CBD For Anxiety: A Complete Guide

Thinking about trying CBD to help treat your anxiety? You’re in good company. The entire country is waking up to cannabidiol (CBD) as the new health and wellness heavy hitter. For tips on how to take advantage of its natural medicinal properties, read on.  

CBD is being lauded as the new supplement powerhouse for its astounding list of potential health benefits. Not least of which being its effects on anxiety disorders and general physiological stress responses

This post is a comprehensive guide to using CBD for anxiety, including effective dosages, an overview of delivery systems, and tips and tricks to getting the best out of your CBD. 

What Is CBD And How Does It Work? 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid extracted from cannabis plants such as hemp and marijuana. Unlike its psychoactive counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD produces no “high” and doesn’t alter your mental state. 

CBD works by binding to receptors already existing in the brain (CNS) and in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). While there’s still plenty of research to be done regarding the signals perceived and transmitted by these receptors, and the endocannabinoid system in general, it’s thought that they may impact serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is linked to mood regulation and social behaviors. Low levels of the chemical in your body are often associated with depression and anxiety disorders. 

The treatment for these range of disorders regularly includes doctor prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft (sertraline) and Prozac (fluoxetine). 

More and more though, people are using CBD to help with their anxiety. It is already prescribed as a component in medical marijuana to treat the disorder across the country. 

 

Woman taking CBD to treat Anxiety

 

Research On CBD-Focused Anxiety Treatments

Where’s the science, you ask? Well, it’s still rolling in, but there’s already a lot to back it up. With a 2019 Consumer Reports article putting the toll at 40 million adult sufferers in America, anxiety disorders like GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) are quickly becoming a well researched area. 

Animal studies performed by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) found that CBD given to rats helped reduce physiological signs of anxiety such as accelerated heart rate and poor sleep patterns, as well as improved social behaviors. 

Other forms of anxiety like Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have also been studied in relation to CBD. A double-blind study performed on teenage SAD patients in Japan by the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University found that participants given 300 mg of CBD daily for a one month period scored significantly better results on anxiety measuring scales as compared to the placebo group. 

A 2019 clinical study on participants with PTSD showed that 91% of participants who abided by the study procedures decreased PTSD symptoms over an 8 week period, with an average of 28% reduction in measured anxiety scores. 

 

CBD Gummy bears for anxiety

 

CBD Dosing

The best way to find the appropriate dosage for you is to consult your doctor for a recommendation. In any case, it is important to speak with your doctor before you begin taking CBD as it may have unwelcome side effects such as diarrhea and fatigue and/or drug interactions, and every case is different. 

Most research studies use dosages of CBD at or above 300 mg daily which, unfortunately, is well above the average per serving dose provided by most commercial CBD products. However, picking the right delivery method can aid in this problem. 


CBD Delivery Systems

The forms of CBD commercially available are constantly growing as the market expands. From edible infusions to topicals to water-soluble and the classic oil tincture, there’s definitely options to work with. 

Depending on the delivery system, certain CBD products will give much faster, more effective results, even at lower concentrations. For instance, sublingual oil application can be much more efficient than infused foods because it hits the bloodstream faster, without being digested and filtered by the liver, losing some of its potency. Similarly, water-soluble CBD supersedes either option considering it’s higher bioavailability and compatibility with our water-based bodies. 

CBD vapes, however, still set the bar for the most efficient delivery method requiring the lowest effective dose, controversial as vaping may currently be. Despite media and political propaganda, most vapes sold by reputable distributors (not black market street vendors) are not known to cause or contribute at all to the recent respiratory illnesses plaguing a percentage of THC vape users specifically.

Man taking CBD for anxiety

Tips For Using CBD For Anxiety

For help treating anxiety with CBD and other natural remedies, try some of these tips: 


  • Discover the right dose and delivery system for you. Experiment with different dosages within a safe range (generally up to 1000 mg a day for most people) paired with different delivery systems until you find a combination(s) that’s right for your needs. 
  • Stay Active. Regular exercise has been shown to help reduce anxiety and stress levels. 
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking. While alcohol and cigarettes may have sedative qualities, reliance on unhealthy habits to provide a short term relief from bouts of anxiety is detrimental to your health in the long run. 
  • Work on achieving a regular sleep pattern. Insomnia is a major symptom of anxiety. Try to get better sleep by avoiding midday naps and only sleeping at night if your schedule permits. Avoid electronics (tv, phone, tablets) in bed, avoid caffeine and sugary drinks before bed (sodas, coffee, juices, etc.) and try to sleep at the same time every night. 
  • Enjoy a healthy diet. Poor diets can affect levels of chemicals in the body that can change moods. Not to mention a diet of greasy, fattening foods can cause sluggishness and lethargy that may contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety. 


  • Conclusion

    While anxiety can be debilitating and destabilizing, using CBD for anxiety may be your golden ticket. The same treatments may not work for everyone, though, and if you're having trouble improving symptoms of anxiety alone, talk to your doctor for help finding the right treatment for you. 

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