Possibly. There is some evidence for the benefits of CBD oil in reducing anxiety. Some of my patients are buying it on the High Street and tell me it has had benefits for anxiety and sleep. Surveys suggest that at least 10% of the population have used CBD Oil! As yet there are no randomised controlled trials that compares CBD oil against a dummy pill for specific anxiety disorders like OCD or BDD.

“CBD” stands for “cannabidiol” and is a substance found in cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike marijuana, CBD does not make you high. This is because CBD has a negligible amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that makes you high or psychotic. There are no significant side-effects and it’s not addictive. It’s classified as a Food Substance and sold on the High Street. However, the quality and the amount of CBD varies enormously from one product to another. A recent investigation found that some products on the market have hardly any CBD oil and some were unsafe as they were found to have heavy toxins.

I recently attended a webinar from the Medical Society for Cannabis and one of the speakers was a doctor from Neuraleaf, a pharmaceutical company run by doctors. The founder is a doctor who takes CBD oil for his own pain and set-up the company to provide medical quality CBD oil. i.e the dose of CBD oil is the dose that it says on the tin. The amount required varies a lot as it depends on your age, your amount of body fat, genetics and how you metabolise the drug. It’s therefore best to start at a low dose like 10mg and gradually build it up. The average dose is between 50-100mg. Other CBD oil products that I have been recommended by a pharmacist for good quality are Satipharm and Dragonfly.

What I’ve not discussed in this blog is medical cannabis (a mixture of THC, CBD oil and other cannabinoids). This can be medically prescribed by a specialist for certain conditions like epilepsy, pain, anxiety, and depression. This is done at various private clinics. I am learning about it but I do not prescribe it.


Various reviews have been published and are linked below:

The therapeutic role of Cannabidiol in mental health: a systematic review

Their conclusions are “There is Grade B (moderate) recommendation supporting the use of CBD for the treatment of schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Grade C (weak) recommendation exists for insomnia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and Tourette syndrome. These recommendations should be considered in the context of “limited number of available studies” i.e we need more studies. If anyone wants to fund independent research into CBD oil for OCD/BDD that would be helpful!

Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series