Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide.
Although it can be challenging to treat, it can be easier to manage with well-being practices. CBD oil is a common product used to restore mindfulness and balance processes within the body.
So, can it help to use CBD oil for anxiety?
It’s important to remember that CBD oil cannot replace traditional anxiety medication and treatment. CBD is not a medicine or a cure for any ailment or mental health issue – including anxiety.
However, plenty of people turn to this natural remedy, so we’ve compiled this guide where we explain the following:
- What is anxiety, and how is it commonly treated?
- What CBD oil can do for your anxiety and sense of wellbeing
- How to take CBD oil for anxiety
In this guide:
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a mix of emotions. People with anxiety may often feel an imbalance in their emotions, making them uncertain about certain environments or situations.
Specific situations can trigger anxiety, or it can happen without warning or an easily recognisable cause.
The most common feelings people have when it comes to anxiety are:
- Feelings of worry and nervousness
- Racing thoughts
- Heightened alertness
There are also physical symptoms of anxiety, including:
- Diarrhoea & Stomach Aches
- Panic attacks
- Trouble sleeping
Although these emotions are treatable with medication and talking therapies – which is often the best course of action – they can also be managed through self-care practices.
People with anxiety may be encouraged to try relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises or physical activity such as a gentle walk or yoga class.
In addition to traditional treatments, many people are turning to natural remedies like CBD to restore mindfulness and balance processes within the body.
But does CBD oil actually help anxiety?
Is CBD oil good for anxiety?
Once again, we want to clarify that CBD oil is not a medicine and cannot treat any particular ailment, including anxiety.
However, it can help to promote calm and restore balance. Both of these are processes that could make dealing with anxiety more manageable.
The way CBD oil works to encourage overall wellness is by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system involves everything from sleep, memory, appetite and pain response.
There are still many things we don’t know about the ECS, but we do know that CBD and the ECS work together to regain normal homeostasis when feelings of stress or nervousness kick in.
Thus, CBD may help regain balance and promote general wellness, making anxiety feelings feel easier to handle.
How does CBD oil help with anxiety?
To understand how CBD oil works for anxiety, we first need to explore how cannabinoids interact with the body and, more specifically, the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system consists of two primary receptors known as cannabinoid receptors. These are known as CB1 and CB2 and function in different ways.
The CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system. These regulate neurotransmitters, which can help to promote calm and mindfulness.
CB2 receptors are found in your peripheral nervous system, especially the immune system. These receptors bind with endocannabinoids to tell your ECS to take action.
If your receptors are not working as effectively, your general mental and physical well-being will not be at peak performance.
Scientists aren’t sure how CBD truly works, but many theorise that CBD stops your body’s natural endocannabinoids from breaking down, so they can work more effectively.
Therefore, by supporting normal ECS function and promoting general wellness, CBD may help anxiety.
How to take CBD oil for anxiety
If you decide you would like to take CBD oil for anxiety, there are a few things you need to consider.
One crucial factor to consider is the bioavailability of CBD, as this will significantly impact how quickly you feel the benefits.
However, the best way to take CBD oil will vary from person to person and ultimately, the method you choose is all down to personal preference.
The most popular methods are:
Quick and easy sublingual CBD oil drops
The fastest way to get a dose of CBD oil is to absorb it under your tongue, also known as the sublingual method.
You may find that simply using CBD oil drops under your tongue is the quickest way to get the CBD into your bloodstream and start doing its work.
Using drops offers better CBD bioavailability so that the effects will be more significant, and your body will be able to use more of the product.
However, this method isn’t ideal for everyone due to the earthy taste of CBD, and it isn’t always convenient to enjoy while on the go.
CBD capsules for a consistent dose
CBD capsules are often used because of the ease of taking them – simply take a CBD capsule or two in the morning or before bed.
It also means it’s easy to take while out and about if you feel you need to. Many people take CBD capsules for anxiety as you never have to worry about measuring a dose. You can take the same amount every time.
Edible CBD for a soothing snack
One of the common ways in which people are turning to incorporate CBD into their daily routine is by combining CBD with food and drink.
Making CBD smoothies, CBD brownies, hemp tea and even baking CBD cakes offer plenty of fun ways to add it to your daily routine, too.
The bioavailability is not as high as it is with the sublingual method, meaning you may need to take more of it to achieve the same results.
Topical CBD for a stress-busting massage
You can also apply CBD oil directly to your skin through topical balms and creams. This is not thought to be an effective way to help with anxiety symptoms, but it could be useful for a stress-busting massage.
Using topical CBD has a reduced bioavailability in comparison to consuming CBD as it is not directly consumed and has to make its way through the skin before entering the bloodstream.
Vaping CBD for fast results
CBD oil can also be vaped through pens and e-cigarettes. Vaping CBD offers the highest bioavailability as it will directly enter the body through the lungs.
However, the majority of CBD vape e-liquids are made from CBD isolate rather than a broad-spectrum product, meaning that it is missing many beneficial cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.
You have to purchase specialist CBD vape juice. You cannot simply add CBD oil to your vape pen, as this would be very dangerous.
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How much CBD oil do you use for anxiety?
So, how much CBD oil should you use for anxiety?
The best way to use CBD oil to promote wellness and normal homeostasis is to start with a very small dose.
For example, a single drop of CBD oil, which should usually contain around 3mg of CBD, is ideal for many first-time users, especially if you are smaller in size.
You may find you need higher doses depending on your metabolism or if you are taller or weigh more than average. If this is the case, a good base to start with is 1-5mg for every 5kg of body weight.
Then, you can 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 your ideal CBD dose.
There are CBD dosage calculators available online, but they are vague estimates at best and doing what feels best for you is likely to produce better results.
Pay close attention to your body and notice any subtle changes in your anxiety symptoms as you increase your dose. We recommend taking CBD consistently for at least one month to start to experience the benefits.
How to take CBD oil for anxiety
Choose your method
From sublingual and vaping to capsules, edibles and topicals, there is a method for everyone
Determine your dose
Start with a low dose and slowly increase it until you find the amount that works for you
Look out for side-effects
Beware that your CBD does not interact with your other medication
Give it time
Use CBD consistently for at least a month to start experiencing the benefits
Safety and side effects of CBD oil for anxiety
Since there are no established doses for taking CBD, it can be daunting for first-time users. Many people worry that they will take too much.
The Food Standards Agency recommends that healthy adults do not exceed more than 70mg of CBD per day. If you accidentally take more, the side effects should be mild and pass quickly.
The only reported side effects, which are very uncommon, are:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in mood
- Dry mouth
You may experience more side effects if your CBD interacts with other medications you are taking. This is why it is important to explore this option with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other medications.
Does CBD oil cause panic attacks?
Rather than helping with anxiety, is there a possibility that CBD oil can actually cause panic attacks?
This is a common misconception that stems from the confusion between hemp vs marijuana.
Regular cannabis use can lead to panic attacks, which leads some to wrongly assume that CBD will have a similar impact. But CBD and THC are very different.
Very few side effects have been experienced in trials of 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 indicates CBD as the cause of panic attacks.
But, if you are looking to use CBD for anxiety, we advise steering clear of any products containing THC.
What is the best CBD oil for anxiety and stress?
There are a variety of CBD products out there.
When choosing CBD oil, there are a few things to look out for. But, before we discuss what these are, you should remember that CBD should not or cannot be used as a medicine to treat anxiety.
Instead, CBD should be seen and used as a supplement in the same way you would consume vitamins and minerals that are bought over-the-counter.
Therefore, be careful of companies that claim by using their CBD, you will be able to treat your anxiety and diminish your concerns – especially if they say you can replace medication and therapy with your CBD.
You should be wary of companies making these claims, as they may not be reputable sellers.
We recommend looking for the following signs of a good CBD product from a reputable seller:
Transparent lab results
Companies that have nothing to hide with their products will openly display their lab test results on their website, or included them within the product when you receive it.
If the lab test results are not published, then you can’t be sure of what is in your product.
At best, they’re likely to have less CBD in than you want.
At worst, this could mean higher THC levels than is legal or some other compounds which could be dangerous.
Organic & sustainably produced
Choosing an organic CBD product means you’re skipping all of the potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals that you don’t want to be consuming.
This makes your product better for you, and even better for the planet.
Additionally, all parts of the production process should be sustainable – from the organic plants to the plastic-free packaging where possible.
Choosing a brand dedicated to having a positive impact on the environment is important if you want to choose a high-quality, sustainable CBD oil.
Broad-spectrum, full-spectrum or CBD isolate
Broad-spectrum CBD has no THC content but contains several other cannabinoids that can contribute to offering quicker effects and greater bioavailability using the entourage effect.
Alternatively, a CBD isolate product only has CBD compounds. This means there is no entourage effect, which may mean you see fewer benefits.
You can also buy full-spectrum CBD, which has 0.3% THC. This percentage is not enough to result in a ‘high’ and is safe for people to use, but isn’t ideal for people who get drug tested regularly.
There is no right or wrong answer for which is best when it boils down to choosing between CBD isolate vs broad-spectrum or full-spectrum products, it is simply a personal choice.
However, CBD that is broad-spectrum is best in our opinion, because you skip the THC content, but keep all of the beneficial additions such as other cannabinoids and terpenes.
The extraction method is important
Have you ever wondered how CBD is extracted?
Ensuring it uses an efficient extraction method will mean that harsh chemicals will be removed, which will increase its purity and offer a cleaner product.
The best extraction method is CO2 extraction, which is what we use at Evopure. CO2 extraction is more expensive than other methods but maintains the best quality CBD with no harmful additions.
Avoid the cheap stuff!
Cheap CBD can be low quality, and may not contain enough CBD to be beneficial.
If CBD is very cheap, it means the company is cutting corners somewhere – likely in the extraction or testing processes. This makes it at best, less effective, and at worst, unethical and perhaps even dangerous.
They’re also probably not carrying out lab test results to prove what is in their product.
This is why it’s important to always check the label to confirm that your CBD oil is tested and certified.
Final thoughts on CBD oil for anxiety
If you wish to use CBD oil to balance your mindfulness and promote general wellness, it can help restore and maintain homeostasis.
CBD oil should not be considered a medicine for an anxiety disorder – even if other brands say it is a great treatment.
Instead, using it in the same way that you would a supplement is the correct way to use it. You can use it in various ways and find different types, depending on your preference.