Keep Calm & Take CBD for Anxiety
by Alissa Gardner | 18 July, 2022
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Anxiety is a prevalent and draining condition affecting millions of Americans yearly. It is not a surprise, as many people are exposed to numerous stressful situations every day — from work deadlines to family obligations.
While some people may be able to cope with their anxiety, it is not always the case. A certain amount of stress is normal, but it is essential to take action when it starts to interfere with your daily life. Cannabidiol, among its many benefits, can be a helpful means to ease anxiety.
But how do CBD products such as CBD oils or CBD gummies help keep anxiety at bay? The answer to this question lies in the endocannabinoid system.
Below, you will find a definitive guide to easing your anxiety symptoms with this compound and developing your daily CBD routine to reduce stress, as well as tips on how to use CBD products to achieve this goal.
CBD for Anxiety – Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s go through the frequently asked questions about CBD and its effect on anxiety.
Does CBD Oil Remove Anxiety?
The endocannabinoid system is a complex network of receptors located throughout the body. This system helps regulate various bodily functions, including mood, sleep, and the immune system. Anxiety occurs when the endocannabinoid system is out of balance, either due to stress or a deficiency of certain nutrients. Cannabidiol, a compound found in the hemp plant, is a natural way to restore hormonal balance in your brain.
The research on cannabidiol started because of the high interest in THC, which has a much more pronounced psychoactive effect than CBD. It also affects the process of absorption of serotonin, which is known as the happiness hormone.
The research established that while THC provides the euphoric “high” associated with marijuana use, CBD oil does not necessarily have any special intoxicating effects. Instead, it prevents endocannabinoids from breaking down, thus keeping the body’s levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters regulated. In other words, pure CBD oil does not remove generalized anxiety but can help you deal with it.
Anxiety appears when your body cannot maintain a healthy balance of certain chemicals and hormones. CBD helps restore that balance by binding to the receptors in your endocannabinoid system and stimulating their activity. This, in turn, helps reduce anxiety and improve your overall well-being.
Which Type of CBD Products Is Good for Anxiety?
CBD is available in various forms, each with its own set of benefits. Some people prefer to consume cannabidiol as gummies or capsules, while others exclusively use CBD oil or topical products. However, it is vital to note that not all products are created equal. The quality of products depends on the source material, extraction method, and other factors.
The good news is that although different CBD products have distinct advantages, you can use most, if not all of them, to reduce anxiety. CBD isolate, for example, is the most potent form of cannabidiol, so it may be the best choice for people looking for a quick and powerful way to reduce anxiety. On the other hand, CBD oils or tinctures might be more suitable for your needs because they are relatively easy to use and can last for a long time.
CBD edibles, such as gummies or capsules, are a viable option as well. They are quite delicious, and you can take them anywhere. For instance, you could buy strawberry-lemonade-flavored gummies. This way, you can satiate your sweet tooth and get CBD benefits simultaneously.
Can CBD Cause Anxiety Attacks?
Unfortunately, in rare cases, CBD can cause anxiety attacks due to how it works. This substance interacts with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, helping regulate mood. But, in some people, this interaction can increase anxiety. This is because CBD stimulates the activity of the receptors, which can lead to anxiety attacks in the case of a severe deficiency of the “happy” hormones.
Such panic attacks are often associated with marijuana and for a good reason. It is THC that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant, including the feeling of euphoria and relaxation. Nonetheless, THC also has the potential to cause anxiety attacks in people who are prone to them.
As CBD products can include up to 0.3% THC, there is a slight chance that they might cause anxiety attacks. If you take CBD for anxiety, it is best to start with a low dose and increase it gradually.
Is CBD a Good Treatment for Anxiety Disorders?
As the nature of anxiety is quite complex, it is impossible to say whether CBD is the best treatment for it. Yet, many scientists hypothesize that using cannabidiol may benefit people with anxiety disorders. Existing evidence shows that the characteristics of CBD render it a valuable tool against disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalized social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The question is, however, if this compound is a good enough treatment for anxiety disorders or if it is just a temporary solution for the everyday stresses of life. The answer is complicated. While pure CBD may provide some relief from anxiety, it is not a cure. Its effects are temporary, and it does not address the underlying causes of stress.
So, if you experience some anxiety related to a temporary event like changing your job or moving to a new city, CBD may be able to help. But, if you struggle with anxiety on a daily basis, or if it is so severe that it prevents you from living a normal life, you might need to see a healthcare practitioner. Cannabidiol still can be a potential solution, but only when coordinated with professional treatment.
How Does It Feel Like to Take CBD for Anxiety?
Many people report that administering CBD for anxiety feels very relaxing. The effects of CBD can vary depending on the person, but in general, it helps soothe the mind, relax the body, and ease anxiety.
Keep in mind that the effects of taking cannabidiol are not always instantaneous. It can take up to a few hours for you to feel the effects of CBD, so stay patient.
If you administer CBD topically, you may feel a warm, tingling sensation on your skin caused by the increased blood flow to the area. You will feel the effects of cannabidiol within minutes, but they can last for a few hours. If you take edibles, such as gummies or capsules, you will have to wait a little bit longer for the effects to kick in.
Probably the quickest way to experience CBD’s therapeutic properties is by dropping some CBD oil under your tongue. You can feel the effects of CBD oil taken in such a way within minutes, and they can last up to several hours.
Full or Broad-Spectrum CBD for Anxiety?
The battle between broad- and full-spectrum CBD has been raging in the hemp community for a long time. The difference between these two types is that full-spectrum CBD products, such as full-spectrum CBD oil, contain all the compounds found in the hemp plant, including some THC. Broad-spectrum CBD products, on the other hand, include all the compounds found in the hemp plant, including cannabichromene, cannabinol, and terpenes, with the exception of THC and other intoxicating substances.
The primary benefit of full-spectrum CBD is that it includes all the compounds found in hemp. Thus, it may be more effective against anxiety than broad-spectrum CBD oil. However, full-spectrum CBD oil products can also cause anxiety attacks in some people. If you plan to take CBD for anxiety, starting with a broad-spectrum option or a CBD isolate product may be a good idea.
Is CBD Better Than Anxiety Medication?
Anxiety medications such as alprazolam (Xanax) or diazepam (Valium) operate by binding to the GABA receptors in your brain. As central nervous system depressants, benzodiazepines are highly effective in reducing anxiety, but they come with some severe side effects, including drowsiness and lack of coordination. How does CBD compare to these drugs?
How CBD Products Are Better Than Prescription Anxiety Drugs
The main benefit of CBD over benzodiazepines is that it does not interact with the GABA receptors in your brain. It means that CBD does not have the same potentially addictive and harmful effects as benzodiazepines. Furthermore, CBD is a natural compound found in the hemp plant, meaning that it is non-toxic and does not have as many side effects as synthetic drugs.
How CBD Products Are Worse Than Prescription Anxiety Drugs
The main drawback of CBD is that it does not directly target anxiety. As such, the extent to which it can help depends on the individual. CBD can assist in restoring balance in the cannabinoid system, thereby reducing anxiety, but it does not address the underlying causes of this condition.
Does CBD Calm Anxiety Immediately?
How beneficial CBD will be in your situation depends on your preferred method of administration. Let’s dig a little deeper into this subject.
You can use most CBD products in different ways. You can either drop some under your tongue — which is a time-efficient way — or add it to food or drinks, diluting its effects in the process. Similarly, you can use a vaporizer to inhale CBD into the lungs. This way, cannabidiol molecules will pass directly into your bloodstream and produce the effects within a few minutes.
How Can You Use CBD to Treat Anxiety?
As mentioned above, you can use CBD to treat mild cases of anxiety, like those caused by stressful events or circumstances. In the more severe cases, however, you should use cannabidiol alongside other treatments per the guidance and recommendations of a healthcare professional.
You might want to place a few drops of CBD oil for anxiety under your tongue and hold it there for a few seconds before swallowing. Alternatively, you could opt for a gummy or two or use a calming tincture made from industrial hemp. It is best to discuss with your doctor how much CBD oil you should take and what CBD oil brands could provide you with the most beneficial products.
Remember that not all types of CBD products are suitable for generalized anxiety. Topical products, such as lotions or creams, are not recommended for anxiety relief because they do not interact directly with the brain. Instead, they work by interacting with the receptors in your skin. It means that their effects are localized, and they do not have the same calming effect as CBD oils administered sublingually or via a vaporizer.
Can CBD Alleviate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that occurs after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as a car accident or an assault. Symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoiding reminders of the event, negative changes in mood and thinking, feeling agitated or on edge, experiencing difficulty sleeping, or feeling disconnected from others.
Studies have shown that cannabidiol may be an effective treatment for the symptoms of PTSD. Among other benefits, CBD can help reduce insomnia and nightmares in people with PTSD. One study conducted over eight weeks found that people with PTSD who took CBD slept better and reported a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms.
How Much CBD Should I Take for Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
As with most things related to CBD, the answer to this question is “it depends.” The amount of CBD you should take for anxiety depends on the severity of your condition and the potency of the CBD product you are using.
If it is your first time using CBD, start with a low dose, wait until you feel the effects, and then gradually increase the amount until you are satisfied. Beware that some products take some time to kick in, so do not be too hasty — taking more than you need can lead to mild side effects, such as drowsiness or diarrhea.
As a general rule of thumb, most people use between 10 and 50 milligrams of CBD per day to reduce anxiety. For acute cases of anxiety, some people may use between 300 and 600 milligrams, which is a relatively large amount. Still, it should not be an issue if you are already familiar with this compound. Research shows that a regular adult can tolerate up to 1,500 milligrams of CBD per day, a number that would be hard to attain unless you take a very high-potency product.
Is 500 mg of CBD Enough for Anxiety?
In view of the above, 500 mg of CBD per day should be enough for most people with mild to moderate anxiety. It is not a small amount, though. Therefore, it may be a good idea to start with a lower dose and increase it gradually over the course of a few days or weeks. When in doubt, consult your doctor.
How Much CBD Should I Take at Bedtime?
Anxiety is linked to excessive stress, both temporal and chronic, and so it is often accompanied by poor sleep quality. In many cases, poor sleep hygiene itself can be a cause of anxiety. This is why it is crucial to find a way to reduce stress and improve sleep quality if you struggle with sleepless nights and uneasiness.
Cannabidiol is known for its calming and relaxing effect, so it may be a good idea to take it before bedtime. Again, the dosage you should take depends on the severity of your anxiety and how you react to CBD products. The recommended dosage is between 10 and 50 milligrams for orally administered products.
You can also improve your sleep hygiene by enhancing your sleep environment. For example, you can pour some CBD oil into your diffuser. This method may not be as effective as taking a few drops of oil sublingually, but it still can help freshen up the air in your bedroom and make it more conducive to sleep.
What to Expect When You Start Taking CBD Oil
When talking about first-time CBD use, it is essential to point out some side effects associated with this substance. They may include dry mouth, diarrhea, a decrease in blood pressure, and general fatigue. These side effects are usually mild and disappear as your body gets used to cannabidiol, but this is also why you should always stick to a recommended dose for each product.
On a positive note, quick relief from anxiety is one of the most common effects reported by people who use this substance. The effects are usually felt within minutes and last for a few hours. While there does not exist one definite way how CBD affects the human body, its common effects include:
- Improved focus and concentration,
- Increased energy levels,
- Better sleep quality,
- Soothed muscles and joints.
Will CBD Work the First Time?
You should treat cannabidiol as a supplement to your daily routine, not just a solution to your anxiety. It is not a panacea that will eliminate all the issues you currently struggle with.
That said, yes, it can work the first time around. But, it will most likely not work immediately. Give yourself some time to get used to it, as it takes some time for CBD molecules to interact with your endocannabinoid system.
While a single dose of cannabidiol can give you some relief from anxiety, the results are best visible after a few days or weeks of regular use. For best results, it’s recommended to take CBD every day for at least two weeks. After that period, you can slowly decrease the dosage or switch to other product types to see if your anxiety improves.
How Do You Take CBD for Beginners?
As a beginner, you can start with cannabidiol softgels with curcumin. They will allow you to easily control your CBD dosage and measure it out to ensure you do not take too much. As you integrate it into your daily routine, you can start increasing the dose if needed.
Once your body gets used to the substance, you can start experimenting with other product types. CBD oils are a popular choice because they are easy to use, and you can always increase or decrease the dosage based on your needs. Furthermore, they are quite versatile, as you can put CBD oils directly into your mouth, add them to food or drinks, apply them topically on the skin, or use a vaporizer for even faster results.
CBD creams, salves, and tinctures are also popular, especially if you suffer from muscle tension or pain. You can apply CBD topicals directly to the affected areas of your skin, and they will provide localized relief. While they will not be as effective in treating anxiety, they can improve the condition of your skin, as CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
How Many CBD Gummies Should I Take for Anxiety?
Gummies often lie on the safer side of the CBD dosage spectrum, so you should not be worried about accidentally taking too much. For example, a single green apple CBD gummy bear that contains 10 milligrams of this compound would be a recommended daily amount for most people. You can always take two or more gummies if you need a higher dose to get the desired results.
So, if you need 50 milligrams of CBD per day, you can take five gummies. If you want, you could mix them with other products to create your perfect daily CBD routine. Say, take three gummies and two CBD oil drops.
If you need a higher amount of CBD for anxiety, some other product types might be a better option. For instance, the Iowa-grown hemp CBD oil tincture contains up to 66 milligrams of CBD per serving.
Can CBD Make You Feel Sad?
No evidence would suggest that CBD has any significant adverse effects on one’s mood. CBD does not have the same intoxicating effect as THC, so it is unlikely that it will make you feel sad. However, as with any other supplement or medication, this does not mean it will not react with other substances you take. If you are currently taking any prescription medication, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before using CBD oil for anxiety to avoid potential unwanted reactions.
Antidepressants such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are often prescribed to people with anxiety disorders, and these medications can interact with CBD. The effects of these interactions may increase the risk of concentration-related SSRI side effects. In other words, using cannabidiol with specific antidepressants can fluctuate the levels of serotonin in the brain, causing some side effects, such as mood swings, decreased appetite, or even depression.
Is CBD Addictive?
Some say you can get addicted to any substance or activity as long as it makes you feel good. Drug addiction is a complex disease that has more to do with changes in the brain than just feeling good. The main difference between drug addiction and other dependencies is that with drugs, the changes in brain chemistry make it difficult for the person to stop using them due to the drugs’ psychoactive effects.
Cannabidiol, unlike THC or other intoxicating substances, does not directly interact with the receptors in your brain that are associated with addiction, meaning that it cannot lead to chemical dependence. Nevertheless, taking too much CBD can lead to tolerance and cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the product.
How Do I Use CBD Oil?
CBD oils are probably the most versatile CBD category, giving you plenty of ways to implement them in your daily routine. Thanks to its nature, you can take them virtually anywhere and at any time, the only differences being the effectiveness and the time in which CBD will take effect. The four main ways to use CBD oils are sublingual administration, topical application, ingestion, or inhalation.
Sublingual administration, or simply putting CBD oil under the tongue, is probably one of the most common application methods. It is pretty straightforward — all you need to do is place a few drops of CBD oil underneath your tongue, wait up to a few minutes, and enjoy the results.
Although CBD salves, creams, bath bombs, and other topical products are widely available, nothing prevents you from using CBD oil with your favorite body care products. Just add a few drops of CBD oil to your regular cream, shampoo, or body wash and enjoy the benefits of cannabidiol.
Ingesting CBD oil is a convenient way to take your daily CBD dose, especially if you are fond of the taste. This administration method includes pre-made softgels, gummies, or taking your CBD oil by mouth with a teaspoon, but also mixing it with your own food and beverages. Just remember to avoid exposing it to high temperatures as they can damage the compounds in CBD oil and diminish its potency.
Inhalation is a relatively fast way to experience the effects of cannabidiol. Take your vape pen, add a few drops of CBD oil to the cartridge, and enjoy! Keep in mind that some people find inhalation irritating to the lungs, so you may want to tinker with the settings on your vape pen and find a comfortable way for you to inhale. Alternatively, you can use a diffuser or a vaporizer, although the effects of CBD may not be as fast and pronounced as in the case of a vape pen.
Managing Anxiety With CBD Oils
Now you know that CBD oil options can help alleviate general anxiety. But how can you use it to your advantage? Here are some tips on using CBD oils for anxiety.
Choose the Right Product
As you have probably noticed, CBD is available in a variety of forms and concentrations. Choosing the right product is crucial, as it will determine your treatment’s effectiveness. If you are looking for a quick and powerful way to reduce anxiety, you might want to try CBD isolate. If your goal is to reduce stress over a more extended period of time, you might want to try CBD oil or tinctures.
Use a Low Dose
As with any new supplement, it is advised to start with a low dose and increase it gradually. Doing so will help you avoid any adverse effects, such as anxiety attacks or headaches. Use a low amount for a certain period, then increase it gradually if needed.
Complement CBD With Other Anxiety-Reducing Treatments
Cannabidiol is a powerful tool against anxiety. But, if your condition is severe, you might want to complement CBD with other treatments, such as prescription medications or counseling.
Take CBD Regularly
To get the most out of cannabidiol, you need to take it regularly. Not only does this help reduce anxiety symptoms, but it also helps prevent them from coming back. Furthermore, it may help you with other conditions, such as pain or inflammation.
Consider Other Lifestyle Changes
You can do many other things to reduce anxiety. These include exercise, sleep, and diet changes. Taking care of yourself is just as crucial as supplementing with required nutrients. Similarly, try to eliminate as many stressors in your life as possible. You could try reducing work hours, taking breaks more frequently, and exercising more often.
Have Realistic Expectations
CBD is not a magic pill that will make all your anxiety disappear overnight. You should consider it a tool that may help you cope with anxiety in the long run. Be patient and give it some time to work. Anxiety is a condition that requires complex and long-term treatment, so only focusing on CBD may be enough.
Stick to High-Quality Products
Finally, CBD is a relatively new industry. Because of this, there are many low-quality and even dangerous products on the market. To avoid them, always buy the best CBD oils from hemp authority-certified CBD brands. These brands usually have third-party lab results that attest to the quality and potency of their products.
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