Anxiety affects an estimated 40 million adults in the United States. As a result, a great deal of research has gone into finding remedies for anxiety. There are several pharmaceutical drugs that are currently used to treat anxiety, such as antidepressants. However, as with any prescription drug, the medication used for anxiety comes with several potential side effects. Therefore, more and more people living with anxiety are choosing to turn to all-natural alternatives to help manage their symptoms.
One of the most popular natural options is cannabidiol (CBD). While more research is needed in order to fully understand how CBD affects anxiety, preliminary studies suggest that CBD has the potential to reduce anxiety symptoms.
Numerous CBD users have self-reported finding CBD to be very effective at alleviating apprehensions and daily stresses.
With just a quick online search, you will come across hundreds of CBD brands. Finding the best one to help with anxiety can be a confusing and daunting task. We are here to help you! In this article, you’ll find our favorite CBD oil brands and those with products that we find are most effective at helping anxiety.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of a group of over 100 chemical compounds found within the cannabis plant known as cannabinoids. Research has shown that cannabinoids are responsible for the effect of cannabis on the body. Other well-known cannabinoids include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG). While research is still in its early stages, studies are discovering that each of cannabis’s many cannabinoids can carry different effects, and can potentially have multiple medical benefits.
While CBD is found in any type of cannabis plant, most CBD products are made using the hemp plant. Hemp differs from marijuana as it has a higher concentration of CBD than that of THC.
CBD oil is made using a carrier oil (such as MCT coconut oil or hemp seed oil) and hemp extract. The types of hemp extract include:
- Full-Spectrum – Makes use of all of hemp’s cannabinoids and terpenes.
- Broad-Spectrum – Makes use of all of hemp’s cannabinoids and terpenes except for THC, the cannabinoid responsible for psychoactivity.
- CBD Isolate – Contains solely CBD and no other cannabinoid.
CBD oil is without a doubt the most popular consumption method for cannabidiol, and almost every CBD brand on the market produces its own tincture blend. This comes as no surprise since CBD oils are not only effective but are also an easy way to get cannabidiol into the body.
How Can CBD Oil Help with Anxiety?
While research is limited, several studies suggest that CBD may help be able to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Furthermore, many have self-reported using CBD to ease both anxiety and stress. To better understand how CBD works within our body, it’s important to understand our endocannabinoid system (ECS) and how CBD affects it.
Our ECS is made up of three main parts: cannabinoid receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids. Through these components, the ECS regulates several aspects of our day-to-day lives, including our appetite, mood, memory, sleep, immune function, metabolism – all while keeping our body in optimal physiological condition.
While researchers haven’t fully understood CBD’s impact on the ECS, it’s believed that CBD triggers different reactions within the ECS to support its function. This theory has been the catalyst behind various researches as well as the reason why so many users choose to medicate with CBD.
Research has been published on the effectiveness of CBD at managing anxiety and researchers have reported some interesting and encouraging findings:
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has observed CBD’s ability to decrease stress in rats. This study found that symptoms of elevated anxiety (i.e. increased heart rate and various behaviors) were also reduced.
- In a 2011 study, researchers brought together a group of individuals struggling with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Each participant was given an oral dose of 400mg of CBD or a placebo. The individuals that received the CBD showed a significant reduction in experienced anxiety levels.
- Some studies have found that CBD can also ease symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most notably, CBD consumption was found to correspond to a decrease in nightmares and less frequent replaying of negative memories.
While more research is needed, most have concluded that CBD holds the potential to be a therapeutic agent for anxiety alongside traditional forms of treatment, such as medication and therapy.
How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety
Using CBD oil is simple. Each bottle typically comes with a dropper that, when full, contains one dose of CBD. In order to get the best effects, the suggested intake method is by placing the contents of a full dropper under your tongue and letting the CBD sit there for 15 to 45 seconds before swallowing.
Some daily users who take CBD for anxiety find it best to take their tincture in the morning. Many even found it goes great with their morning cup of coffee. If you are new to CBD, be aware that taking too much CBD can cause an onset of fatigue. With that in mind, you’ll want to start with an amount smaller than the suggested serving size at first and then work your way up to a higher dose.
Some may consider taking CBD whenever they experience an anxiety attack and CBD oil could help in these situations. However, it’s important to remember that the effects of CBD oil aren’t immediate. The way CBD metabolizes through oral consumption causes it to take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes before its effects can be felt.
For that reason, many people prefer using CBD vape pens for their anxiety. When inhaled, CBD is able to enter the bloodstream much quicker and, therefore, provides almost immediate effects.
However, we know that vaping CBD isn’t for everyone. CBD oil is a great option as long as you’re comfortable with the amount of time it takes for the effects to kick in. Ultimately, if you plan on taking CBD oil for anxiety, we would suggest taking it once at the start of each day.
CBD Oil Dose for Anxiety
There are a few factors to consider when deciding how much CBD oil you should take for anxiety. First, you should get a sense of how serious your condition and symptoms are. Some people may experience mild anxiety and only need a small amount of CBD. Whereas others may experience more severe anxiety and need more CBD.
You can find out how much CBD is in the tincture you purchased through the milligram (mg) number on the bottle’s label. An average bottle contains anywhere from 250mg to 750mg. Higher strengths are usually 1,000mg and up. The higher the milligram-count, the more CBD you will be getting with each dose.
Your CBD oil will also give you a “suggested use” on the label. If you’re new to CBD, we recommend that your first few doses are based on the manufacturer’s suggestion. This will give you an idea of how CBD makes you feel and how much you really need to successfully manage the anxiety symptoms that you’re experiencing.
However, you may find that the suggested serving isn’t working for you. If that’s the case, that’s okay! CBD affects us all differently and experimentation is the only way for you to truly figure out what’s the right dosage for you.
Furthermore, your body weight plays a role in how much CBD you should take. Generally, the more you weigh, the more CBD you need to feel the effects. For an average dose, it’s recommended you take 3mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight (or 1mg for every kilogram).
Below is a chart based on these figures, bodyweight and corresponding recommended dose. However, keep in mind that these are just guidelines and you may find that you need more or less CBD for your particular use case.
||Average CBD Dose
Finally, it’s also worth mentioning that your body can develop a tolerance for CBD. So, if you’ve been taking it frequently for a period of time, you may find the effects aren’t as prominent as they were when you first started taking CBD. In this case, we suggest gradually increasing your dose until you achieve the desired effects again.
CBD Oil for Kids with Anxiety
If you have a child who struggles with anxiety, it’s safe to give them CBD. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that they won’t need nearly as much CBD as an adult would.
Due to this, we suggest you follow the guidelines above when determining the starting dose for your child ( 3mg for every 10 pounds of body weight). Furthermore, you should always consult a doctor before giving your child CBD.
Our Criteria for Best CBD Oil for Anxiety
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t currently regulate the CBD industry. With that said, it’s important to recognize that not all companies provide high-quality and safe products. in order to develop our list of the best CBD oils for anxiety, we kept the following in mind:
- Certificate of Analysis (CoA) – In order to reassure customers of the safety and quality of a product, many companies test their CBD products at third-party labs. These lab tests will reveal several aspects about the CBD, including its cannabinoid/terpene count and whether it contains any contaminants, such as heavy metals or pesticides.
- Hemp Source – Since all CBD comes from the hemp plant, it’s important to pick brands where the plants were grown organically.
- Ingredients – CBD oils are usually only made with three ingredients: carrier oil, hemp extract, and flavoring. We suggest you look at the ingredients before purchasing to make sure they meet your dietary needs.
- Extract Type – CBD comes in three unique extract types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. In order to develop a versatile list, we made sure to incorporate a variety of CBD oils from all three extract types.
- Potency – We also made sure to present you with a wide range of potencies to choose from. CBD potency is measured out in milligrams (mg) and should be labeled on your CBD oil. The higher the milligram count, the more potent that product is.
Safety and Side Effects of CBD Oil
While most people do not experience any side effects from taking CBD, some have reported the following mild effects:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
If you are currently taking any prescription medication, we strongly advise you to consult your doctor before taking CBD oil. While uncommon, some medications have been known to negatively interact with CBD.
Furthermore, if you are pregnant or lactating, it’s highly recommended that you avoid CBD altogether. At the moment, there aren’t enough conclusive studies that confirm whether CBD is safe or unsafe for women and their children during pregnancy or breastfeeding.