How To Use CBD Oil For Anxiety 2022: Everything You Need to Know

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Reviewed by Sutton, D., MD

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how to use cbd oil for anxiety

Anxiety affects people in different ways. It is our body’s natural, sometimes healthy response to stress. Since we’re designed to survive, our minds assume that more things threaten us than they do, making us more anxious than needed. Sometimes, the feelings worsen over time or linger and do not go away. For many, it can feel unbearable.

But anxiety[1] can be so much more than these intense feelings. It becomes a problem when it interferes with our work performance and everyday life. At this period, it is required that we control it. While many effective treatments are available, some people prefer to use natural products like CBD oil for anxiety. 

CBD oil is a natural, plant-based oil (found in marijuana plants) that is effective in reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality in people with social anxiety[2] disorder, as denoted in several studies[3]. It does not contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, so it won’t make you high. 

What Does CBD Oil Do For Anxiety?

CBD oil functions via interaction with the endocannabinoid in the body’s system. This is the system that helps regulate sleep, mood, and pain. It helps to increase levels of endocannabinoids in the body, which can help to reduce anxiety.

Also, CBD influences GPCRs (G protein-coupled receptors) in the central nervous system that contain pain and glycine receptors which manage serotonin. The way these receptors are impacted by the intake of CBD provides some people with a calming effect.

CBD oil for anxiety[4] can help to reduce anxiety by:

  • Protecting the brain: This is by reducing the damaging effects of stress hormones in the body and reducing the symptoms of anxiety disorders like PTSD, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
  • They reduce the level of stress hormones in the body, such as cortisol.
  • Enhancing the effects of serotonin: Serotonin[5] is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and anxiety. CBD oil interacts with the serotonin receptors in the brain. It increases serotonin levels, which improves your mood and helps you feel more relaxed.
  • Reducing inflammation: This is to alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms.

Is CBD Oil or Hemp Oil Better For Anxiety?

Hemp oil and CBD oil are very different, even though they’re created from parts of the same plant. Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the marijuana plant and, while it does have health benefits, does not contain CBD. CBD oil is extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stalk of the plant and is used to treat everything from depression and anxiety to insomnia.

When it comes to CBD oil vs. hemp oil for anxiety, both can help to reduce it, although it is typically agreed that CBD oil is better overall for treating anxiety. It positively interacts with the endocannabinoid system, i.e., what regulates our moods. Studies have found that it can help ease social anxiety and eliminate fear.

Hemp oil is rich in omega-3s and omega-6s, which support heart health. These essential fatty acids may effectively lower blood pressure and the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries. But unlike CBD oil, hemp oil doesn’t have any therapeutic benefits.

Is CBD Oil Safe?

Generally, CBD is well tolerated and safe. CBD from a reputed brand has deficient levels of THC; hence, it is not addictive. Although safe, side effects may occur. These may include fatigue, diarrhea, appetite, and weight changes.

How To Use CBD Oil For Anxiety?

CBD oil can be represented in various states, from edibles to sprays to oils. There is not one distinct form that performs best in easing anxiety symptoms, as the efficacy alters depending on the person and the condition that is being treated. 

Healthcare professionals and research institutes are yet to determine a recommended serving for CBD therapy, so it may not always be listed. However, ideally, you start with a lesser dosage, about 300 to 600 mg of CBD, to see its effectiveness and slowly increase, if needed. The kind of CBD product used and how it is administered also play a vital role in its effectiveness.

There are a few different ways to use CBD oil for anxiety. You can take it orally, in the form of capsules, gummies, or tinctures. You can also utilize it topically by laying it on the skin in the form of creams, lotions, or oils. However, you can also vape CBD oil in a vape pen or e-cigarette.

Oral CBD

CBD in the form of oils and sprays are popular since they come manageable to administer. CBD oils are most effective when taken orally, under the tongue. You can take the required dosage with a dropper and squeeze a few drops under your tongue for around twenty seconds before swallowing it. Taking the product under the tongue allows it to absorb quickly into the bloodstream (since tiny capillaries fill your mucous membranes) immediately, bypassing the digestive system. 

Oral CBD products can be taken at any time to relieve anxiety – best recommended at the beginning of the day. Usually, this form of usage shows the effect in the first half-hour to a couple of hours. 

Edibles

Another popular way to take CBD is through edibles like CBD gummies. The dosage is already predetermined, and they come in various flavors. They are also more discreet to consume in public as they appear like standard candy. Edibles are convenient for taking around wherever you need them. But gummies are not quick-acting, so they may not be the perfect pick for acute situations like panic attacks or anxiety attacks.

Vaping

Vaping is one of the fastest ways to experience CBD’s effects. This form immediately relaxes the mood, usually preferred by those under tremendous pressure, such as those giving a business presentation to a large audience or if you’re experiencing an acute anxiety situation. The vaping concerns are the chemicals in the vaping liquid and the heating coils inside the vape pens. 

Some other commonly used methods for CBD administration are capsule form or cannabis flowers. Having an understanding of how to use CBD oil for anxiety also helps essentially to identify how quickly these cannabinoids start becoming effective.

How To Choose The Best CBD Oil For Anxiety?

Many options are available in the market for choosing a CBD oil for anxiety. Although nothing makes one CBD oil better than another at reducing anxiety, if you select a quality product, you stand to gain the most benefit. 

Some common indicators – quality, safety, and transparency- help identify the best CBD products.   

Type of extract

There are three different kinds of extracts possible for making CBD oil. CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD, and broad-spectrum CBD. Isolate is the purest form of CBD and is free of other plant compounds. Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the plant compounds, including THC. Broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full spectrum, but all traces of THC have been removed.

THC content

If you purchase a product with full spectrum extract, watch closely for the THC content. Trace amounts will most likely not get you high, and it’s also unlikely that such quantities will make you fail a drug test. However, the CBD oil you should buy is that one that contains 0.3% THC or less. Otherwise, the product is illegal. 

Additional ingredients

Some CBD oils for anxiety contain other ingredients to enhance the effects of CBD. On its own, CBD is very earthy and can even have a slightly bitter flavor profile. Aside from flavorings, other ingredients can complement CBD oil. Read the labels closely to see whether the best CBD oil you’re considering contains the following:

  • CBN – another cannabinoid that’s very relaxing and good for evening use. 
  • Melatonin is a hormone that can help you fall asleep and is a good option for dealing with nighttime anxiety.
  • Chamomile: A relaxing herb that is sometimes added to the evening and sleep CBD blends. It helps calm the mind[6] but may be too intense for daytime use. 
  • CBG: A beneficial cannabinoid that can keep you alert during the day, while CBD calms anxiety.

Quality of the CBD Oil

Take time to discover the ingredients used in CBD oil. The best CBD products mostly have 100% natural ingredients and no additives or artificial flavors. Most especially, verify if the product has passed through third-party lab testing. Reputable CBD companies will ship out their products to accredited, third-party labs to be tested. Then, they’ll make the testing results available to the public through certificates of analysis or COAs.

Reliability of the Brand

The best CBD brands invest heavily in their websites. First, review the company’s website and understand it. Second, explore the brand on search engines and witness the reviews, comments, and other types of brand mentions you find. Although a brand might be relatively new in the market, you can still discover a lot about its background.

Extraction Method

The CBD extraction method defines the CBD oil’s cleanliness, purity, and effectiveness. Consequently, check the company’s website to ascertain the technology used in the production. CO2 extraction of cannabidiol (CBD) is the most widespread extraction method. By using simple CO2 extraction, manufacturers guarantee the safety and purity of the final CBD product. If there’s little information, move on to the next best shopping for the best CBD oil for anxiety.

How Long Does CBD Oil Take To Work For Anxiety?

The form of CBD oil, dosage consumed, and body composition are all factors that affect how long it takes for CBD to work after you take it. Generally, it may take some time before you start to see the benefits of regular usage.

CBD Oil For Anxiety: Where To Buy?

Products for you may not work as well for someone with similar symptoms. Here is a list of the brands that have something unique to offer.

CBDfx

A California-based CBD company founded in 2014, they have continued to grow and expand their product line, consistently emphasizing quality and purity. Their wide array of options for CBD oil for anxiety is second to none.

Spruce CBD

Spruce CBD is a family-owned company that has been dominating the CBD market for two years of existence. The company holds itself to its quality, high-potency CBD that yields results and peace of mind with sustainably sourced products.

CBDistllery

For generalized anxiety disorders, CBDistillery ran its research and found that over 45 days, participants in the 2021 study reported feeling at ease from using their product. That’s proof-positive of an effective treatment working well for its intended audience!

Joy Organics

One of the first CBD builders to make tinctures made wholly of USDA Certified Organic ingredients. This brand doesn’t compromise on quality, which is why every batch is comprehensively tested to ensure efficacy, safety, and potency.  

Potential Side Effects

CBD is generally considered safe. The side[7] effects of CBD are inconsequential to non-existent. Though it is often well-tolerated, some people who take CBD may experience some side effects, such as 

  • Fatigue.
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Diarrhea. 
  • Weight loss.
  • Temporary blood pressure drop.
  • Drowsiness, and 
  • High liver function blood tests. 

Less common side effects are decreased sperm count, altered coordination, cough, and red eyes. Sometimes the side effects are related to the delivery method and the CBD dosage, so before discontinuing CBD, consider changing the delivery method or reducing the dosage.

Conclusion

With the positive effects of cannabidiol on an individual’s mental health, it’s not surprising that more and more people are turning over to CBD. Before purchasing CBD oil online or in local shops for anxiety symptoms, it is best to ensure it is from a reputable brand that’s open about its manufacturing practices and has many positive reviews.

CBD oil does not work the same way as conventional medicines for anxiety, which can be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms. CBD oil is perfect for people looking for an alternative to their anxiety medication that leaves them calm, collected, and in control, with little-to-no side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I use CBD oil?

CBD oils and tinctures work best sublingually. Use the dropper to measure your desired dose, then squeeze the drops under the tongue. After about 20 seconds before swallowing. But you do not have to take a full dropper or stick to just one dropper, either. Start with a smaller dose, and build up.

Can you get ‘high’ from CBD oil?

CBD does not have THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, so it doesn’t make you feel high. Although some CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, it’s typically not enough to give you that sensation.

How long does CBD oil take to work for anxiety?

CBD begins to work within thirty minutes to two hours or sooner, depending on the route of administration. If vaping or taking it sublingually, the effects are almost instantaneous.

How Does CBD Oil Help with Anxiety?

CBD affects G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in the central nervous system that manage pain and glycine receptors that regulate serotonin. The way these receptors are affected by the intake of CBD gives some people a calming effect.

What Are the Benefits of CBD?

For some health conditions, CBD may help with reducing inflammation and pain, safeguarding the brain, elevating mental health, protecting the heart, and regulating hormones.

How much CBD oil should I use to relieve anxiety?

CBD ranging from 300 to 600 mg should be taken 1-2 times daily. CBD is found to help reduce anxiety symptoms. 

Is it Possible to Take Too Much CBD?

CBD beyond 1,500 mg a day could have possible side effects like – diarrhea, weight changes, changes in appetite, fatigue, and changes in liver function.

What time of day should you take CBD oil?

There isn’t an optimal time of day, such as morning or night, to take CBD oil for anxiety. Instead, the best time to consider taking it is about an hour before any stressful situation you may deal with. 

+ 7 sources

MIDSS has strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes and medical associations. We work primarily with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accuracy. We avoid using tertiary references. For more information on how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content, please see our editorial policy.

  1. “Anxiety: What You Need to Know.” NIH MedlinePlus Magazine, magazine.medlineplus.gov/article/anxiety-what-you-need-to-know.
  2. Shannon, Scott. “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.” The Permanente Journal, vol. 23, 2019, 10.7812/tpp/18-041.
  3. Crippa, José Alexandre S, et al. “Neural Basis of Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) in Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder: A Preliminary Report.” Journal of Psychopharmacology (Oxford, England), vol. 25, no. 1, 2011, pp. 121–30, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20829306, 10.1177/0269881110379283.
  4. De Gregorio, Danilo, et al. “Cannabidiol Modulates Serotonergic Transmission and Reverses Both Allodynia and Anxiety-like Behavior in a Model of Neuropathic Pain.” PAIN, vol. 160, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 136–150, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319597/#!po=41.2500, 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001386.
  5. “The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol.” Archives.drugabuse.gov, 24 June 2015, archives.drugabuse.gov/testimonies/2015/biology-potential-therapeutic-effects-cannabidiol.
  6. Villines, Zawn. “8 Benefits of Chamomile Tea.” Www.medicalnewstoday.com, 6 Jan. 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320031#benefits-of-chamomile-tea.
  7. Iffland, Kerstin, and Franjo Grotenhermen. “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 139–154, 10.1089/can.2016.0034.

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