CBD, or cannabidiol, is making a name for itself as one of the hottest wellness trends. The plant-based compound can be found just about everywhere from coffee shops and cocktail hot-spots to the shelves of pharmacies and luxury department stores.
According to a recent survey from HempFusion, eight in ten Americans have changed their minds about cannabis and marijuana usage, with 46% strongly agreeing it was due to the rise of CBD products. In fact, 36% of Americans have tried a CBD product within the past year, reported the New York Post (October 15, 2019).
Advocates for both hemp and cannabis plants suggest that CBD can help with anxiety, depression, pain, stress, inflammation and more.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is that nagging weight pulling at your chest. The heavy feeling of fear or nervousness about what’s to come. In most cases, anxiety is perfectly normal. The first day on a new job, going on a blind date, receiving an unexpected bill in the mail, or speaking in front of a crowd are all reasons to feel apprehension.
But if your feelings are severe or lingering and begin to interfere with daily activities like job performance and relationships, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Healthline provides a detailed overview of anxiety. “Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect anyone at any age. According to the American Psychiatric Association, women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.”
Does CBD Help with Anxiety?
Medical treatment for anxiety traditionally consists of prescription drugs like benzodiazepines (Xanax and Klonopin). These pharmaceuticals can be habit forming and misused. For this reason, many are turning to more natural therapies like CBD.
While some cynics may dispute the effective use of CBD for anxiety, there are many health and wellness experts who swear by it.
“Of all the wellness tolls in my toolbox, CBD oil has been the best addition to my life for anxiety,” said Carlene Thomas RDN, dietician and author of the upcoming book, “CBD Drinks for Health.”
Thomas continued, “It worked immediately, effectively and effortlessly in a way that adaptogens and years of meditation hadn’t.” (Adaptogens are herbs, roots and mushrooms that theoretically “adapt” to what your body needs and help protect against various stressors.)
While there have been limited studies done on the topic of CBD and anxiety, there have been a few that are quite promising.
According to US News and World Report, “One study looked at mice and found that CBD had comparable effects to imipramine, an antidepressant medication, in producing antidepressant-like effects. A similar study looked at the effect of CBD on humans with social anxiety disorder and found that the people who took 400 milligrams of CBD had significantly decreased anxiety compared to a placebo.”
How Much CBD Should I Take?
It is not yet clear why or how CBD may help lower anxiety, but it appears to play a role in activating our serotonin receptors which naturally release a calming and elevating effect.
Scientists, physicians and cannabis experts are not certain what dosage of CBD is necessary to induce anti-anxiety effects. However, most studies report using 300 to 400 milligrams per day. This is in stark contrast to most OTC CBD products which recommend consuming only 10 to 15 milligrams per day.
This leaves the consumer to experiment with their own dosing. At least until further studies and FDA regulation comes into play.
Vaping, Oils and Gummies… Which Delivery is Best?
As you may know, CBD-based products are available in many shapes, sizes and forms. From oils, elixirs, tinctures and balms, to sweets, chocolates and CBD gummies.
If you struggle with chronic anxiety and are considering supplementing your treatment with CBD, there are several ways to incorporate this plant-based therapy into your daily life. Using CBD oil for anxiety tends to be the most common method of ingestion, followed by CBD gummies and vape pens.
CBD oils and sprays are very effective and discrete. They are popular with consumers who may need quick relief when on the go. These sublingual oils are taken by dropping the liquid under the tongue where they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Edibles, like gummies and candies, are tremendously popular amongst cannabis consumers. They come in countless flavors and look identical to non-medicated confections making them both discrete and delicious. On the downside, edibles take time to pass through your digestive tract, causing a delayed onset of relief.
Vaping tends to be a bit less popular, especially with the recent cloud of uncertainty surrounding the safety of this method. However, vaping allows for the quickest pathway to relief as vape goes directly into the lungs and is then released through the lungs and into the bloodstream.
CBD for Anxiety and The Future…
While there are still many unknowns as to the power of the cannabis plant, there are countless consumers who stand by their use of CBD as daily treatment for anxiety and other common afflictions.
As with any new treatment plan, it is recommended that you speak with a trusted medical professional about your plans. This is especially important if you are currently taking prescription medications. Similar to grapefruits, CBD could interfere with your body’s ability to metabolize certain drugs.