CBD Oil For Anxiety
Anxiety affects a large percentage of the population in the developed world, with millions of people suffering. While there are a number of prescription anxiety medications available, CBD oil provides a natural alternative that can also help with various other health issues, including chronic pain, cancer pain, and more.
Thanks to its limited side effects, CBD has the potential to be a more appealing option compared to prescription medications if further research provides positive results.
Want to know more about CBD for anxiety and current academic research into its use? This guide has everything you need to know.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a molecule derived from cannabis plants that can help with various health problems, including pain, weight loss and anxiety. There are two major cannabinoids in the cannabis plant: THC and CBD.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychological symptoms of taking cannabis, including the “high” effect. If you take THC in minimal doses, it can help with anxiety, but in large quantities it can make symptoms worse, and in some cases heavy usage can actively contribute to the development of anxiety disorders.
On the other hand, CBD can reduce anxiety if you take the correct dose. It can also help control the effects of the “high” sometimes experienced with cannabis products containing THC. Although CBD has side effects, none of them are particularly serious or harmful.
Research shows that CBD oil can help benefit people with disorders such as social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety-induced insomnia and more.
CBD for Treating Anxiety Disorders
Many people struggling with anxiety have been prescribed medication from a doctor or medical professional. The medication can work in many cases but often has a string of less than desirable side effects. Some of these side effects include:
- Energy depletion.
- Slower mental processes.
- Pain in your muscles and joints.
- Upset stomach
Despite these side effects, many people continue to take their anxiety medication because the side effects are outweighed by the benefits of the medication dramatically minimising anxiety attacks.
The best alternative to prescribed anxiety medication are cannabinoids such as CBD. They bind themselves to particular receptors in the brain, and it is here that CBD works to help combat anxiety. They also raise your serotonin levels to reduce anxiety.
Unfortunately, CBD oil is often the last resort for those looking to cure or control their anxiety, as it is still a relatively new alternative. Like many herbal remedies, people overlook it, but there is an overwhelming amount of growing evidence suggesting that CBD oil for anxiety is an excellent option.
CBD oil also proves safer and much more affordable than some drugs prescribed for anxiety. The use of CBD oil for anxiety is growing as it is proving to be helpful in the treatment of many anxiety-related disorders. Here are some of the most prominent disorders that CBD can help combat.
CBD For Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) puts you in a state of constant anxiety and stress caused by a traumatic experience or a bad injury.
One of the significant PTSD symptoms is the frequent recollection of your traumatic experience. These recollections can be stressful and vivid and can, in turn, majorly disrupt your sleep. In addition, your general mood is also negatively affected, and it numbs your responses to people and places.
Taking CBD oil and taking your counselling sessions can help reduce your symptoms and put you in a happier and more receptive state of mind.
CBD tackles PTSD by targeting the amygdala (the part of the brain that deals with fear and threat response)and reducing the mental activity there.
Another way of treating your PTSD anxiety disorder is using CBD oil with a tiny amount of THC. Of course, the CBD will still have the same effect, but the small amount of THC can also help to improve your mood.
CBD For Generalized Anxiety
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is when someone experiences unrestrained and unnecessary anxiety about a part of their life. For example, you can feel anxiety about your occupation, money and relationships with a family member or significant other.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms can include dizziness, heart palpitations, fatigue, breathing difficulty and sleeping difficulty.
Testing so far suggests that CBD treatment can reduce your stress level if you have GAD. It can also decrease the behavioural signs you get before getting an anxiety attack. It also reduces a few GAD symptoms, for example, minimising heart palpitations.
More research has to happen to work out the full benefits that CBD oil can provide to people with CAD, along with any potential side effects.
CBD For Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder that revolves around compulsive behaviour surrounding health, organisation and more.
These behaviours originate from minor obsessions caused by the disorder. For example, OCD behaviours can involve an exaggerated fear of illness and germs, or organisation behaviours like putting everything you own in a specific place and ensuring it stays there.
The symptoms of OCD can begin in small ways and will fluctuate very often throughout your life.
CBD has a positive effect on OCD symptoms. It can reduce symptoms such as anxiety (can be about germs or having specific places for your things) and unwanted compulsive thoughts. By increasing your serotonin level, CBD can also significantly improve your mood.
There is still relatively little research on CBD for OCD, so more has to be done to determine the further benefits of using it.
CBD For Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a disorder that causes you to have anxiety attacks during social interaction. Social interactions that can affect someone with a social anxiety disorder include dating, work interactions, parties, talking over the phone and more.
Social interaction can affect a person with social anxiety disorder in multiple ways, including anxiety, embarrassment, self-consciousness and sometimes fear. Symptoms of SAD can include:
- You fear judgment from other people. It doesn’t matter if you are close to the person or not.
- You constantly worry about being humiliated in social interaction.
- You worry about saying something offensive during social interaction.
Whilst doctors usually prescribe antidepressants for SAD, CBD oil can also help.
Tests such as a simulated public speaking test have concluded that CBD oil can significantly reduce stress and anxiety for those with social anxiety disorder. It can also reduce the thoughts and symptoms associated with social anxiety disorder.
CBD For Panic Disorder
Panic disorder affects people by subjecting them to intense and horrible bursts of exaggerated fear known as panic attacks. Whilst fear is an entirely natural emotional response to a dangerous situation, those with panic disorder will frequently experience fear in cases that don’t compel it.
Some symptoms of panic disorder and the panic attacks it causes include:
- Chest pains.
- Headaches and dizziness.
- Breathing problems.
- Hot and cold temperatures.
- Heart palpitations.
Whilst there needs to be more research on how well CBD oil works for relieving panic disorder, research on other anxiety disorders have noted CBD oil’s effects on panic attacks, suggesting that CBD treatment can lower the chance of panic attacks and reduce symptoms.
CBD For Clinical Depression
Clinical depression is a disorder that affects you by making you consistently depressed. It can also cause disinterest in ongoing work or activities, which can cause significant damage to your everyday life.
Numerous mental and physical symptoms can come with clinical depression. These symptoms include a lack of appetite, sleep problems, low energy, poor concentration, low self-esteem and destructive behaviour.
CBD treatment can help alleviate depression by raising your serotonin levels, which will minimise some of the symptoms. However, it’s not known if CBD is a suitable replacement for antidepressants, so more research needs to determine how effective CBD for depression is.
CBD For Anxiety Induced Insomnia
Insomnia is a disorder that makes it very difficult for you to sleep. It makes it hard for you to begin sleeping, to maintain sleep and can cause you to wake up too early. Its effect on your sleep schedule can hinder your day to day life.
Insomnia can last for a few days (transient insomnia), a few weeks (acute insomnia), or a long time (chronic insomnia).
Fortunately, CBD treatment can improve your sleep pattern and stop you from waking up too early.
As well as CBD oil, you can also apply CBD balm or cream to your skin to help with sleep deprivation.
Does CBD Oil For Anxiety Relief Have Any Side Effects?
Despite being beneficial for various anxiety disorders, CBD may still cause some minor side effects, some of which correspond with symptoms of certain disorders.
Some CBD side effects include:
- Losing your appetite
- Getting a dry mouth
- Lack of energy
There are significantly fewer side effects than you can get with CBD than with prescription anxiety medication.
However, some of the CBD side effects coincide with the symptoms of anxiety disorders such as GAD (which also gives you a lack of energy), so CBD may be ineffective at combating those specific symptoms.
The Research Into CBD For Anxiety
Several studies and clinical trials by healthcare professionals have outlined the potential benefits of CBD for treating anxiety disorders.
Research That States CBD Significantly Reduced Anxiety
A review published in the Journal of the American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics found that existing evidence states that CBD is a good treatment for anxiety symptoms for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and more.
However, few studies have investigated chronic CBD dosing. Likewise, evidence from human studies and clinical trials supports an anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) role of CBD, but this is currently limited to acute dosing, and with few studies in clinical populations.
Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, but the chronic and therapeutic effects need further study in relevant clinical populations.
Another study looking at public speaking anxiety states that pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance and significantly decreased alertness in their anticipatory speech (determined in a simulated public speaking test).
The placebo group of the test presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the main simulated public speaking test group.
Research on Sleep Deprivation
In a study looking at how anxiety impacts sleep, 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (47 participants) or poor sleep (25 participants) were treated with CBD as a supplement to regular treatment.
Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained low during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time.
What Is The Best Type Of CBD For Treating Anxiety?
There are three types of CBD that contain different parts of the cannabis plant. They are full-spectrum CBD (includes CBD and a small amount of THC), broad-spectrum CBD (includes only trace amounts of THC), and CBD isolate (CBD only).
CBD isolate is the best type of CBD oil for anxiety, as too much THC can increase your anxiety. However, full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD are also effective as long as you stick to the correct dosage prescribed by a healthcare professional.
What CBD Products Are There For Anxiety?
There are multiple different CBD products you can take for anxiety.
You can take CBD oil, the most common and popular way to take CBD. Most doctors will prescribe you this form of CBD, as it has been tested the most and has the most precise dosages.
You can also take a variety of edible marijuana derived CBD products and dietary supplements if you prefer, such as gummies, coffee, chocolates, sodas and more. These are all nonprescription CBD products and are an excellent alternative to CBD oil if you don’t like taking it.
The other option for you is CBD creams, balms, ointments and lotions. These are particularly useful for sleep disorders like insomnia due to their prolonged effects, but can also be used to treat other anxiety disorders.
Why Should You Avoid THC For Anxiety?
Whether it’s just THC or CBD products containing THC, the amount of THC is critical. If you take small amounts of THC with CBD oil, the physiological effects can help to reduce stress and to improve your sleep.
However, if you take high doses of THC with CBD oil or just have THC on its own, the effects may make you more stressed and increase the likelihood of an anxiety attack.
If you think that a small amount of THC will help you, or your doctor prescribes you products with a mix of CBD and THC, you need to remember to keep to the correct dose.
Conclusion: CBD Oil For Anxiety
Through the last decade of research, it was widely accepted that CBD could help calm and relax a person and help with sleeping patterns which can be a massive problem for those suffering from anxiety. Therefore, it can positively affect multiple anxiety disorders.
Many drugs developed to help those with anxiety mimic the natural actions of CBD oil. Because CBD oil works naturally, it does what the drugs do but better. It also has significantly less side effects than alternative anxiety medications.
When considering a supplement or natural solution for a medical disorder, you should seek medical advice. CBD oil is available by prescription with varying strengths and concentrations. Getting medical advice will help you select the best CBD oil for your requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does CBD Actually Work For Anxiety?
CBD increases your serotonin level, improving your mood and reducing stress. It can also help you sleep, so it’s effective for sleep disorders like insomnia. However, if you use CBD products with higher THC levels, they may increase your anxiety levels.
Despite CBD being effective for anxiety, there still needs to be more research on how it affects all the symptoms.
What Dosage Of CBD Oil Do I Take For Relieving Anxiety?
The amount of CBD you take will entirely depend on what anxiety disorder you have and how long you’ve had it. Generally, you will need to take 300 to 600 mg of CBD oil per day for most anxiety disorders.
However, your correct official doses will be prescribed to you by your doctor, so you shouldn’t divert from that.
How Do You Take CBD For Anxiety?
If you’re taking CBD oil for anxiety, you place your oil dosage below your tongue. Then you hold it there for sixty seconds and then swallow. If you swallow straight away, you won’t get the same effect.
If you have edible CBD products, you just need to eat/ drink the correct daily amount.
If you have CBD cream, you just need to apply the correct dosage to your skin.
Which CBD Oil Is Better For Anxiety, Full Spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate is the best CBD oil for anxiety. Both CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD have the same positive effects for those with anxiety, but full-spectrum CBD has a CBD/THC mix, meaning the THC content may increase your anxiety if the dose is too high.
Broad-spectrum CBD only contains minimal traces of THC, so it’s worth considering if you want the benefits of THC without worsening your anxiety.
What Prescription Medication Should I Not Take When Taking CBD For Anxiety?
- Blood Thinner.
- Thyroid medication.
- Heart rhythm medication.
- Seizure medications.
- Macrolide antibiotics.