Ah, commercial gyms….

I typically only lift at them when I travel and one day a week at home for “dude-brah upper” day as I like the machines and DBs.

Yesterday, I was doing some DB rows with Fat Grips. I thought I could eek out 1 more rep on my third set with 85 lb DB but nope. The DB fell 3 inches to the ground before I got the rep.

Before I could even stand up, the women next to me was in my facing yelling at me to stop dropping the weights and making noise since it was screwing up her concentration.


I could see that she was very upset about it and just opted to apologize and got back to lifting. No point in arguing.

Interesting day and a good reminder that some people are having bad days.

….and I was not even at Planet Fitness!

Enter CBD

As I walked back home, I wondered if cannabidiol aka CBD could help this person?  She was quite anxious and agitated?

I knew from previous pubmed rabbit holing there is some data on it.

Down the Rabbit Hole
Speaking of pubmed rabbit holes and anxiety . . . (anxiety being the segue here).

I brushed past a few rat studies and found some research on what is a truly an anxiety producing task for almost everyone…

….no, not showing up to work in your boxers –that was just a dream, right?

It even has a fancy nerdy name –  Glossophobia.

Did you guess it?

It is the fear of public speaking.

Jerry Seinfeld once said,

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking.  Number two is death.”

In this study (1) they used SPST -Simulated Public Speaking Test.  In short, the evil research geeks have volunteers speak for a few minutes in front of a video camera as they record changes (e.g. heart rate, blood pressure, etc).

They confirmed that Seinfeld was correct as the SPST was effective at inducing anxiety.

Next they compared the effects of a piss ton of CBD (clocking in at 300 mg) with two other drugs – ipsapirone (5 mg) and diazepam (10 mg).   Each volunteer participated in only one experimental session and they were randomly allocated, under double-blind conditions, to receive one of the drugs or placebo (1).

They demonstrated that in each trial, CBD and the two other anxiolytic drugs all attenuated anxiety induced by the SPST (1).

This is some data to show that CBD was as effective as two pharma drugs.  Plus  CBD has fewer side effects.  The downside is that only 300 mg of CBD was tested, so we don’t know if a smaller dose would be similar or not.

In a more recent study (2), they helped shed some light on CBD dosing:

“…Compared to placebo, pretreatment with 300 mg of CBD significantly reduced anxiety during the speech. No significant differences in VAMS scores were observed between groups receiving CBD 150 mg, 600 mg and placebo” (2) 

Based on this data in humans, 300 mg of CBD may be the ideal dosage to reduce anxiety.


If you want to reduce the anxiety of that upcoming killer deadlift session from hell, METCONs gone crazy, or you are one of my new clients getting ready to do hell week with lots of lifts and lactate work on the rower over 6 days . . . CBD may help.

Rock on!
Dr Mike T Nelson

PS – my favorite CBD is from Charlotte’s Web via Driven Nutrition.  It is the one I personally use along with my family.  Yes, it is an affiliate link below so I do get a few clams if you pick some up.  I will help sweeten the deal even more by giving you 15% off with the code    drmike

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1) Zuardi AW, Cosme RA, Graeff FG, Guimarães FS. Effects of ipsapirone and cannabidiol on human experimental anxiety. J Psychopharmacol. (1993) 7:82–8. doi: 10.1177/026988119300700112

2) Linares IM, Zuardi AW, Pereira LC, Queiroz RH, Mechoulam R, Guimaraes FS, et al. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999). 2019;41(1):9-14.