For millions of Americans, chronic stress and anxiety are a serious problem.
More than 40 million adults struggle with some form of anxiety or stress disorder in the United States.
What’s worse is, 36% of them do not receive treatment, and of those that do, they usually take harmful medications.
Not seeking treatment may prove worse though, as it results in a 600% higher chance of being hospitalized due to a psychiatric illness in your lifetime…
So what can you do about stress and anxiety?
In this guide, we will examine one increasingly popular option for dealing with anxiety; CBD oil. You will learn:
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!
What You Should Know About CBD
Before we jump in, there are a few questions you probably have. If you’re new to CBD, here is what you should know, and some resources to help point you in the right direction:
- CBD is a cannabinoid → This is a chemical compound that naturally occurs in hemp and cannabis plants. There are 113 known cannabinoids, which can be broken down into two main categories: endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids. Endo- are made within your body, and phyto- are made in plants. Learn more about cannabinoids here.
- Your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) works with cannabinoids → Your endocannabinoid system spans millions of nerves, cells, and tissues in your body to maintain homeostasis. It works with other systems of the body to play a key role in: mood, digestion, appetite, sleep, inflammation, pain, memory, and reproduction.
- CBD helps to activate the production of endocannabinoids in your body → CBD sends signals to your body for the creation of endocannabinoids, which help to deal with inflammation, pain, anxiety, sleep, and many other symptoms of medical disorders.
- It also has other cannabinoids in it that provide a myriad of benefits → Most CBD products also have other cannabinoids such as CBG, CNG, CBC, THC, and more which all work together to provide superior relief through what is called the entourage effect.
- Preliminary research shows CBD may help with anxiety (and other medical conditions) → Since cannabidiol is still new on the scene and has only been legal in the US since 2014, there are a lot of gaps in research and questions that need to be answered still. However, initial research on CBD shows promising results and has given current researchers plenty more to study in the future.
- CBD is legal in the United States → As long as it comes from a hemp plant with less than 0.3% THC, it is considered legal in the United States, though not yet regulated by the FDA (per the 2014 Farm Bill). Trusted CBD brands report statistics from third party research labs on all of their batches to ensure safety and accuracy. To learn more about the CBD laws in the USA, read this complete guide.
- It’s affordable and comes in a wide variety of products → There are tons of different types of CBD products out there. From edibles to vapeables and everything in between, there is something for everyone, depending on the type of relief you are looking for. Shop CBD online here!
Okay, now that you know a bit about CBD and where to get started learning more, let’s get to the meat of why you’re really here: CBD for anxiety.
Why Consider CBD Oil for Anxiety?
For the 18.1% of Americans over the age of 18 who do suffer from anxiety, it can be an ongoing battle that leads to short term and long term side effects such as:
- Muscle Tension
- Increase Risk to COPD
- Worsening Asthma Symptoms
- Weakened Immune System
- Digestive Issues
- Loss of Appetite
- Heart Palpitations
- Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure
- Increased Risk of Anxiety Disorders
- Weight Gain
- And More…
Over time, this can do damage to your body in a number of ways by weakening your immune system and exposing you to higher health risks.
For your long term health – both mentally and physically – it is best to seek treatment for chronic anxiety.
Millions of Americans look to CBD oil and products to help with their anxiety and related symptoms. Initial research has shown promise, revealing several potential health benefits of taking CBD for anxiety.
In fact, this study showed that anxiety was the third most common reason for CBD use among active users, behind chronic pain, and arthritis/joint pain. Some other interesting findings by this study suggest that CBD also works well by itself and with some existing medical treatments:
- 62% of users reported using CBD to treat a medical condition
- 36% reported that CBD treats their medical condition “very well by itself”
- Another 29% reported that CBD treats their medical condition “moderately well by itself”
- 30% reported that CBD treated their condition “well in combination with conventional medicine”
- While only 4.3% reported CBD worked “not very well”
While research is still taking time to catch up, it is clear that CBD provides solid results for Americans dealing with a number of medical conditions, including chronic anxiety and anxiety disorders.
Does Taking CBD for Anxiety Work?
Let’s get right to the facts first. Here’s what research has shown so far for using CBD for anxiety:
CBD for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A few interesting human and animal studies have shown promise for the use of CBD in reducing stress and anxiety levels:
- Medium doses of CBD can help with anxiety levels – This 2019 study showed that 79.2% of subjects experienced a continuous reduction in anxiety levels while taking between 25-75mg of CBD daily.
- CBD is effective in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders – This 2015 study shows that CBD was helpful in reducing these symptoms with PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD.
- More than 30 studies have concluded CBD is effective at treating anxiety in humans – This 2015 case study shows the results of 30+ preclinical trials in humans for CBD for anxiety, which prove CBD can help alleviate symptoms of multiple anxiety disorders.
The National Institute for Drug Abuse has also stated on their website that, “CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioral and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety.”
CBD for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
Here is what research into using CBD for social anxiety disorder has shown us so far:
- CBD may benefit people with social anxiety – A 2017 study showed that cannabidiol helped to decrease anxiety in people with social fear or anxiety when it came to public speaking.
- Reduced subjective anxiety and differences in brain blood flow – This 2010 study found that, “results support the notion that CBD has anxiolytic effects that are associated with an action on limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain. This suggests a potential usefulness of CBD in ameliorating symptoms of clinically significant anxiety.”
So far, more research is being conducted and a few studies are in late clinical trials. As of right now, we can only go by the few studies we do have and the thousands of online reviews left by users of CBD for anxiety.
CBD for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Here is what scientific research tells us about the potential benefits of using CBD for PTSD:
- CBD helps treat symptoms of PTSD – This 2019 study found that 91% of patients experienced a decrease in PTSD symptom severity. They concluded that “Administration of oral CBD in addition to routine psychiatric care was associated with PTSD symptom reduction in adults with PTSD. CBD also appeared to offer relief in a subset of patients who reported frequent nightmares as a symptom of their PTSD.”
- More human trials of CBD for PTSD symptom treatment shows promise – This 2018 study concluded that “Human and animal studies suggest that CBD may offer therapeutic benefits for disorders related to inappropriate responses to traumatic memories” and that “CBD also shows an action profile with fewer side effects than the pharmacological therapy currently used to treat this type of disorder”.
As of right now, several more studies have begun to discover more about the potential benefits of CBD for people with PTSD. Early trials show promise, but more data is needed to make widespread medical conclusions.
CBD for Other Anxiety Disorders
Here is one additional study that shows evidence for the benefits of CBD for people with anxiety disorders:
- CBD can reduce anxiety and fear related to a number of disorders – This 2015 study found that “Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD, with a notable lack of anxiogenic effects.”
We will continue to update this post as more research becomes available in order to help you keep up to date with everything you need to know about CBD and its benefits for anxiety disorders.
What Are People Saying About CBD Oil for Anxiety?
In the lack of an abundance of clinical research on the effects of CBD for people with anxiety, it’s best to listen in on what early adopters of the miracle oil have to say.
The results don’t disappoint and seem to conclude with a lot of the findings made in the studies listed above. Here’s what users in this large study to say about CBD for anxiety:
- 71% of people with anxiety that take CBD use it specifically for anxiety
- 64% of people perceived CBD oil as “extremely effective” at treating anxiety – the same amount that cited prescription medications as “extremely effective”
- 33% of people perceived CBD oil as “somewhat effective” at treating anxiety – nearly the same amount that cited prescription medications as “somewhat effective” (35%)
Overall, the numbers seem to hold true to what we know about the science behind CBD. Many users claim that cannabidiol is one of the best things for their anxiety, and also that it has very little side effects when compared to their prescription medications.
How Does CBD Oil Help to Reduce Anxiety?
Looking for a more specific breakdown of just how CBD works its magic in your body to reduce the symptoms of anxiety? Here’s what you should know:
- CBD interacts with your neuroreceptors involved in serotonin production and regulation – The current scientific school of thought is that CBD works to fight anxiety by positively affecting low serotonin levels in people with anxiety.
- CBD affects the function of 5HT1A receptors in your brain – Two studies cited above showed that CBD affects these receptors in a way that allows them to release more serotonin at a faster rate due to a reduction in the regulatory feedback they provide to the body.
- CBD counteracts the anxiety-inducing effects of THC – One of the major complaints about medical marijuana (cannabis) is that it induces anxiety. However, CBD has shown evidence that it is strong enough to counteract these symptoms, allowing medical marijuana users to find relief with minimized anxiety. It also points to the fact that full-spectrum CBD products do no elicit anxious symptoms in most users.
Dosage: How Much CBD Should I Take for Anxiety?
Ultimately, finding the right dosage of CBD for anxiety comes down to a lot of factors, including:
- Severity of symptoms
- Additional medications
- Health history
- And more…
In general, taking about 1-5 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight is the suggested dosage for anxiety relief. Depending on your tolerance, metabolism, and the severity of your symptoms, you may want to adjust your dosage towards the high, medium, or low end of this range to get the best results.
Finding the right dose is not as simple as a one size fits all chart, but this table below will give you a good place to start:
CBD Dose (mg)
Note: We strongly recommend that you speak to your doctor prior to trying CBD for anxiety. While the symptoms are usually mild, and the results are usually positive, it can interact negatively with some prescription medications and health conditions. To be safe, we recommend speaking with your doctor before trying CBD.
Over time, you will learn more about how your body reacts to certain doses of CBD to find the best range for your symptoms. We suggest starting off small, then moving upwards in dosage until you get the desired results.
The nice thing about CBD is that it is safe for humans, even with doses upwards of 1,000+ mg per day – with very few subjects experiencing minor side effects. On top of that, most users don’t build a tolerance over time, so unless your symptoms change, you should be able to continue taking the same dose once you get it dialed in.
5 Tips for Taking CBD Oil for Anxiety: How to Get the Best Results
If you’re taking CBD for anxiety, it helps to know how to get the best results from your daily dosage. These tips will help you maximize your results, and minimize the time it takes to get them on a consistent basis.
1. Be Consistent – Take it Every Day
Much like medications that provide relief for anxiety symptoms, CBD works best if you take it on a regular basis, in regular doses. At first, you’ll want to start small, taking 1-3 mg per pound per day split between 1-2 daily doses.
There are tons of ways to take CBD, but for the first 30 days you should focus on using one type such as sublingual tinctures or edibles. Over time, you can experiment to find what type of CBD works best for you, but when starting out, you should stick to one method.
2. Be Patient – Give it Time
CBD oil is comprised mainly of CBD, but also of other cannabinoids that help stimulate responses in your body. Sometimes it can take time for the endocannabinoids regulated by CBD and the other cannabinoids to elevate your body’s internal levels in order to get results. You’ll want to take CBD every day consistently for at least 30 days to give it the best chance of working.
If it still hasn’t given you relief for your anxiety symptoms after this time period, you may want to consider increasing your daily dosage and making note of how it changed how you feel.
3. Talk to Your Doctor First – Yes, It’s Necessary
At the end of the day, your body is quite literally its own universe of living things that are all interacting millions of times every second to keep you alive. Needless to say, taking CBD is a bit more complicated than just taking it and waiting for results.
While the side effects are infrequent and mild, we still recommend speaking with your doctor before taking CBD to get the best results. This will help you make sure there are no concerns associated with other medications you may be taking or health conditions you have. It may also help you get started with the right type of CBD and the proper dosage, to get better results faster.
4. Document Your Results – It Will Help You in the Long Run
Just like trying to improve your results at the gym or at work – tracking your progress with CBD is essential to getting the most out of it in the long run. It’s best to keep a journal on your activities. You’ll want to track things like:
- How much did you take?
- What time are you taking it?
- How many times are you taking it daily?
- What results have you noticed?
- How long have you been taking it?
- What do you like about it?
- What don’t you like about it?
- What side effects (if any) have you noticed?
Doing this will help you to adjust your dosage as needed over time, and it will also help you to find the best way to take it to get the best results.
5. Buy from Trusted Brands – Know What You’re Taking
Many news and media outlets have reported the CBD space to be in “wild west” mode still. Due to lack of FDA regulation, and complete legalization on a nationwide basis – this statement is pretty close to the truth.
While some trusted CBD brands are known for their in-depth testing, accurate reporting, all-natural ingredients, and refined processes – this lack of regulation has led to a lot of less than reputable companies lying about their numbers and what’s in their products. In order to be safe, we recommend only purchasing from the best CBD brands that are known for being trustworthy with their products.
Is Taking CBD for Anxiety Safe?
For the most part, yes. As far as we know now, there is no lethal dose of CBD for humans and no toxic effects from the substance with doses as high as 1,500+ mg per day. However, we still always recommend that you speak with your doctor before using CBD, as it can interact negatively with the following types of medications:
- antibiotics and antimicrobials
- anticancer medications
- antiepileptic drugs (AEDs)
- blood pressure medications
- blood thinners
- cholesterol medications
- erectile dysfunction medications
- GI medications, such as to treat GERD or nausea
- heart rhythm medications
- mood medications, such as to treat anxiety, depression, or mood disorders
- pain medications
- prostate medications
Basically, the general consensus in the community right now is that CBD should not be taken in conjunction with any type of medication that includes what is known as a “grapefruit warning”.
Scientifically speaking, this occurs because CBD and other cannabinoids are metabolized by the CYP450 family of enzymes. In this family, CBD specifically interferes with CYP450 and CYP3A4, which are in charge of metabolizing a majority of prescription medications. This causes many medications to not be broken down as effectively in the body – specifically medications with this “grapefruit warning”.
The opposite can also be true – as some medications inhibit the CYP450 family, which means taking CBD in conjunction with them could limit the results you obtain from cannabidiol.
Because of the complexities in the ways that medications interact with one another, it is best to speak with your doctor before taking CBD in conjunction with other medications. Women who are nursing or pregnant should also avoid taking CBD, and should definitely talk to a doctor before considering it.
What Are the Side Effects?
For the most part, the side effects of CBD are fairly mild. Some of the more common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Altered liver enzymes (from higher doses – less common)
- Change in mood
Overall, the side effects of cannabidiol are fairly mild. Most users do not report experiencing any noticeable negative side effects, and those who do usually report minor ones that are much milder than those associated with traditional medications.
Most side effects are experienced within the first few weeks of taking CBD, while users are increasing their dosage rapidly. Once they start taking a steady amount on a daily basis, the side effects usually subside.
Generally speaking, the higher the dosage, the more frequent and less mild of side effects people experience. Usually when daily doses exceed 150mg, people begin to experience more side effects.
What’s the Best Way to Take CBD for Anxiety?
Honestly, it all depends on your personal preferences and how your body takes to it. For the most part, these methods of consumption are the most popular among users:
Many people prefer edibles and tinctures because they are easy to take, affordable, come in many flavors, and are easy to dose. On top of that, they seem to provide some of the higher bioavailabilities (the amount your body can absorb) when compared to other products.
On top of that, CBD tinctures and vape/flower products tend to have the best mixture of cannabinoids, which help to enhance results through the entourage effect. The beauty of vape and flower products is the wide variety of strains that allow you to have more control over the cannabinoid levels in each dose.
The only real way to find out the best way to take CBD for your anxiety is to take it consistently on a daily basis, then slowly try new methods until you find what works best for you. Overall, everyone is different, so you may find what works best for someone else isn’t best for you.
What Are the Best CBD Products for Anxiety?
There are hundreds of CBD products for anxiety available on the market, but the ones that stick out most to us are:
Learn More: You Might Also Be Interested In These Resources
Looking to learn even more about CBD and how it may help with your anxiety? Here are some resources we have created just for you:
- What is CBD & How Does it Work?
- What Are Cannabinoids?
- Can CBD Get You High?
- What Are the Benefits of CBD?
- Is CBD Legal?
- How is CBD Oil Made?
- CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil – What’s the Difference?
Shop CBD for Anxiety Online: HelpingPot.com
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Whether you’re looking for edibles, tinctures, hemp oil, or anything in between, we’ve got you covered with the best products from trusted brands.
Also, be sure to check out our CBD Blog to find out even more about the latest industry news, great deals, FAQ, benefits of CBD, and more!
Thanks for reading along with us. Hopefully this guide helped you to understand a bit more about taking CBD for anxiety, and how it may be able to help you get relief from your symptoms. If you have questions, please ask us in the comment section below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
At HelpingPot, our mission is to provide you with the educational resources to find the best solution for your needs – while getting great deals on trusted products. We believe in a more natural approach to medicine and relief for medical conditions and are proud to be a part of the growing CBD industry that is changing the way we think about healthcare for millions of Americans.