CBD Oil for Anxiety: Benefits of This Natural Medicine
Are you wondering what the best medication for anxiety is? CBD might just be your answer!
Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the United States, affecting 40 million adults. This number doesn’t even include kids. And your pets can suffer from anxiety, too! Before CBD, the only known way to combat anxiety was with addictive drugs filled with negative side effects and unknown ingredients. Therapy was an option as well, but lots of us don’t feel comfortable discussing issues with a stranger.
CBD oil for anxiety was recently discovered as an effective method, changing millions of lives. Here’s how you can use it for this purpose.
What Is CBD & Is It Legal?
Although CBD has boomed in popularity recently, many people aren’t knowledgeable about the substance. If you’re new to it, you may be wondering what it is, where it comes from, if it’s safe, what does CBD do, etc. We’re here to inform!
First of all, CBD is mainly extracted from hemp, a strain of cannabis. Most people immediately think of marijuana when they hear this, but CBD is completely different.
It is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t get you high. It’s specifically extracted from hemp that contains a high amount of CBD and very little THC (the molecule that does get you high).
CBD products usually have 0.03% of THC or less. The only times when this may not be the case is if you’re purchasing in a marijuana dispensary. These stores often sell oils higher in THC. If you’re purchasing online, you don’t have to worry about high amounts of THC, as it’s illegal to sell this online.
You can also buy CBD without any THC at all if you’re worried about the small traces. These will be labeled as an isolate or, less commonly, broad-spectrum. Isolate processes out all of the plant molecules other than CBD, while broad spectrum simply removes all traces of THC.
What are these other plant molecules? There are 100+ cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp plant. All of these are beneficial for overall health and different symptoms – they’ve even been shown to work better with CBD thanks to the entourage effect. None of them (other than THC) have psychoactive effects. The downside of a full-spectrum CBD oil or product will be the strong hemp taste.
Facts & Science
As with any medication, it’s important to hear the science and research behind the substance. This is especially important with CBD since it’s a fairly new discovery, plus the current regulations are lacking.
How CBD Works for Anxiety
Also known as cannabidiol, CBD can target many different areas in the body. This is because it affects the endocannabinoid system, which plays a part in many different bodily functions.
For anxiety, in particular, it targets specific areas of your brain. Learn more about this from the statistics and research studies below.
- This study shows more of the science behind how CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to fight anxiety.
- CBD for anxiety was shown to be successful in people with a social anxiety disorder in this study.
- Even for smaller forms of anxiety such as the fear of public speaking, CBD can be immensely helpful. It has shown to reduce public speaking anxiety in this study!
- In this study, 1500mg of CBD was given to participants with little side effects, showing that it’s impossible to overdose (or at least, nearly impossible, as we haven’t yet found a dangerous dosage). Typical doses range from 10–50mg.
- This research shows that CBD oil for panic attacks is effective.
- CBD has been approved by the FDA for use in the prescription drug Epidiolex, which reduces seizures and symptoms related to epilepsy. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if CBD is approved for anxiety medication in the near future!
How to Take CBD Oil for Anxiety
There are a few ways to take CBD in general. You can vape it, drop it under your tongue, take capsules, chew up some delicious gummy bears, add it to your drinks or food, buy premade drinks or food that contain CBD, apply it to your skin, and even more.
Which of these is the best for anxiety treatment? All of these methods work fine, except for applying it to your skin. This won’t effectively target anxiety symptoms since it won’t absorb into the bloodstream.
One of the increasingly popular ways to consume CBD is through vaping or inhalation. This requires supplies such as a vape pen (although there are disposable options), as well as vape juice or cartridges. You can’t vape regular CBD tinctures or oils.
- Highest bioavailability – 34%–46% (some reports show all the way up to 56%) of CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream
- Feel the effects right away (10–15 minutes)
- Uses water vapors rather than smoke, doesn’t harm the lungs
- Effects fade more quickly than sublingual and oral
- Need to invest in vape pens, which can range from $20 to $50+
- Some vape products can cost more than oral products (but you can find similarly priced options)
- Not pure CBD oil – vape juice is more likely to contain additives and unhealthy ingredients
- Not much research has been done on vaping yet, but recent studies have shown contaminants from vape pens
Many people believe that the best CBD oil for anxiety is consumed sublingually. This means that you take a tincture and drop it under your tongue. After letting it sit for about a minute, you swallow. This allows the CBD to absorb into the sublingual blood vessels under your tongue.
- Less bioavailable than vaping, but better than regular oral consumption – 12%–35% of CBD is absorbed
- Effects last longer than vaping
- A CBD tincture or oil is often the best deal
- Effects take up to an hour to kick in
- Not very fun to take and doesn’t taste very good
This method can include many different products. It could be capsules, gummy bears, drinks, teas, treats, and so on. CBD gummies for anxiety are increasingly popular. While delicious, this method does have some negatives.
- Effects last longer than vaping (because CBD is absorbed in the digestive system)
- There are many delicious and convenient oral CBD products
- Least bioavailable: 4%–20% of CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream
- Feel effects within an hour
- Oral products are often more expensive (or just as expensive) as vaping/sublingual products
After learning how you can take CBD, you might then wonder how much CBD oil for anxiety to take. This answer isn’t direct – it varies for everybody! The amount might vary based on your weight, experience with cannabis or CBD, how you decided to consume it, etc.
The most important recommendation is to start small. It’s typical to start with a 10–40 mg dosage, depending on your body weight. The product will always recommend a dosage as well, which can be a good starting point.
It also depends on how you’re taking the CBD because of the bioavailability rates. If you’re vaping, you’ll need a lower dosage than if you added it to tea.
CBD vs. Marijuana
If you’ve been researching how to reduce anxiety, you’ve likely come across marijuana (or maybe even tried it yourself). While this works, it comes with plenty of downsides. It’s simply not easy to go about your daily life while high. It causes brain fog, gives you the munchies, smells strong, is illegal in some states, could make you even more anxious or paranoid, and shows up on drug tests for weeks after.
CBD allows you to reap the benefits without any of these negative side effects! You can use it anytime you’d like and show up to work or school with a clear, professional, anxiety-free mind.
Combining THC and CBD?
Many people find that combining CBD and THC is even more effective for targeting their anxiety, different types of pain, or depression symptoms (among many others). This works better because CBD balances out the psychoactive effects of THC, giving you a calmer high.
Everyone has different experiences with these substances, so it’s worth giving it a shot!
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Anxiety
Many wonder the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, and if there is a difference at all. Although CBD oil is often called hemp oil, they’re not always the same thing.
Hemp seed oil (often called hemp oil) is extracted from the seed of the plant rather than the buds and flowers. It contains no cannabinoids. This means it doesn’t have the same pain-relieving and anxiety-fighting effects as CBD oil does. However, hemp seed oil does have some overall health benefits and is often used in cooking or skincare products.
When targeting intense symptoms such as a natural anxiety medication, you want CBD oil.
How do you tell the difference? It’s always important to read labels and ensure that there is a measurement of milligrams of CBD in the bottle. If it simply says “hemp oil” with no measurement, it’s most likely hemp seed oil and doesn’t contain CBD.
CBD Oil for Anxiety in Kids & Teenagers
This topic is a controversial one. Adults aren’t the only ones with anxiety – unfortunately, kids and teens suffer as well. However, this means they can reap the benefits of CBD too! Even anxiety in pets can be healed with this substance (more about pets in the next section)!
Given the nature of CBD, many parents become worried at the thought of giving it to their children. The connection with marijuana scares many, but it’s important to realize that CBD is completely different and not psychoactive. You’re bound to worry about the negative effects of CBD when it comes to your child. However, if you’re considering prescription anxiety medication, you should absolutely consider CBD as well.
Prescription medications can be addictive or have a number of side effects and unknown ingredients that could harm your child. This research shares how traditional anxiety medications (benzodiazepines) are addictive. Newer options have less risk for addiction but have more side effects and safety concerns.
On the other hand, CBD is shown to be perfectly safe. The only concerns are related to other medications your child may be taking (if any). It’s recommended to discuss with your doctor before giving CBD to your kid or even taking it yourself.
When wondering how to use CBD oil for anxiety in children, you can use it any way that adults do! There are also products (such as gummies) specially formulated for kids.
Research on adults is solid and shows there are very little side effects of CBD. Those that exist are minimal. They might experience drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, appetite changes, dry mouth, or other small effects.
Side Effects of Common Anxiety Medications
Side Effects of Prozac
- Sleep problems such as insomnia or strange dreams
- Headaches or vision changes
- Tremors or shaking
- Heart palpitations
- Weight changes
- Death, if too much is taken
Side Effects of Xanax
- Addiction, withdrawal symptoms including seizures
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Hallucinations and suicidal thoughts
- Slurred speech/difficulty speaking
- Loss of coordination
- Memory problems
- Death, if too much is taken
Unfortunately, this isn’t even the full list. There are similar side effects for all of the other common anti-anxiety prescription medications. It comes as a shock that they give this stuff to kids! It’s scary to give your child, who may be suffering from anxiety or depression, full access to a medication that could harm or even kill them.
On the other hand, CBD oil for anxiety (and depression) is perfectly safe. It might make them feel a little drowsy and put them to sleep, but it won’t cause any true harm. There’s no overdose possibility or severe side effects. If they get it in their hands and take too much (or even the full bottle), they won’t be harmed. You’ll have complete peace of mind.
Research on Kids
There are many CBD oil for anxiety studies in adults, but it gets more limited when it comes to studies on kids. This case study shows the benefits for one little girl with PTSD from a troubled past. It’s proven difficult to find studies with research on a large number of children.
Because of this, it’s understandable if you decide to wait until there’s better scientific research regarding children and CBD. With the huge sudden growth of this industry, numerous studies are being conducted as you read this!
CBD Oil for Anxiety in Pets
As easygoing as their lives may seem, there are plenty of pets that suffer from anxiety. Whether its separation anxiety, anxiety that was caused by an abusive past, or just generalized anxiety, it can really take a toll on your furry friend. There are prescription medications that can help, but CBD is an amazing natural alternative.
Like humans, CBD is beneficial for a number of common pet issues. Using CBD for dogs anxiety (as well as cats) can change their lives. It works just as well because they have the same endocannabinoid system as us! It can help with issues such as anxiety, arthritis pain, cancer pain, bathroom issues, trouble walking, appetite problems, and so on.
You can also find dog or cat treats infused with CBD, but these can be pricey. Regular oils/tinctures are the best deal. These can be added to their food, water, or simply dropped into their mouth.
There are many brands that could be considered the best CBD oil for anxiety in pets. However, it’s most important to ensure that the product you get is specifically for pets! This is because some CBD oils meant for humans could include a flavoring or other additives that may be harmful to cats or dogs.
By purchasing a product specifically for pets, you’ll ensure that it’s 100% safe for them to consume.
The Bottom Line
Overall, CBD oil for anxiety is an incredible discovery. It’s easy, not significantly expensive, and could be a game-changer for controlling various forms of anxiety. There’s no harm that could come from trying it out! It can be an incredible natural medicine for adults, kids, and pets. It’s not just great for anxiety either – this is just one of the symptoms that CBD oil can be used for.