness month? Emotional wellness is essential to overall mental health and wellbeing. It has to do with the understanding and acceptance of our emotions, as well as how we are able to deal with change, challenge, and uncertainty. At Potli, we advocate for mental wellbeing and healing. So in honor of Emotional Wellness month, we’re bringing you the benefits of CBD for stress and anxiety.

How does CBD relieve stress and anxiety? 

Did you know that one in four Americans will suffer from an anxiety disorder during their lifetime? Besides genetics, one of the biggest sources of anxiety is stress. While some forms of stress are actually good for us — known as “eustress,” or the stress that makes us feel alive and excited — chronic stress trains our brain to feel anxious. As a result, our body is inundated with a great excess of stress hormones like cortisol, which causes a number of mental and physical health problems. 

Here’s something to feel eu-stressed about: treatment works! Research and preliminary clinical trials have shown promising evidence that CBD is useful for people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

What exactly does CBD do in the brain to promote emotional wellness? 

The intricacies of how CBD affects stress and anxiety have to do with our bodies’ complex neural systems. We’re sure you’ve heard of serotonin, a neurotransmitter commonly referred to as the happy hormone. While serotonin does play an important role in mood stabilization and inducing feelings of wellbeing and happiness, the effects of this hormone are actually much more complex. More serotonin does not always mean more happiness. Believe it or not, sometimes more serotonin can actually lead to dysfunction! 

Serotonin has many different receptors, and its effect largely depends on what the hormone binds to. One of its receptors, called the 5-HT1a receptor, is thought to be largely involved in anxiety disorders. Studies show that CBD binds to this receptor and may alter serotonin signals in the body, leading to its anti-anxiety effects. For example, numerous rodent studies show that mice given low doses of CBD respond better to stressful situations and exhibit less panic.

CBD is also thought to interact with endocannabinoid receptors, which are involved in a range of bodily processes, like sleep, mood, and stress. Under chronic stress, the endocannabinoid system can fall into dysfunction. However, by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD can restore balance to this system and relieve anxiety! As an example, studies on humans have shown that CBD can improve performance anxiety for those with anxiety disorders. 


  • Studies have shown that CBD has beneficial effects for people suffering from various anxiety disorders and chronic stress.
  • CBD interacts with serotonin and endocannabinoid receptors to help bring balance to your biological systems and help you respond to stressful situations. 
  • Both rodent and human studies have shown promising results which indicate CBD’s potential to promote emotional wellness. 

Ready to get cookin’ with CBD for less stress and anti-anxiety benefits? Check out our favorite ways to incorporate CBD into our everyday lives here