Even though THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, will often get a pretty bad reputation for intoxicating the user and possibly inducing anxiety in them, cannabidiol or CBD, has seen a growing popularity among those who are looking for natural ways to relieve their anxiety.
And it’s not just a passing fancy: researchers actually support the claim that CBD is good for anxiety and may improve the patient’s mental well-being in many anxiety conditions. To be more precise, more than half of adults (51%) in the US who use CBD products use them for stress relief.
Still, CBD oil for anxiety isn’t legally an anxiolytic compound, so it’s more or less up to a doctor who specializes in administering cannabis to decide whether CBD oils are the right option for treating your anxiety.
In this article, the team at Smokey News will go over the latest science, helping you better understand what CBD can do for you regarding stress relief and how to use the compound safely.
Using CBD for Anxiety: What Does Science Say?
Currently, the FDA, or the Food and Drug Administration, has yet to approve CBD products for treating anxiety. Still, research indicates that these oils and products can be highly effective for stress relief.
A study dating back to 2011 tested CBD on healthy participants and patients previously diagnosed with SAD or social anxiety disorder. Both groups underwent an SPST (simulated public speaking test), a standard trial method.
The results suggest that CBD-based compounds managed to reduce discomfort and anxiety in participants diagnosed with generalized anxiety, which more or less had the same anxiety levels as the other control group taking part in the study.
Fast forward to 2019, another trial compared the effects of three different CBD doses of 150, 300, and 600 milligrams along with a placebo in participants, who again underwent SPST testing. Compared to the placebo, the dose of 300 milligrams significantly reduced anxiety during the speech tests, but the smaller and the larger quantities failed to do the same. The results suggest that dosage plays a key role when it comes to CBD oils for anxiety and that more of the compound won’t necessarily mean better outcomes.
At the same time, another study from the same year used much lower doses than other studies at the time (25, 50, and 75 milligrams). Participants were sorted into three groups, with each group consuming one of the three dosages daily. The results suggested that even these doses can prove effective. Depression symptoms in the three groups decreased only after a month, along with improved sleep quality. Also, only three patients have reported unwanted side effects from taking CBD.
The Best CBD for Anxiety?
According to a 2020 study, the effects of CBD oil in varying doses can help patients dealing with various health issues. Patients with mental health or non-cancer pain symptoms have seen significant improvements in depression and anxiety after using CBD. Research also suggested that CBD for stress relief may also lead to substantial pain relief.
Other studies suggest that CBD oil for anxiety can do even more than ease stress. A small 2009 study found that with oral CBD consumption combined with routine psychiatric care, PTSD patients experienced decreased symptom severity.
There’s also research evidence that suggests that CBD combined with THC may also help reduce post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. The two substances, when taken simultaneously, create the “entourage effect,” where THC boosts the effects of CBD, and the effects of THC are decreased by CBD, creating an overall better-rounded experience for the user.
At the same time, there’s research that suggests that CBD compounds may also help people who participate in exposure therapy. CBD oils can assist patients who have problems dissociating some cues with fear responses.
How to Use CBD for Stress Relief?
Because there’s still no official FDA guidance, optimal CBD use for anxiety will probably vary from individual to individual. Also, more experienced users will advise experimenting with different methods as some may work better for some people than others. That said, CBD can be consumed in the following ways:
- CBD tinctures, and oils, which are consumed orally with the help of dropper bottles.
- CBD gummies in various flavors (mostly fruit and sweet). Naturally, these are chewable.
- CBD sprays that come in nozzle bottles, and users spray them directly in the mouth.
- CBD capsules, tablets, or soft gels that should be taken like other pills.
- Flowers or dried hemp plants that patients will need to smoke.
- CBD vapes that heat the oil without the need for ignition. Patients only need to inhale the vapor.
- CBD gels and creams that administer the compound through the skin topically. This is more popular for localized treatments.
The best CBD for anxiety will probably be different for everyone. If you are also interested in using these compounds, you might want to experiment with different methods to see which effectively addresses your anxiety symptoms.
Also, you should know that CBD absorption rates tend to differ. For instance, the compound might absorb faster in the bloodstream if you smoke or vape it instead of eating it.
Dosage for Anxiety
It’s also necessary to identify the correct dosage to ease your anxiety. Experts recommend starting with smaller dosages and increasing them slowly, depending on your reaction. The available data recommends different dosages for different cases, and so far, some studies suggest taking higher doses right from the start. Still, some trials recommend lower CBD doses for stress relief.
As such, these experts recommend 25 to 75 milligrams of CBD for sleep problems and generalized anxiety and 33 to 49 milligrams daily for treating post-traumatic stress disorder combined with regular psychiatric treatment.
Still, a growing body of studies indicates that different patients will experience stress relief from different doses (generally ranging from 40 to 300 milligrams daily). That said, finding the best CBD for anxiety (both dosage and administration method) will include a bit of trial and error for some users.
Are There Any Potential Side Effects?
The WHO (World Health Organization) has deemed CBD well-tolerated and generally safe, with only a few studies reporting a handful of negative effects.
Still, using CBD while taking other meds may pose a few risks. It may lead to the substances interacting, leading to unwanted effects, including appetite changes, weight gain, stomach pains, and drowsiness.
Also, some experts state that people with existing liver injuries or any preexisting liver conditions, along with patients on different meds that can injure the liver, should be cautious when utilizing CBD for stress relief.
Always Look for Expert Help
CBD has well-documented efficacy when it comes to relieving anxiety and depression symptoms. Still, before you use the compound, it’s best to consult with experts on the subject just to be on the safe side. As such, you can always come to us to learn more about CBD, but we also recommend that you schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss whether CBD is the right option for you.