Does CBD oil work for anxiety?
This is a topic that’s discussed a lot lately, and a lot of the discussion is based on rumour.
While personal experiences are valuable, it’s time to dig into the research studies that have taken place so far so that we can begin to get to the facts.
CBD oil for anxiety is a topic that’s been trending more and more over the last few months, with many positive reviews coming from people who claim that CBD oil has changed their lives.
Despite this, it’s crucial to stay cautious and do your own research, because CBD is still relatively new to the health supplement scene and research studies still have a long way to go when it comes to the CBD oil/anxiety connection.
With that in mind, we thought we’d go into what those studies have found so far, how CBD, anxiety and related conditions interact with each other, and how best to go about using CBD oil for anxiety, UK or worldwide.
Let’s start with the basics – what has been observed so far regarding how CBD oil benefits anxiety?
CBD Anxiety Studies: What Does the Science Say?
First off, there are a variety of more general studies that have found a lot of beneficial results from using CBD to help treat a variety of different conditions, so to learn more about that check out our general post on the Benefits of CBD Oil.
When it comes to anxiety specifically, studies have been very positive, perhaps more positive than most other conditions that have been found to be successfully treated by CBD oil, and a large part of the reason for this is likely the way CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid systems in order to help manage stress and remove tension.
One 2015 study into CBD’s effects on stress and anxiety conclusively stated that CBD is effective in reducing anxiety behaviours caused by multiple disorders such as “PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD and SAD”, while also finding that the CBD’s effect on the subjects was “notably free of anxiogenic effects”.
In other words, it doesn’t pose a risk of increased anxiety, which many pre-existing anxiety medications and antipsychotics ironically do!
A slightly more recent (2019) study into the effects of CBD for anxiety also pointed to CBD posing a benefit for anxiety treatment, while simultaneously noting the very small risk of side effects and stating that “CBD appears to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications”.
While days are early and more studies are required, especially more randomized trials focusing on actual clinical patients, so far the results are very promising for cannabis oil anxiety treatment.
This study into CBD as a treatment for PTSD and other disorders related to “inappropriate responses to traumatic memories” similarly concluded that not only does CBD hold potential as a future PTSD treatment, but also shows “an action profile with fewer side effects than the pharmacological therapy currently used to treat this type of disorder.”
Other studies into CBD’s effects on neurological and neuropsychiatric effects have not only found it beneficial for treating anxiety (once again noting the lack of side effects) but have also found positive effects in using CBD oil to reduce social anxiety in public speakers.
We have to urge caution and remind you that these studies are still early in comparison to established medications, but it is also worthy of note that results so far, are looking bright.
Cannabis Oil for Anxiety? Don’t Cannabis Smokers Occasionally Suffer From Panic Attacks?!
Panic attacks from smoking cannabis recreationally are a side effect that can occur. While studies into what exactly causes this are inconclusive and in early days, very few side effects have been experienced in trials into CBD, which has led many to believe that THC is behind the cannabis-related anxiety that some have experienced.
Either way, you’ll be glad to know that none of the existing studies have pointed to CBD as the culprit.
But if all this is true, how is CBD oil good for anxiety?
It will likely be years before anyone can 100% conclusively answer this question, but the answer almost certainly lies in the endocannabinoid system.
This system within the human body is a relatively new discovery but has been found to communicate with all of our other internal systems and help to balance them out and promote homeostasis.
It does this through a series of “locks and keys”, otherwise known as cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoids. CBD is one of these “keys” and plays a huge part in regulating the endocannabinoid system.
To read more about how the endocannabinoid system interacts with the rest of the human body and helps to promote a state of calm, read our full post on the topic here.
But even if you trust all the studies so far and are willing to try CBD oil for anxiety, UK regulations are still developing and there is no official recommended dosage, so how do you know how to use CBD oil for anxiety and depression, and perhaps more importantly, how much to take?
We can explain:
How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety
There are a variety of methods regarding how to take hemp oil for anxiety. We have posted a full guide on how to take CBD oil so we recommend checking that out for an in-depth look on the different methods of ingesting CBD.
However, we would argue that the best way to take CBD oil to help with anxiety depends on you and your own anxiety symptoms.
For example, the fastest way to get a dose of CBD oil is to either vape it or dissolve it under your tongue. Because of this, if you are out and about, you may find that vaping or simply using CBD oil drops under your tongue are the quickest way to get the CBD into your bloodstream and start doing its work.
However, the majority of CBD vape e-liquids are made from CBD isolate which vapes more smoothly but is, unfortunately, 99% CBD meaning it is missing many of the other cannabinoids and beneficial ingredients of the hemp plant, including 112 other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and more.
As a result, it appears your best options are to find an e-liquid that does contain full spectrum CBD (the real stuff containing the entire plant) which may be expensive, or to simply use a CBD oil dropper, maybe with a spray top for convenience.
Realistically, it all depends on you, what you find the most convenient to take and how much you wish to take each time.
One of the more recent ways in which people are turning to incorporate CBD into their daily routine is cooking with CBD. From putting it into smoothies, brownies, tea and even baking CBD cakes, there are plenty fun ways to add it to your daily routine.
Which brings us to the next question:
CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety
There are no established doses for taking CBD for anxiety.
While this may sound worrying, it’s worth remembering there are no established side effects worth worrying about either.
As a result, the best way to use CBD oil to treat anxiety is to start with a very small dose (say, a single drop of CBD oil, which should usually contain around 3mg of CBD in a full spectrum CBD oil) and continue to increase it over time.
You will likely find that it is more and more effective as you increase the dosage until you hit the point of diminishing returns and this is no longer the case. When you hit this point, you have probably found the ideal CBD dose for anxiety (for you personally).
There are CBD dosage calculators available online but in all honesty, they are vague estimates at best and doing what feels best for you is likely to produce better results.
Best CBD Oil for Anxiety UK
There are a variety of CBD oil products out there, some high quality from companies that do it for the love of the plant, others dangerous cash grabs from companies that have simply heard that CBD is trending right now.
Deciding which brands are which will take some research of your own and some careful consideration, but when it comes to the actual product, you want to make sure your CBD oil is:
- Full spectrum (if it doesn’t say it is, it isn’t)
- Organic (for your own health)
- Ethically grown (for the planet)
- Has nothing else added (many add other ingredients and oils which only dilutes the CBD and reduces its effectiveness)
As long as your CBD oil is legal, and all of the above, it is likely to be good enough quality to use to help manage your anxiety. Of course, even once you’ve got your CBD oil and begun to take it, the question remains of how long for CBD oil to work for anxiety.
The answer is not as simple as you might assume:
How Long Does it Take for CBD Oil to Work for Anxiety?
Once again, this varies from person to person and can depend on your own endocannabinoid system, the severity of your anxiety, the CBD content of the CBD oil you’re using, and other variables.
In terms of long term improvements from regular use, studies are ongoing and there is no single answer.
However, it should go without saying that the earlier you begin taking a CBD supplement, the earlier you can expect to see beneficial results.
Many existing CBD oil for anxiety reviews written by people who have tried it out for themselves seem to suggest an almost instant improvement, but this isn’t backed by any medical evidence yet and likely varies from person to person.
The question of “does CBD oil help anxiety?” needs a little more time to be answered conclusively. After all, anxiety is a complicated condition that affects many people in many different ways.
CBD is similarly not 100% black and white when it comes to its effects, so we need to understand it a lot more before we can make 100% objective statements about its efficacy.
Despite all of this, things are so far looking positive for the future, and we highly recommend keeping your eyes on the whole thing to see how it develops!