Health & Wellness April 22, 2020

CBD for Anxiety Relief

In more recent years the stigma around CBD has begun to shrink in the United States as the 2018 Farm Bill opened the floor for increased hemp cultivation around the country. Many citizens have since turned towards CBD products in order to relieve a variety of ailments as well as common symptoms of anxiety and generalized anxiety disorders. According to the World Health Organization, one in thirteen people lives with anxiety disorder which makes it the most common mental health disorder in the world.

People with anxiety who consume THC will often have increased symptoms which is why many turn towards CBD for help with anxiety relief. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which produces the “high” feeling from marijuana, CBD that is extracted from hemp does not contain psychoactive effects when consumed. 

At this time there is not enough clear evidence to completely understand how CBD treats anxiety but research thus far has shown CBD affects serotonin levels in the brain. As many of us know, serotonin is a chemical in our brains that has an effect on our moods, sleep patterns, digestions, and overall behavior. Regulation of serotonin can be done through medication to help treat anxiety and depression. Anti-depressants are often used as a treatment for balancing a patient’s serotonin levels but can sometimes cause negative side effects depending on the person.

It’s for this reason that we see more studies in recent years appearing where the examination of CBD as a treatment for anxiety being held.

CBD Anxiety Studies

One of the more recent double-blind studies was done in 2019 with 37 Japanese teenagers diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) and were given 300mg of CBD or a placebo once a day for a month. Symptoms were reduced in patients significantly and many sought professional therapy treatment after the study was completed.

Another study was done in 2019 researching the effectiveness of CBD as a treatment for both anxiety and insomnia with a patient pool of 103. Evidence suggested that CBD had a calming effect in the central nervous system. Nearly 80% of the subject’s anxiety improved within the first month but results for sleep varied over time.

Many studies thus far have had small sample sizes but results have generally been positive in the use of CBD as a treatment for anxiety. In the future, we should expect to see more scientific information on long term effects of the use of CBD and the effectiveness of its treatment of anxiety over time. 

CBD for Anxiety Consumption Methods

If you are curious about trying CBD products as a way to manage anxiety there are several options available for you depending on your preferences and needs.

CBD Oil and Tinctures

Oils and tinctures are one of the more commonly available forms of CBD and are popular because of fast absorption, easy measurement, and a variety of flavors and potencies. CBD oils will contain full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate extract mixed with a carrier oil such as MCT, coconut, sunflower, or hemp seed oil. They are normally taken sublingually with a dropper in order to easily measure intake and can be absorbed into the bloodstream and begin working within ten minutes or less.

CBD Edibles

CBD can be added to a variety of foods and drinks such as gummies, lozenges, and even coffee pods! CBD edibles can be easy to consume but take longer to feel the effects of CBD as they need to first be digested and metabolized in the liver. If you are someone who is seeking CBD options for anxiety, edibles might not always be the best choice for pressing moments of stress.

CBD Vape Pens

CBD can also be smoked with a vaporizer, disposable pen, or reusable pen with replaceable cartridge. Smoking CBD with a vape pen can provide you with the effects very quickly as inhalation allows for faster absorption into the bloodstream. If you are looking to be able to consume CBD on the go, or less conspicuously, then vaping may be the option for you. However, the effects of smoking CBD do not last as long as other methods and measuring the intake of CBD can be difficult.

CBD Dosage

There is no universally recognized dosage for CBD currently and no large scale clinical trials have been implemented in order to create dosage guidelines. Many recommend cautiously finding the right dosage for you by starting low and increasing intake of CBD over time as you begin to understand its effect on your body. Existing research suggests that CBD is both safe and well-tolerated by the body but everyone will have different needs meaning dosages between patients can vary. Observe how you feel as you go along and pay attention to subtle changes in your body. Everyone’s tolerance and optimal dosage are unique but if you still feel unsure then talk to a worker at your local medical dispensary or another health professional about advice on CBD.