Did you know that more than 21 million adults in the US alone suffer from anxiety? It is a global epidemic that often goes ignored. A large number of people now use CBD oil for anxiety along with conventional treatment options – or often as alternative medicine.
CBD oil is well-known for its calming effects and has been found to help promote a balanced life. It offers physical and mental relaxation, boosts sleep, and reduces stress. Thus, CBD oil has now become popular for mental health conditions. But how will you use it?
Today we are going to find out all about CBD oil’s impact on anxiety – and how to use it.
How CBD Oil Works for Anxiety?
CBD interacts with the human body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), responsible for various physical and mental functions. There are different chemical structures called receptors in the system – and CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors. By doing so, it can affect serotonin signals.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that’s crucial for our mental wellness. Low serotonin levels are associated with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. That’s why conventional treatment for anxiety, depression, etc., targets serotonin levels.
Thus, it improves your mood. Plus, by inhibiting the endocannabinoids’ signaling, CBD enables the ECS to bring balance to your mental health and reduces hyperactivity and stress. Hence, CBD is considered an effective health supplement to handle anxiety.
CBD has a calming effect on your mind and body. It relaxes you, makes you happier, and takes away your everyday stress levels. It induces sleep and helps you rest properly. Thus, CBD oil can be a great supplement for prescription drugs and therapy for anxiety.
Unfortunately, there is no solid proof to prove that CBD is a potent anxiety medicine, though preliminary studies back its potential to become so. Preclinical studies on this subject are mainly on animals, with very few studies conducted on human subjects.
People who use CBD for anxiety vouch that it is highly effective at managing the symptoms of anxiety and related conditions that either cause, result from, or occur alongside anxiety. However, replacing prescription medications with CBD oil is not recommended.
Research on CBD and Anxiety
Studies to prove the extent of CBD’s effectiveness in treating general anxiety and other related mental health conditions are still in their preliminary stages. But let’s take a look at the research done so far in this area.
For GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), CBD is found to be effective because it can reduce stress. According to studies, the therapeutic effects of CBD have also led to changes in behavior and physical reactions in both animal and human subjects.
For Anxiety-Related Conditions
Studies have shown CBD’s efficacy as a standalone treatment option and an accompaniment with conventional treatment for anxiety-related issues like PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder), and anxiety-induced sleep disorders.
For Neurological Disorders
Anxiety may be a symptom of neurological disorders like schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, etc., as well as their medicines. The neuroprotective capabilities of CBD are found to be helpful in such conditions – and hence, it also manages anxiety and agitation.
Unfortunately, there is no published literature or advanced studies that have concluded that CBD can be used as a medicine for anxiety. However, proponents strongly suggest using this natural supplement to manage anxiety, its various forms, and other associated conditions.
How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety?
CBD-infused health supplements are available in various forms, but the most common form is tincture or oil. That’s because tinctures, when taken orally, are believed to be the most effective. The quickest way to experience its impact is to administer the oil sublingually.
For that, you have to place a few drops of the oil under your tongue and keep it there for around 20 seconds before you swallow it. This allows the product to enter your bloodstream directly through the salivary glands. So the effects kick in quite quickly.
You can even mix CBD tincture with food or drinks so that it passes through the digestive system. This method is chosen by those who do not like the taste of raw CBD oil in their mouth. But the effect of CBD is a little slower when you allow it to pass through the digestive system.
Some CBD tinctures are formulated for vaping as well. That means you can use them like an e-cigarette. You may also find CBD vaping pens and CBD cartridges. When you vape CBD oil, the compounds reach your lungs directly and act quickly to show fast results.
CBD oil is also applicable topically, i.e., you can rub it on the skin directly in the area of discomfort and let the oil get absorbed. Apart from these, you can also find CBD products in the form of capsules, candies and gummies, topical creams or serums, and more.
Oral administration is considered the best and the fastest way to get relief from stress and anxiety. You can take it in the morning to start your day with a relaxed mood and focus on your goals instead of getting caught up in worries about deadlines and pent-up work.
You can also take it at night before going to bed. This will help you enjoy uninterrupted sleep throughout the night and wake up feeling well-rested, calm, and focused. You can also take small doses of CBD an hour or so before a big meeting, presentation, etc.
CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety
The Farm Bill 2018 declares CBD legal if it has extracts from hemp plants and less than 0.3% THC. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor it. So there is no fixed definition regarding how much CBD oil to take for anxiety.
Studies suggest that the dosage of CBD can range from 10 mg to 1500 mg per day. A 2018 study showed that oral dosage of 300 mg can reduce anxiety symptoms significantly. But in general, how much CBD you should take to handle anxiety depends on multiple factors.
These include your height, weight, health conditions, CBD intake habits, other medicines or health supplements you take, etc. So, ensure that you get the best CBD oil for anxiety without side effects.
Potential Side Effects of CBD
CBD is considered safe for most users. But it may cause some side effects, especially in new users. These include –
- Appetite change
- Weight change
- Digestive issues
- Dry mouth
These are mostly temporary and mild side effects that go away after using it a couple of times or may not occur at all if you start at a low dosage. Another problem that may occur is drug interaction if you are already taking other medicines or health supplements.
Speak to your doctor before starting your CBD journey, especially if the medicine you’re taking comes with a “grapefruit warning.” Otherwise, you may face major consequences as CBD can interact with certain enzymes that are instrumental in the metabolism of drugs.
Studies involving mice show that an overdose of CBD can lead to liver toxicity. So adjust the dosage properly. Additionally, make sure not to stop taking your prescription medications suddenly to avoid withdrawal symptoms like nausea, irritability, dizziness, fogginess, etc.
THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can intoxicate you and cause paranoia, making you anxious. However, CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC is helpful in reducing anxiety, according to preliminary studies and the reviews shared by CBD oil users with anxiety.
Further studies are required to prove that CBD oil has the potential as an anxiolytic, i.e., you can use CBD oil for anxiety. We suggest talking to a physician before you start using CBD. The positive effects of CBD oil can work in your favor to improve your lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does CBD oil take to work for anxiety?
Depending on the mode of administration, CBD oil’s impact kicks in within 30-120 minutes to calm you. If you take CBD oil sublingually or vape it, the results are the quickest. To experience the full effects of CBD oil on anxiety, you may need to wait for a week or two.
How many drops of CBD oil should I take?
The daily dosage of CBD oil may range from 10 mg to 1500 mg. The number of drops or the serving size depends on the dosage of CBD you’re willing to take and should be calculated based on the strength of the oil you use. For that, refer to the brand’s recommendations.
How much CBD should you take as a beginner?
If you’ve just started taking CBD, go for the lowest dosage of CBD oil and gradually work your way up. It is best to get yourself a low-dose CBD oil and try 10-20 mg of CBD every day. Observe your body’s reaction to it and gradually increase your tincture dosage.