CBD for Anxiety: How it Works and Recommended CBD Regimen
One of the most common uses for CBD is dealing with anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting approximately 40 million adults – or 18.1% of the population. The most common medical treatments for anxiety in the U.S. are the use of pharmaceutical drugs like benzodiazepines, buspirone, antidepressants, and beta-blockers. However, it’s important to realize that these pharmaceutical drugs – that often have severe side effects – are not your only option for treatment. In addition to self-care and therapy, you can incorporate CBD into your treatment regimen for natural, plant-based anxiety relief. The best part? CBD is non-toxic, non-addictive, and has very few (if any) side effects.
There are seven major types of anxiety listed below:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)
Phobias (Irrational Fears)
In order to understand how CBD helps provide anxiety relief, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of anxiety. We will address the results below.
A 2012 study concluded, “Studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Moreover, CBD was shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder.”
Learn More: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22729452
A 2014 study suggested, “that CBD exhibited an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in animal models discussed. Most of the studies demonstrated a good interaction between CBD and the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor.” For reference, the 5-HT1A receptor is a subtype of the serotonin receptors that are often targeted with pharmaceutical drugs like SSRIs.
Learn More: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923339
A 2011 double-blind study evaluated the use of CBD is the treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) in a format where the participants partook in a public speaking simulation. The study showed, “Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the control group…”
Learn More: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21307846
A 2011 study looked to evaluate the effect of CBD on pathological anxiety and its underlying brain mechanisms, it concluded, “Relative to placebo, CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety, reduced ECD uptake in the left parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, and inferior temporal gyrus, and increased ECD uptake in the right posterior cingulate gyrus. These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas."
Learn More: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20829306
A 2016 study evaluated the effects of CBD on a 10 year old girl with pediatric anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. “Pharmaceutical medications provided partial relief, but results were not long-lasting, and there were major side effects. A trial of CBD oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient's sleep. CBD oil, an increasingly popular treatment of anxiety and sleep issues, has been documented as being an effective alternative to pharmaceutical medications. This case study provides clinical data that support the use of CBD oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with posttraumatic stress disorder.”
Learn More: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27768570
As outlined above, the connection between CBD and anxiety reduction is strong and well documented. Several studies have validated CBD’s efficacy as an anxiolytic drug.
Recommended CBD Regimen for Anxiety
When formulating a CBD regimen for a specific disease or illness, it’s important to understand that CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. Meaning it should be used as a preventative first – it can also be used to manage acute flair ups, but the preventative maintenance is most important! Think about it like any other dietary supplement, you want to establish a baseline concentration in your system.
In order to manage anxiety, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of Tinctures or Gel Capsules. The ingredients in the two products are the same, the only difference between the two is the form factor and dosage – pills vs. sublingual tinctures. We suggest those suffering from anxiety start with 5-10mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. You’ll notice that the Gel Capsules are pre-filled and contain 25mg of CBD per pill – there is no harm in starting at 25mg CBD daily as you cannot overdose on CBD nor are there any serious side effects. These ingestible products provide sustained relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.
Managing Acute Flair Ups
In addition to the daily anxiety maintenance program outlined above, many people find they still need a safe way to manage acute flair ups. Whether it’s caused by an upcoming event, poor lifestyle choices, or stress – we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat these acute anxiety flair ups. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD isolate is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD and provides a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body. You can also ingest more CBD in the form of tinctures or pills to combat these flair ups, just keep in mind that the onset time will be significantly longer than vaporizing.