Sublingual Cannabidiol for Anxiety

  • End date
    Aug 18, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Staci Gruber, Ph.D.
Updated on 18 April 2021
treatment regimen


This is an open-label to double-blind study evaluating the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of anxiety in adults. Participants will use a sublingual (under-the-tongue) solution of whole plant-derived CBD or placebo three times daily for four weeks in addition to their normal treatment regimen. Participants' clinical state will be assessed weekly during the treatment period. In addition, cognitive function and measures of quality of life, sleep, and general health will be assessed at baseline and the post-treatment final visit.


Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes across many cultures for a range of disorders for thousands of years. The plant is comprised of a variety of components, such as phytocannabinoids, which include (among others) the major intoxicating constituent of cannabis, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD), a major non-intoxicating constituent of cannabis. Increasing evidence indicates that CBD in particular may have significant medicinal properties and benefits; experimental studies in both animals and humans have demonstrated that CBD can act as an anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, and muscle relaxant. Several studies have demonstrated that CBD produces acute anxiolytic effects in animals and humans, although thus far no clinical trials of CBD have been conducted in patients with anxiety. As a growing number of states are legalizing medical cannabis, a gap exists in the scientific literature regarding the effects of CBD on anxiety.

This investigation is composed of two phases. Phase 1 is comprised of a four-week, open-label clinical trial of a high-CBD containing compound in individuals with anxiety. Participants will be pre-screened by phone in order to evaluate their eligibility for the study. If approved, participants will come to the hospital for a baseline/screening visit, and will complete a structured clinical interview, clinical and quality of life questionnaires, and cognitive assessments. Enrolled participants will be given CBD solution to use for the duration of the study; participants will be instructed to self-administer 1 milliliter (ml) of the tincture under the tongue three times per day for four weeks. Throughout the treatment period, participants will return to the hospital on a weekly basis to complete questionnaires about their mood and quality of life. Participants will also return to the hospital for a final visit after four weeks of treatment to complete additional questionnaires and cognitive assessments. Phase 1 of the study was completed in early 2020.

Phase 2 of the study is a double-blind clinical trial of this solution in patients with anxiety. This double-blind trial began after the open-label trial was completed. In the same manner as the open-label trial, participants will be pre-screened by phone, and approved participants will come to the hospital for a baseline/screening visit to complete a structured clinical interview, questionnaires, and cognitive assessments. Eligible participants will also have the option to complete an hour-long MRI scan at the baseline and final visits. Enrolled participants will receive either full-spectrum CBD solution, single-compound CBD solution, or placebo solution to self-administer throughout the four week treatment period, as described above. Participants will return to the hospital weekly during the treatment period to complete questionnaires about their mood and quality of life. Participants in this phase of the study will also return for a final visit after four weeks of treatment to complete additional questionnaires, cognitive assessments, and an optional hour-long MRI scan. We are currently recruiting for Phase 2 of the study.

Condition ANXIETY NEUROSIS, Anxiety Disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Anxiety Disorders (Pediatric), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD - Pediatric), Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders (Pediatric), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD - Pediatric), Anxiety Symptoms, Anxiety Disorders, anxiety disorder, anxious
Treatment Placebo, Cannabidiol, Full-Spectrum Cannabidiol, Single-Compound Cannabidiol
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02548559
SponsorStaci Gruber, Ph.D.
Last Modified on18 April 2021


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Inclusion Criteria

or older
Native English speaker or acquired English prior to age 5
Provides informed consent
Endorses moderate or severe anxiety at the screening visit

Exclusion Criteria

Non-native English speakers
Estimated IQ < 75
Presence of serious medical illness, including liver or kidney disease, neurological disorder, or certain psychiatric disorders
History of head injury or loss of consciousness >5 minutes
Current use of cannabis or cannabinoid products >1x/month
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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