Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States, affecting at least 40 million adults. That’s a lot of people who could potentially benefit from CBD oil, which is shown to help reduce anxiety. But, many people misunderstand CBD and its close relation with marijuana.
In fact, CBD oil is entirely safe and non-psychoactive and helps promote relaxation. Let’s dive deeper and understand how it can help you bring down anxiety.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Unlike THC, the other well-known compound in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive. That means it won’t get you high.
CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis or hemp plant and then adding it to a carrier oil, such as MCT oil or coconut oil. CBD oil has a wide range of potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety.
Does CBD Work
No medications containing CBD have yet been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for anxiety. CBD has, however, shown promise as an effective treatment for anxiety in various studies.
Study 1: Researchers tested CBD on a group with generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD) and patients undergoing a simulated public speaking test (SPST) – a common anxiety testing method – in 2011. They tested another group with placebo and compared the results. The former group, which was given CBD, exhibited reduced anxiety and discomfort.
Study 1: On another occasion in 2019, researchers tested men undergoing SPST with different CBD doses: 150 mg, 300 mg, and 600mg. Again, another group was given a placebo, and the results were compared.
Surprisingly, only the group with 300 mg exhibited reduced anxiety during the speech, while 150 mg and 600 mg doses did nothing significant. The results proved CBD to be effective in reducing anxiety, but dosage played an essential part in it.
Study 3: Another study in 2019 included lower CBD doses than similar clinical experiments. The test group was divided into three groups that consumed 25 mg, 50 mg, and 75 mg of CBD per day.
Small doses made it affordable and accessible for the test group to continue using CBD in their daily lives and showed if the low doses were effective. Most participants reported reduced anxiety levels and better sleep quality within the first month. The decrease in anxiety was consistent, but the sleep quality varied.
Depression & Anxiety
A 2020 research comprising 397 patients with various ailments tested CBD oil’s effects. Those suffering from non-cancerous pain and mental health conditions experienced remarkable improvement in anxiety and depression. Plus, they also reported improvement in their abilities to perform routine tasks. So, along with depression, the studies showed noticeable pain relief as well.
A small-scale study in 2019 comprised 11 patients with PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. All of them reported a reduction in symptoms’ severity upon oral CBD consumption with regular psychiatric care. CBD consumption in scientific research has also shown to benefit those struggling with THC addiction.
When the two drugs are combined, they form what’s known as the “entourage effect.” Wikipedia defines it as: “The entourage effect is a proposed mechanism by which cannabis compounds other than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) act synergistically with it to modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant.”
In simple words, CBD diminishes THC’s psychoactive effects while THC amplifies CBD’s relieving effects. The two create a well-balanced experience and reduce PTSD symptoms.
Exposure therapy – a psychological treatment that aims to help people confront their fears and anxieties – is an effective treatment for phobias. Some research case studies also indicate that CBD can amplify the exposure therapy’s effects and help people overcome their fears fast. In a 2010 study, CBD was shown to alleviate symptoms of social anxiety in individuals with social anxiety disorder.
How To Use CBD For Anxiety?
Now that we know how effective CBD can be for anxiety, the next step is to learn how to use it. Here are some ways you can use CBD to reduce anxiety:
CBD oil : You can use CBD oil by placing a few drops under your tongue and holding it there for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. This method is known as sublingual administration and is said to be one of the most effective ways to use CBD.
CBD inhalers: CBD inhaling accessories such as vapes are a new product on the market and can be found online or at retail stores. Vaping CBD is said to be one of the most effective ways to use it, as it enters the body directly.
CBD patches: CBD patches are similar to topicals but are a more convenient option for those who don’t want to apply something directly to their skin.
CBD edibles: CBD edibles are an excellent option for those who don’t like the taste of CBD oil or for those who want a more convenient option. You can find CBD gummies, chocolates, and other edibles at online CBD stores.
CBD topicals: CBD topicals are another convenient option and can be found in the form of creams, lotions, and balms. You can apply them directly to the areas of your body that are causing you anxiety, and they will work to soothe and relax you.
No matter how you use CBD, make sure to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed.
What Are The Recommended Dosages?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as everyone is different and will react differently to CBD, so it’s important to find what works best for you. The ideal CBD dosage will vary depending on a number of factors, including your weight, age, and the severity of your anxiety. This is why experts suggest starting small and working your way up depending on how your body reacts.
The following are some dosage recommendations for different conditions after many clinical trials:
- 600 mg for SAD patients in a speech simulation.
- 300 mg for male patients in a speech simulation.
Some trials also suggested lower ranges, such as:
- 25 to 75 mg for general anxiety and/or sleep issues.
- 33 to 49 mg a day for PTSD, with regular psychiatric treatment
However, remember that these dosage values are not for everyone; consult a doctor and monitor your results under their supervision. Why is that important? Because there is always a possibility of side effects when taking any medication, including a natural one.
Are There Any Side Effects?
CBD is considered a safe compound with few side effects, but some people may still experience them. The most common side effects of CBD include:
Dry mouth: Dry mouth is a common side effect of CBD and is caused by the compound’s ability to decrease saliva production.
Drowsiness: CBD can cause drowsiness in some people, especially at higher doses. This is why starting with a low dose is important and increasing gradually as needed.
Diarrhea: Diarrhea is another common side effect of CBD and is usually caused by the body’s inability to absorb the compound.
Other than these common side effects, there have been no reports of severe adverse reactions to CBD. However, it’s important to remember that everyone is different and will react differently to CBD. If you experience any severe side effects, stop taking CBD and consult a doctor immediately.
In conclusion, CBD is a promising treatment for anxiety that has been shown to be effective in clinical trials. It’s safe, has few side effects, and is available in various forms, making it easy to find the right one for you. Still have questions? Our FAQs section might have the answers for you.