Loud and Clear – Can CBD Control the Nerves of Public Speaking?

For some people speaking in public is exciting, exhilarating and effortless. For many others, it’s a terrifying experience and one to avoid at all costs. But it’s something that most of us will have to face at some time, maybe on a regular basis. In this situation, can CBD help control the nerves of public speaking?

When we talk about speaking or performing in public we tend to think of a stage with a large audience. We might be there to give a talk or perform in a play. In reality, public speaking usually involves a much smaller real-life audience. And sometimes a smaller audience is scarier to deal with.

However, it could also involve an unseen audience via social media, an audience that is impossible to judge and that doesn’t provide an immediate reaction.

Public Speaking Anxiety in the News

In May 2021, tennis player Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open rather than face the pressures of press conferences. These situations are obligatory for players as part of tournament and sponsorship rules. But they put previously unrecognised strain on players who may not have the mental strength to cope.

In a statement, Osaka said that press conferences caused her “huge waves of anxiety”. She went on to say she “thought it was better to exercise self‑care and skip the press conferences”. Her brave actions have put a spotlight on public speaking for anyone with anxiety or mental health issues. The organisers, rather than acknowledge the pressures of press conferences, slapped Osaka with a $15,0000 fine.

Speaking Out Loud Can Affect Everyone

However, speaking in public can be difficult for most people, regardless of their mental health. Nor are they likely to have to face global attention, unlike Osaka.

Let’s think about some of the major occasions when regular people might be required to speak in front of others – times when the nerves can kick in:

  • Wedding speech
  • Performing in a play or a band
  • Being interviewed on TV, radio or online
  • Presenting a ceremony or directing a group of people

We may have found ourselves in at least one of these situations or avoided them at all costs. The anxiety brought on by these occasions can be understood, if not felt directly, by most people.

Public speaking stress

But there are many more basic daily situations that can cause our brains to play havoc with our speech:

  • Job interview
  • Work presentation
  • Spoken or practical exam
  • Raising a point in a meeting
  • Complaining to a manager
  • Recording a video or phone message
  • Dinner party or social gathering

How Can CBD Help?

The fear of public speaking is an expression of nervous anxiety. We feel stressed, maybe nauseous while heartbeat and breathing rates go through the roof. CBD has long been associated with positively reducing this state of anxiety.

Many people claim CBD can help them manage a wide variety of health issues. These range from decent sleep to serious diseases. Unfortunately, there is little or no research to support any of these claims.

speaking with cannabis

Luckily, there is clinical research to support the claims that CBD helps reduce anxiety. Therefore, we can apply the use of CBD for anxiety to public speaking, which can cause similar symptoms.

You may also like to read about : CBD for anger management

Where’s the Evidence?

Millions of people now take CBD on a regular or occasional basis, believing it counters anxiety, stress or panic attacks. As with cannabis, which has been used for centuries to induce calm, CBD is known to reduce stress levels. This involves acting on hormones, like cortisol, which creates stress, while reducing heart and breathing rates.

One study from 2011 specifically looked at the effects of CBD on public speaking. It took a group of students, some with Social Anxiety Disorder and measured their psychological and physical responses to public speaking. It found there were clear reductions in stress in the group that had taken CBD. Therefore, their ability to speak in public was improved:

“Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the control group”.

How Do I Take It?

Taking CBD comes down to necessity and taste. If you get a little nervous before speaking in public, however minor an event it might seem, some CBD on the day could be the answer.

Take a CBD gummy or capsule when you wake, and maybe another chew closer to the time. This could keep nerves at bay. For a faster hit, CBD oil, tincture or spray may stop those nerves from building.


However, you might need to speak in public more often, say for work. It may be beneficial then to take a daily dose of CBD. This could be a capsule first thing or regular drops of CBD oil throughout the day. Alternatively, a CBD drink at night could help you sleep and promote a sense of calm when you wake.

Can Anything Else Help Me With Public Speaking Nerves?

Studies have shown that CBD can help with the anxiety of public speaking, as well as general stress felt by everybody. However, if you are looking to complement CBD with some holistic approaches, these have been known to help:

  • Practice and preparation. There is no substitute for being prepared. Get friends to listen to your speech or presentation. Record yourself then self-critique the playback. Speak into a mirror. The confidence of knowing you have practised is immeasurable.
  • Meditation. Regular meditation can calm the mind and still the chattering negative thoughts that can criticise and interrupt your public speaking.

  • Breathing techniques. Learning to breathe more deeply and at a slower rate can reduce a racing heart and calm the nervous system.
  • Visualisation. Similar to meditation and practising out loud, visualise every step of speaking in public. Even if you don’t know when you’ll have to speak up, visualising yourself as a clear and confident speaker can help.
  • Hypnotherapy. If social speaking becomes crippling, it can affect your job or creative performance. In this case, it might be worth considering hypnotherapy with a registered practitioner.

And Finally

With CBD becoming so popular and understood, it may be time to consider its benefits for public speaking. Traditionally – particularly on a wedding day – a whiskey or two might have steadied the nerves. It wouldn’t, unfortunately, make the speech any clearer; probably less so. On the other hand, CBD could be the support you need to help you raise your voice with confidence.

The post Loud and Clear – Can CBD Control the Nerves of Public Speaking? first appeared on CBD Village UK.

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