Anti-anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax may provide immediate relief but can be addictive. Long-range drugs like Prozac may alleviate symptoms with time, but it does not work for everybody.
However, the use of CBD for anxiety has captured the spotlight as a natural, complementary or alternative treatment for anxiety. But does CBD help with anxiety immediately? What does the existing research say about CBD’s effectiveness?
This post will show you how to use CBD for anxiety and provide answers to the questions you may have about this natural form of treatment.
How Does CBD Work For Anxiety?
The human body has many different protein-based chemical structures (receptors) attached to the cells that receive signals via various stimuli.
Cannabidiol (also known as CBD) interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the human peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system.
Researchers are yet to understand the exact impact of CBD on CB1 receptors in the human brain. However, its interactions with the receptors may impact serotonin signals.
Serotonin is an important hormone, a neurotransmitter that stabilizes our feelings, mood, happiness and regulates our mental health. People with depression often have low levels of serotonin. In some cases, anxiety may be caused by low serotonin levels.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) like fluoxetine or sertraline are the conventional low serotonin levels treatment and only available by prescription.
However, instead of using an SSRI, some people can manage their condition with the help of CBD. If you’d like to include CBD in your treatment plan, you should talk to your doctor.
Does CBD Help With Anxiety? – What Existing Research Suggests
In recent years, clinical studies on CBD use for anxiety disorder have increased, with evidence pointing towards its potential therapeutic properties. Most research on CBD uses animal models and is preclinical. However, clinical research is now being conducted using human participants.
In a 2019 study, 37 teenagers with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) were subjected to a placebo or 300 mg of CBD per day for four weeks and tested with the SAD symptoms diagnosing methods.
The result shows that CBD provides relief comparable to Paroxetine – an anti-anxiety medication often used to manage the condition.
In another 2019 study, 47 outpatients who had concerns about anxiety received 25 mg of CBD per day in addition to treatment. 79.2 percent of the participants reported an improvement in their anxiety levels after the first monthly assessment.
78.1 percent of the participants experienced a further improvement in anxiety after two months than they felt in the previous month.
On the other hand, a Journal of Pharmacology 2018 study suggests that cannabidiol heightened anxiety in some individuals with paranoid traits. However, 15.3 percent of patients reported that their anxiety symptoms worsened after the first monthly assessment.
Ather the second month, 19.5 percent said that their anxiety exacerbated further.
These inconsistent findings may result from some factors like variations in dosing, varied individual responses to CBD, and small sample sizes. Moreover, CBD can trigger adverse reactions at different dosages since it is a bidirectional medication.
However, recent studies show that CBD can help with other forms of anxiety, like anxiety-induced insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
These studies examined CBD as a supplement to conventional treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication and as a standalone treatment for PTSD.
Does CBD Help With Anxiety Immediately?
Owing to the many CBD benefits, you may wonder, “Does CBD help with anxiety immediately? Fortunately, it does most of the time.
CBD products claim to alleviate everything from pain to insomnia to anxiety. Benji Jones from Business Insider investigated these claims by experimenting with CBD to discover how it may help with his anxiety.
He took 250 mg of CBD oil every day for a week and found that CBD alleviates his anxiety, especially during his week’s stressful moments. Jones also found that CBD can help with anxiety immediately.
Dr. Yasmin Hurd, a researcher who has been studying the impacts of CBD for over a decade, supports this claim. According to her, most people report reduced anxiety shortly after taking CBD, based on her studies.
That suggests that CBD can be an alternative solution to anti-anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax, especially for those who need instant relief.
However, everyone has a different sensitivity to CBD. So, you may have to experiment to see how your body responds to CBD.
Also, the serving size, the delivery method, severity of symptoms, and the individual’s body weight determine how fast they can react to CBD and how it impacts their anxiety.
How To Use CBD For Anxiety
Suppose you want to reap CBD oil benefits such as CBD anxiety disorder alleviation. In that case, you need to understand the pros and cons of the different delivery methods to determine which works best for you. Some of the CBD delivery (ingestion) methods include:
Oils and Tinctures
CBD oils and tinctures offer a quick, convenient, and accurate way to ingest CBD. Both oils and tinctures often come with a dropper that allows you to efficiently and accurately measure your dose.
This sublingual CBD dosing method allows the cannabinoid to enter the bloodstream quickly without passing through the digestive system. The results from this delivery method kick in within 10 minutes and last up to 4 hours.
CBD Capsules and Edibles
Just like the oils and tinctures, CBD capsules and gummies (a form of CBD edibles) also offer an easy and accurate way to dose CBD. While pills are swallowed like prescription medications, gummies are chewable and often delicious, making them easy to use.
The CBD in both capsules and edibles must be broken down via the digestive system before entering the bloodstream. Moreover, oral CBD bioavailability can slow down its absorption. That is why it takes up to an hour or more to kick in and deliver results.
This delivery method provides an almost instantaneous way to enjoy the medical benefits of CBD. It sends CBD directly to the lungs, where it enters the circulatory system for rapid absorption.
However, smoking can lead to inflammation of the lungs, and it can be tricky to measure your CBD intake with this delivery method.
You can vape CBD with a special pen that turns the oil into vapor. This delivery method yields faster effects, but the effects wear out within a short time.
Moreover, the safety of this ingestion method has often been criticized. Sixty-eight people have died, and over 2000 people have been hospitalized due to a severe lung condition known as EVALI or VAPI.
The federal Centers for Disease Control discovered that most of these cases are associated with the use of illegal THC vape cartridges contaminated with tocopheryl-acetate (vitamin E oil).
Vape cartridges from state-licensed CBD stores are highly regulated, but those from other sources are unregulated. So when considering any vaping product, you should proceed with caution.
CBD Dosage For Anxiety
From the CBD studies mentioned above, you’ll notice a variation in dosing. The outpatients received 25 mg of CBD, the Japanese teenagers received 300 mg of CBD, and Benji Jones took 250 mg of CBD oil. Why is there such a massive inconsistency in the dose?
Generally, there’s no recommended serving size or dose for CBD, as most clinicians and scientists will readily admit.
To date, no large-scale clinical trials have been carried out to provide the proper CBD dosing guidelines. Moreover, the FDA is gathering more information about CBD – like CBD effects on anxiety, pain, and other effects on humans – before deciding how to regulate it.
The existing data shows that it is a safe and well-tolerated treatment option. However, that does not mean that CBD is not safe for use. If you want to try CBD for anxiety or manage your symptoms, you should experiment to figure out the right dose for you.
It would also be best to start with a small serving size and gradually increase it until you see the results.
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Side Effects of CBD
Although CBD is safe for use, some people may experience some CBD oil side effects after taking CBD, such as:
- Changes in weight
- Changes in appetite
Other dietary supplements or medications you’re taking may interact with cannabidiol. It would be best to talk to your doctor first before stopping any medications you’re currently taking and before you take any CBD product.
Although CBD may alleviate your anxiety, you may also go through some withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it abruptly. The withdrawal symptoms include:
Factors to Consider When Purchasing CBD for Anxiety
After deciding on an appropriate form of CBD for yourself, you need to look into some other factors.
So, whether you’re planning to chew on flavorsome CBD gummy or swallow a capsule with morning coffee, you need to be careful about the product you purchase.
If you visit a local store today or go online to buy a CBD product, you’ll come across a pool of CBD brands.
With so many options, you’ll be overwhelmed, and it would be hard for you to decide on one.
Also, a few CBD companies are selling fake products with false labels, so you need to identify the right product. But how can you make the correct choice? Take a look at some of the factors below, and you’ll know.
Are you purchasing the product from a reputable brand or opting for a cheap one? It’s preferable to choose a brand that has been in business for years and has established a reputation in the CBD product industry.
Source of Hemp
Hemp and Marijuana are the two primary sources of CBD. It’s best to go with hemp-derived CBD as it’s low in THC concentration. Marijuana-derived CBD may get you high.
What is the concentration of THC in the CBD product you’re purchasing? Check the label. THC concentration should be no more than 0.3%. If you want to go with a THC-free product, opt for CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD.
Customer reviews provide a quick insight into the product’s quality. So, if you’re purchasing online, visit the website and skim through some customer reviews.
Look for a third-party testing stamp on the product packaging. Third-party-tested items are pretty reliable.
CBD products contain a variety of ingredients. It’s best to opt for a product with more natural ingredients. Synthetic flavorings might cause adverse reactions.
Other Natural Ways to Help Anxiety
In addition to taking CBD, you can consider a few other natural remedies for anxiety.
Exercising reduces muscle tension and diverts your mind from the very thing that gets you anxious. So, daily exercise can help you cope up with anxiety.
Also, exercising isn’t only about hitting the gym and building muscles by picking those 25-pound dumbbells. Instead, a morning walk, a jog in the backyard, or cycling in a park are all forms of exercise.
Get a Pet
Face the fact: Natural remedies are not a cure to any form of anxiety, nor does any research claim that. They may reduce your anxiety by diverting you or relaxing you, in other words.
As such, owning pets is a great way to relax, amuse, and divert yourself. Your mental health will benefit significantly from the companionship a furry friend has to offer.
Spend Time in Nature
Go bare feet on the grass, let the wind play with your hair, and listen to the unheard music of nature.
Nature has a wealth of joy in store for us, but only if we look for it. Remember when Wordsworth said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved it?” To enjoy the blessings of nature, we must first fall in love with it; only then will we understand its healing powers.
Research also shows that spending time in nature helps with mental health issues.
This article explains how to use CBD and answers any questions you might have regarding CBD for anxiety. However, you should consult a physician if you experience adverse effects after trying CBD to alleviate mental health problems.