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How should I use CBD to Help Anxiety?

Having occasional feelings of sadness or anxiety is a normal part of life, but some people experience excessive and frequent anxiety more than others. These feelings can affect a person’s day to day life and may prevent them from functioning normally. In 2019, it is estimated that 4% of the global population of 275 million people in the world suffers from anxiety. 62% of these people are female, while 28% are male sufferers. 

Some people with anxiety disorders don’t like taking anxiety medications because they experience adverse side effects. That is why there’s a growing number of people taking products with CBD to help them manage their anxiety. This article will tell us more about anxiety and how we can use CBD to help with the disorder.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the feeling of fear or apprehension. It’s also characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.  People with anxiety may sometimes avoid certain situations and may have recurring intrusive thoughts and concerns. In extreme cases, anxiety may prevent you from doing normal things like crossing the street or leaving your home. 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder but they are treatable. However, if left untreated, the anxiety can get worse. 

General Anxiety Disorder

General anxiety disorder or GAD is the excessive, exaggerated worry about everyday life for no obvious reason. Some people with GAD may be overly concerned about health, work, family, and money, among other things. Additionally, in people with generalized anxiety disorder, the worry is unrealistic or out of proportion to the situation. This can prevent them from doing their daily activities and can affect their quality of life. 

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that causes panic attacks with feelings of terror even when there is no real threat or danger. People with panic disorder may feel that they are losing control and may feel physical symptoms. Panic attacks can happen suddenly and may leave people with this disorder in fear of having another attack. That is why people with panic disorder tend to avoid places where they have had attacks. 

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder, sometimes called social phobia, is when human interactions cause significant anxiety, self-consciousness, and embarrassment. People with this disorder may fear being talked about or judged by other people as well as in public speaking. People with social anxiety disorder tend to avoid other people because of these fears. This disorder can affect a person’s relationships, daily routines, and other activities.

Symptoms of Anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety depend on each person but there are usually physical symptoms such as a fast heartbeat, chest or stomach pain, sweating, and breathing difficulties. Other common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Having difficulty controlling worry

There are two main treatments for anxiety disorders: medications and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy involves talking to a therapist to reduce the anxiety symptoms. The most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioural therapy. It focuses on teaching patients specific skills to improve their symptoms and return to the activities that they have avoided. 

Can I use CBD oil to help my Anxiety?

Yes. You can use CBD oil products to relieve your anxiety symptoms and help you get through the day. CBD works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system, while the CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system. It’s not yet clear how CBD exactly works in the brain but it is said that it also alters the “feel good” chemical in the brain called serotonin. Although CBD is one of the main active ingredients found in the cannabis plant along with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it’s directly derived from the hemp plant. It will not cause psychoactive effects and will not cause you to feel high. 

Due to the ongoing discovery of the health benefits that we can get from CBD, a lot of brands have been coming up with hemp-derived CBD products to offer. The popularity of CBD products also increased in recent years as they are suggested to be a good natural alternative to conventional drugs. If you want to treat your anxiety without taking medications, then using CBD is a great option.

Research on CBD for Anxiety

Research on CBD as an effective treatment is still ongoing. But here are some clinical studies on CBD and how it can help treat anxiety.

In 2015, a review by the Journal of the American Society of Neurotherapeutics suggested that CBD has the potential to treat anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and general anxiety disorder.

Another study was published in 2019 by the Permanente Journal wherein the researchers studied the potential therapeutic effects of CBD on 72 individuals with anxiety and poor sleep quality. After the CBD treatment, 79% of the patients experienced a decrease in their anxiety levels, and 66.7% saw an improvement in their sleep scores.  

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also suggests that when they conducted a study on CBD with rat models with general anxiety disorder, results showed that CBD reduced their stress levels as well as their heart rate.

The use of CBD oils for anxiety looks promising based on different studies. However, more research is needed as there’s still a lot we don’t know about this compound and its full potential benefits.

Things to Consider

If you experience anxiety and want to try using CBD products, there are several things that you need to consider, including the type of CBD and CBD products, potency, and the manufacturer. 

Manufacturer

Make sure to read the product label and that the CBD product that you are going to buy has a certificate of analysis (COA) from a third-party lab. This is to determine whether the product contains the quantities of CBD that the manufacturer claims. Additionally, this will also ensure that the product does not contain toxic chemicals like heavy metals or any other harmful substances.

Potency

Knowing the potency of your CBD product is also important to consider as there is no “correct” dosage of CBD. CBD products usually display dosages in milligrams (mg), and since we don’t have standard dosing for CBD, it’s best to start with the lowest possible dosage and increase them to find the minimum effective dosage.

Consult with your healthcare provider before using CBD especially if you have a medical condition as it can cause adverse effects such as diarrhoea, fatigue, and dry mouth when taken the wrong way. CBD can also interact with other drugs (such as blood thinners) that you are taking.

Types of CBD 

There are three main types of CBD, containing different concentrations and compounds.

  • Full-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum products include all parts of the cannabis plant and 0.3% THC.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD. Broad-spectrum products contain most of the compounds from the plant except THC.
  • CBD Isolate. CBD isolate contains only CBD, with no other cannabinoids or THC.

Types of CBD Products 

There are different types of CBD products and some people may prefer one type over another, depending on how they want to use it.

  • CBD Oils and Tinctures. CBD oils and tinctures are usually combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil, hemp oil, or MCT oil. They are usually taken sublingually (under the tongue) and are known to provide the quickest effects.
  • CBD Edibles. CBD edibles are the most popular way to take CBD as they are discreet and easy to dose. They can come in gummies and capsules and people prefer taking CBD edibles to mask the bitter taste of the plant. However, it would take longer (at least 30 to 45 minutes) for the effects to kick in as they need to pass through the digestive tract.
  • CBD Vaporizers. You can also get CBD through smoking or vaping. It’s one of the quickest ways to get CBD as the product will go straight to your lungs.  However, the long-term effects of vaping or smoking CBD may not be good for you.
  • CBD Creams and Lotions. CBD topicals such as creams and lotions can be used by applying the product directly to the affected. Effects can be felt within a few minutes after applying.

Top CBD Oils for Anxiety

Here are the top CBD oil products on CBD Shopy that you can check out if you plan to use CBD oil for anxiety:

  1. CBD Oil’s Full Spectrum CBD Oil (1000mg): full-spectrum, organic hemp, non-GMO hemp
  2. Trip Orange Blossom CBD Oil (1000mg): broad-spectrum, coconut MCT oil, THC-free, whole-plant hemp extract
  3. Hempura Full-Spectrum Original CBD Oil (1000mg): full-spectrum, CO2 extraction method, all-natural ingredients

Further Reading: How Does CBD Make You Feel?