CBD vs Xanax: CBD As A Natural Alternative to Xanax for Anxiety

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Seems like pretty much everyone has anxiety these days. I know I do.

But  isn’t there a better way to deal with anxiety than taking a pill everyday in order to just function “normally”?

if you’re ever wondered tis, you’re not alone. Anxiety awareness is on the rise which has left millions of people weighing the benefits of CBD as a natural alternative to Xanax.

It’s commonly known that Xanax is effective for short term symptoms of anxiety, but Xanax is not an effective or healthy long term solution for anxiety.So does CBD actually work to reduce anxiety?Multiple studies have shown that CBD naturally eases anxiety through its interactions with the human body’s Endo-Cannabionoid System.

CBD has also been proven to curb addiction tendencies which makes CBD a prime candidate for Xanax withdrawal symptoms as well.

Xanax abuse has been climbing in numbers since the 1990’s, but still Xanax is prescribed to more than 50 million people each year in order to treat “”anxiety””.

CBD vs Xanax: CBD As A Natural Alternative to Xanax for Anxiety
CBD vs Xanax: CBD As A Natural Alternative to Xanax for Anxiety


““Anxiety”” is such a broad term that doctors are handing out Xanax prescriptions left and right.

Are all those Xanax prescriptions really necessary?

Probably not, and now its becoming an issue, as doctors are now finding out that Xanax is much more addicting that it was previously thought to be.

Sort of like opiates being prescribed in 2008.

In this article we’ll take an in depth look into CBD vs Xanax, the science behind how CBD works, and why so many are using CBD oil as a natural alternative to anxiety drugs like Xanax.

What is CBD & How Does CBD Affect Anxiety?

Cannabidiol (CBD for short) is an organic compound that is produced naturally in the cannabis plant.

CBD (and other cannabis compounds like THC) that are produced by the cannabis plant and are called Cannabinoids…

Cannabinoids interact with a network of receptors which are part of the Central Nervous System

This network of receptors is known as the Endo-Cannabinoid System.

CBD’s interaction with the endo-cannabinoid system is key to it’s success against anxiety.

CBD and The Endo-Cannabinoid System vs. Anxiety

The Endo-Cannabinoid System (ECS) is one of our most important internal bodily systems.

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The ECS has the main function of keeping homeostasis or balance with-in the body.

Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system plays a direct role in managing anxiety responses.

Your ‘endo-cannabinoid system’ works similar to a thermostat in your house

If the temperature in a room is too hot, the thermostat goes into ‘cooling mode’ 

If your anxiety response is spiking, the endo-cannabinoid system ‘kicks in’ to help balance your anxiety levels.CBD INSIDE YOUR BODY

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CBD and THC both interact (although very differently) with two types of ‘endo-cannabinoid receptors’.

  1. Cannabinoid Receptors Type 1 (CB1) – CB1 receptors are critical to our central nervous system and are most heavily concentrated in our brain and spinal cord.
  2. Cannabinoid Receptors Type 2 (CB2) – CB2 receptors are concentrated in various parts of the immune system, the skin cells, and most internal organs.

Due to the wide reaching network of CB1 & CB2 receptors in the EndoCannabinoid System CBD and THC have a wide range of health benefits which are currently being studied.

The CB1 receptor has been shown to play a critical role in managing stress

This action makes CBD a great candidate for an alternative to anxiety medications such as Xanax or Valium.

Cannabis containing both CBD and THC is currently being researched to treat pain, inflammation, anxiety, immune system disorders, Insomnia, brain injuries, PTSD, headaches, addiction & more.

To get a better understanding for how CBD helps with anxiety, we need to get a better understanding for the root cause of behind Anxiety.

Root Cause Behind Your Anxiety

Every-time I have anxiety, theres a root cause behind it. Sometimes it’s obvious, and sometimes it’s not so obvious.

Anxiety “in general” is caused by worrying and perceived fear of a threat. For example, social anxiety’s root cause comes from fear of being judged.

Whether you’re taking CBD or Xanax, it’s important to understand the root cause behind your anxiety.

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With Xanax prescriptions on the rise for over 20 years, why are anxiety levels so high?

Most people have different levels of anxiety for different reasons. This makes it tough for researchers to find a definitive answer as to why anxiety levels are rising in general.


There are some fascinating and in depth studies that do a great job narrowing down the likely sources of rising anxiety.

Is There a Shift in Society That’s Driving Up Anxiety Levels?

Some scientists have observed that humans in the Western World (US & Europe) are becoming more psychologically sensitive.

This may be because we no longer have to worry about ‘food & shelter’ for survival on a daily basis. Most of us have roofs over our head and easy access to food. 

Scientists believe that our gaze has moved away from survival instinct and shifted inward towards materialism.

Many argue that we now focus on superficial desires, such as a new car and a bigger house, rather than deep-rooted desires like the joy of family and friends, and a sense of community.

To support this theory, a study looking at changes in college freshman attitudes over 40-years, found that the number of students who place importance on ‘financial gains’ has almost doubled since the 1960s

Developing a meaningful philosophy for life has dropped off dramatically.

Do We Blame Social Media for Increased Anxiety Levels?

Researchers have been looking at the impact of social media on the rise in anxiety.

Social media companies like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram have flooded into our society so rapidly that, it’s highly likely that social media is having an impact.

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Facebook was founded in 2004 and today has over 2 billion users. (whoa!)

Studies looking at the link between social media and anxiety are not a new concept and are relatively easy to find.

One study that investigated social media in over 400 adolescents found that those who used social media the most, had lower self-esteem and higher levels of anxiety and depression.

Another investigation, spanning 1,700 young U.S. adults, compared the number of social media platforms used with levels of anxiety and depression.

The results were not surprising.

Researchers found that people who had a higher number of social media platforms reported higher levels of depression and anxiety.

Another study conducted on 18–22-year-olds came to similar conclusions.

Based on the evidence, there is an obviously a connection between social media and anxiety.

Is social media causing people anxiety? Or is anxiety causing people to use social media?

Not an easy question to answer…

Is life in the ‘New Aged World’ Just Getting More Stressful?

Is Anxiety more prevalent because the society we live in is more stressful than it was 10, 50, 100, 1,000 years ago?

Historians believe it’s doubtful.

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Determining how stressful our society is today, compared with how stressful society was at any other point in time, is not something we can really measure.

What we know for sure, is that technology is changing how we live faster than ever before….

With change comes anxiety, but it’s up to us as individuals to talk with our families, friends and neighbors about these changes to strengthen our sense of belonging and community.

It’s strength in personal dialogue and relationships that give us a sense of belonging and drives less focus on materialistic possessions.

Whatever the root cause of your anxiety its important to be aware of the ‘triggers’ and not just use drugs with dangerous side effects like Xanax to mask the feeling.

This sis why natural compounds with minimal side effects like CBD are becoming more common for those who suffer from anxiety.

Are Xanax Even A Good Solution for Anxiety ?

Xanax was designed in the 1970’s to suppress the body’s ‘GABA neurotransmitters’.

When suppressed by Xanax, these GABA neurons dull a wide spectrum of the body’s natural responses, including anxiety responses.

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Today Xanax is most commonly used for “short term’ management of anxiety”.

Unfortunately, Xanax is addictive and ‘short term use’ can rapidly become long term use.

So why are 50 million prescriptions of a schedule IV drug with known addictive qualities being written each year

Big Profits for Big Companies!
(According to Forbes, over $5 billion in sales in 2013)

Everyone gets anxiety.

It’s one of many emotions that make us feel Human.

The severity of anxiety is perceived differently by everyone and there are no tests required to receive a prescription…..

The ‘vagueness’ of anxiety makes writing a prescription to treat anxiety with Xanax very easy for doctors everywhere.

Many people rely on Xanax as a way to deal or cope with or even mask personal issues.

Xanax is not supposed to be a long-term medication, but prescriptions are frequently re-new’d by doctors time and time again.

According to Dr. Joanna Starrels, professor at the Department of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine….

Generally speaking, primary care physicians have not received the training that they need to prescribe medications that have such high risk for addiction or overdose,”

I don’t think people realize that benzodiazepines share many of the same characteristics of opioids,” Dr. Sumit Agarwal,

They are addictive.”

Xanax causes you to have slower breathing. It can cause you to be altered in terms of mental status. And then, eventually, [Xanax] can cause overdose and deaths.”

CBD vs Xanax: Interacting With the Body

Xanax does reduce symptoms of anxiety short term, but what exactly does Xanax do inside your body to reduce anxiety?

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When your body has anxiety, it naturally produces a chemical known as GABA

GABA receptors interact to calm the anxiety response.

Xanax works by increasing the levels of GABA and increasing the effectiveness of GABA receptors.

However, this can be dangerous because in as little as 6 weeks the body will start to depend on Xanax and naturally produce less and less GABA.

In the long run this will only result in more increases in anxiety and even worse, withdrawal symptoms.

Increases in GABA are typically associated with an increase in sleepiness and a decrease in alertness, memory, muscle tension & anxiety.

How Does CBD Work For Anxiety?

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Many people ask…

“Does CBD feel like Xanax”

Not quite…

Unlike Xanax, which treats anxiety by increasing sleepiness and decreases alertness through its interaction with the GABA receptor….

CBD targets different receptors…

The CB1 receptor and the serotonin 5-HT1a receptor which is responsible for emotional balance & happiness.

In a 2015 analysis of previous studies, researchers concluded that CBD is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety.

The analysis of the studies found that CBD’s anxiety reducing effects depend on the 5-HT1A receptor which is located in several brain regions.

According to another study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, …CBD has a multi-pronged approach in its effect on anxiety.

CBD increases the natural human ‘Endo-Cannabinoid’ called “anandamide”. Just like CBD, “anandamide” also activates the 5-HT1a serotonin receptor.

These findings also support the use of CBD as a safe and natural alternative to Xanax.

According to a study by NYU School of Medicine, human studies support findings in early research, and also suggest that “CBD has anxiety reducing effects and an excellent safety profile”.

Long Term Side Effects of Xanax?

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According to Dr. Marc Fishman an Addiction Psychiatrist.

For a lot of patients on Xanax, anxiety actually gets worse over time but not better,”

“[Xanax] resets sensitivity so that the new normal becomes the intoxicated, benzo-addled state, and then you need more, and then you need more.”

According to the FDA –

“XANAX is a prescription medicine used: for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety”

The FDA literature says that “XANAX is a federal controlled substance because it can be abused or lead to dependence.

According to the American Addiction Center, when people abuse Xanax for a long stretch of time, your brain starts to forget how to operate normally with-out Xanax.

Clearly an anxiety alternative to Xanax is needed….

Long term side effects Include:

  1. · Drowsiness
  2. · Fatigue
  3. · Dizziness
  4. · Difficulty concentrating
  5. · Dry mouth
  6. · Changes in sex drive
  7. · Increased salivation.
  8. · Slurred speech.
  9. · Appetite changes
  10. · Memory problems
  11. · Decreased coordination
  12. · irritability
  13. · Confusion
  14. · Urinary retention
  15. · Changes in menstrual cycle
  16. · Low blood pressure
  17. · Liver damage
  18. · Dependency on Xanax

CBD For Xanax Withdrawal

There are multiple studies that show CBD’s ability to reduce withdrawal symptoms in multiple substances.

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There are also multiple studies showing CBD’s ability to reduce ‘addiction triggers’.

On top of these studies there is also a mountain of ‘anecdotal evidence’ in the form of testimonials from people who’ve tried CBD instead of Xanax.

Before starting a CBD regimine it important to check with your doctor.

Weaning off Xanax by using CBD is pretty straightforward.

Start with a low dose of CBD and your regular dose of xanax.

Over time, the dose of Xanax is gradually reduced and the dose of CBD is steadily increased.

As the transition happens the CBD should help to fight off some of the unpleasant side effects of Xanax withdrawal such as headaches, nausea and anxiety.

Eventually Xanax is stopped completely.

What Are People w. Anxiety Saying About CBD Instead of Xanax

“They are totally different. CBD is not as strong. It is of course much safer. CBD use is very helpful for my anxiety and for keeping me benzo free.Benzos ruined my life, CBD has improved it.” – Anonymous Reddit Review

“My path was extremely rocky, I abused the benzos. CBD didn’t help getting off benzos, but for sure CBD helps me from going back…18 months benzo free & CBD is helping me get better over time and not just as a ‘Band-Aid’.” – Anonymous Reddit Review

“CBD has helped so many of us 🙂 Choosing natural remedies over the mind numbing chemicals doctors want to prescribe us is so beneficial..I’m so glad I found CBD.” – Anonymous Reddit Review

“You know CBD is making an impact when you can read about total strangers and feel connected.Hopefully it gets approved by medical insurance in the very near future. It would change America for the better.” – Anonymous Reddit Review

There are many different options for taking CBD and it can be overwhelming when choosing a product to try.

You’ve probably heard of CBD oil but there are also CBD topical creams, CBD vape pens, and even CBD bath bombs (we love em)…

Which CBD Product Is Best for Anxiety ?

Each method of taking CBD has its own unique benefits.

For anxiety you’d get the greatest benefit by taking CBD oil and a possibly a CBD vape pen as well (depending on the severity of anxiety) .

CBD topical creams will not help out with anxiety.

Why CBD Oil and a CBD Vape for Anxiety

CBD Oil is the most common method of CBD consumption….

CBD Oil has an average absorption rate into the bloodstream of 35% and its effects last up to 8 hours….

Taking CBD oil will deliver the most amount of CBD into your system over the course of a few weeks.

It’s Important to understand the CBD oil has a “cumulative effect”. This means that CBD works best after it’s has a couple weeks to accumulate in your system.

TIPS You Shoud Know Before Shopping For CBD Products


There’s a few tips you want to look out for when shopping for CBD products…..

  1. CBD is not the same as THC & won’t get you high (no, not even a little)
  2. CBD is 100% legal in the United States & available for sale online
  3. Full Spectrum CBD is Better Than CBD Isolate
  4. There are different ways to ingest CBD
  5. CBD has little to no side effects
  6. Don’t buy CBD on Amazon and expect it to work
  7. Always look for 3rd party independent lab test results for each product

Conclusion: CBD oil vs Xanax

CBD is a natural occurring and organic compound that is derived from a plant…..

Xanax was formulated in a lab in 1971….

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CBD was declassified as a drug and made available to the public in 2018 and is widely praised for it’s high safety profile & lack of serious side effects….

Xanax is a schedule IV drug with a high dependency profile and high probability of addiction even in short term use.

Both CBD and Xanax are used to combat anxiety, but CBD and Xanax have 2 different approaches on how they treat anxiety.

Xanax targets the GABA receptors which reduce anxiety by increasing sleepiness & decreasing alertness.

This eventually leads to reduced GABA production & dependence on Xanax to activate the GABA receptor.

CBD targets the 5-HT1a serotonin receptor which reduces anxiety by promoting natural absorption of serotonin which promotes balanced emotion & ‘happiness’….. There is no evidence of CBD dependence.

In today’s changing world anxiety seems to be an increasing way of life for many and it’s not likely to go away anytime soon….

Medicating ourselves with Xanax does not seem to be a sustainable solution for dealing with anxiety in the long run.

CBD on the other hand comes with a myriad of benefits.

This including anxiety reduction, and instead of masking the anxiety, CBD appears to do a better job dealing with the underlying cause or at least managing the anxiety allowing you to deal with the underlying cause…..

After reviewing all of the evidence it’s clear to us that CBD is absolutely a safer and healthier alternative to Xanax for anxiety.

Check Out Out Our Other Interesting Articles About CBD…

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