I. CBD Oil for Anxiety Treatment

Preclinical and clinical evidence has suggested that CBD may be used to treat several neuropsychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, anxiety, and epilepsy. Studies containing patients taking regular anti-anxiety medications and those who supplemented those medications with CBD showed a marked decrease in anxiety after the first month of the study. Furthermore, the decrease in anxiety stabilized after the first month of consistent use, showing that CBD can have a positive effect on managing the condition.

Other reports show similar results:

  • A 2017 study found that people who took CBD doses before public speaking demonstrated a reduction in blood pressure and heart rate when taking a public speaking test and self-reported feeling less anxious taking the test. Intermittent CBD use for social anxiety or in cases of behavioral anxiety may be beneficial.
  • A 2010 report on mice determined that CBD had an antidepressive effect thought to be caused by its actions on the 5-HT1A receptors in the brain. Depression and GAD are thought to be related, indicating that CBD may be useful for anxiety disorders.
  • In 2016, researchers determined that while participants noted a marked improvement in anxiety symptoms, side effects such as drowsiness and listlessness occurred. However, the same study notes that the participants were overall pleased with the results.
  • A Canadian survey showed that participants self-reported significant improvement in their anxiety and related symptoms when using CBD.
  • An article on CBD and patients with Social Anxiety Disorder demonstrates an improvement for those who experience SAD after regular use of CBD. Anxiety in social situations isn’t one in which many people take regular medications. In these cases, CBD use indicates that occasional use of the product can help ease off the stress of certain occasions.

Although scientific studies on the use of cannabidiol to treat social anxiety and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are relatively recent, the available information indicates that CBD oil may help support traditional medication for anxiety disorders.

Areas for future research into the effects of CBD on anxiety may include:

  • Proper dosage for maximum effectiveness
  • Mitigating side effects of CBD use, such as drowsiness and lethargy
  • More information on how CBD acts on the endocannabinoid receptors of the brain
  • The effectiveness of different dosing techniques: oil, capsules, powder, etc.

II. CBD Oil Side Effects & Drug Interactions

Like any supplement, CBD may have varying side effects, depending on an individual’s own personal health and other medications they are taking. For most people, CBD is well tolerated, with few side effects and rare interactions with the individual’s current medication regimen. The most common CBD side effects are:

  • Change in appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Nausea and diarrhea

While interaction with prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications can occur, it is rare. However, it’s important that you discuss your desire for CBD supplementation with your primary care doctor. One unique thing about CBD is that it has the same type of interaction on certain enzymes that grapefruit does — so if you’re taking prescriptions that recommend avoiding grapefruit, then it’s critical to talk to your doctor or a pharmacist about whether CBD will affect the potency or metabolism of your medications.

While CBD outlets are popping up all over the country, it’s important to understand the legalities. There is only one CBD product that is FDA-approved, Epidiolex, for epilepsy. The industry is quite unregulated, and many less scrupulous companies may make inflated claims about the purity and potency of their CBD products.

Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting your CBD  product.

  • Researching the company you buy your CBD from is essential. Look for companies that do third-party testing.
  • CBD is legal in most places across the U.S., but shipment regulations may vary. Ensure that you’re following your local regulations before buying online.
  • If you’re applying for a position where drug testing is a condition of hire, or if you’re in a job that requires random drug testing, CBD may not be the best solution for you. Some CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, which can cause a positive drug test result.
  • CBD, like many products, may not be available for those under 18.

IV. How to Use CBD for Anxiety

Dosages of CBD for anxiety should start out small. In fact, in some of the studies we’ve referenced above, there is a distinct “U-Curve” for dosing, meaning that maximum effectiveness is possible with a minimal amount of the supplement. Starting small is important when using CBD for anxiety, and you have the option to increase the dosage level or frequency as needed.

CBD comes in different forms for dosing. Here are some of the most common.

  • Topical: Topical administrations include personal care products, such as shampoos, lotions, and creams. For people who use CBD for inflammation and pain, topical treatments of ointments and creams may help soothe aching joints.
  • Oral: Oral dosing of CBD is the most common, with applications of oil placed beneath the tongue. Other oral methods include food and drink-infused CBD items.
  • Vaping: Vaping may be helpful for those who need a quick reaction from CBD products. However, scientists and health experts are still split about the health impacts of vaping. If you’re already vaping to reduce nicotine addiction, it’s important to talk to your doctor before adding CBD oil. Side effects can include throat irritation and coughing.

The Bottom Line

Many people have had positive reactions when using CBD to treat anxiety. Reducing the stress of a racing or pounding heart and nervous feelings is important for those who have anxiety that reduces their effectiveness when it comes to speaking in public, talking to others, or general life tasks.

We’ve collected a list of the better CBD distributors on the market, although you should do your own research according to what’s available in your area. Note that not all states allow the shipping of CBD oil products. Always check local laws. Finally, speak with your doctor before undertaking a CBD supplement regimen, especially if you’re already taking prescription medications.

V. Additional Resources