Social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder are all some of the more common mental health conditions faced by people in the United States. The National Alliance on Mental Illness says that around 20 percent of the US population has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
For many people with anxiety, the idea that something natural, derived from a plant, could help with their bothersome symptoms is exciting. Lately, CBD (cannabidiol), a cannabinoid derived from hemp, has gained a lot of attention for its proposed anxiolytic effect. Could CBD work for anxiety, and if so, how much should you take? Here is a look at some general information to help you along.
Does CBD work for anxiety?
Even though the research into the efficacy of CBD for anxiety is in its earliest stages, there have been some promising research studies published that do suggest CBD could be effective for anxiety.
In 2011, CBD was examined for its ability to reduce anxiety for people who were facing public speaking engagements. While the results were self-reported by the participants, the results did seem to show that CBD helped to soothe anxious feelings, discomfort, and cognitive impairment in what would have been a stressful situation.
In another study of 72 participants who struggled with sleep due to anxiety, CBD seemed to help. In the first 30 days, 72 percent of the group study participants noted that they had less anxiety. Sleep scores also seemed to improve for over half of the group participants.
In 2019, researchers in Japan conducted a study on a group of 37 teenagers with a social anxiety disorder to see if CBD minimized their symptoms. The group that was given CBD instead of placebo showed reduced levels of anticipatory anxiety. Further, CBD seemed to enhance brain activity in regions that are thought to be responsible for processing emotional feelings and information.
How does CBD work for anxiety?
There is not a great deal of understanding into how CBD could work for anxiety, but many theories do exist. The limbic system, which is linked to the nervous system and your brain, works to regulate things like stress response and anxiety. Because CBD seems to interact or affect the limbic system via the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the cannabinoid shows promise for a number of psychological issues, including anxiety.
The ECS is an intricate network of cannabinoid receptors that are found in varying parts of the human body, including the peripheral and central nervous systems. While CBD is a cannabinoid derived from plants (a phytocannabinoid), the body does also produce its own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids). Both plant and body-produced cannabinoids have similar effects on the ECS; the molecules either attach to CB1 and CB2 receptors or encourage certain actions within the ECS.
CBD, unlike other cannabinoids that appear to show direct affinity to certain cannabinoid receptors, seems to work as a balancer or stabilizer within the ECS. This ability to induce a state of homeostasis is thought to affect things like nervous system responses and even serotonin production, both of which can be linked to anxiety.
How much CBD should you take for anxiety?
Unfortunately, there is no one dosage level of CBD that works for every individual. Also, many inexperienced CBD users will mistakenly think the CBD is not working because they are not taking the proper dose specifically for their body. So many factors can affect the outcome and how much CBD you should take, such as:
- How often you have used cannabinoids in the past
- Your weight and metabolism
- Your own body chemistry and how your body processes the CBD
When you initially start taking CBD to help with anxiety, it can take a little dosing adjustment to get to the right point. The general idea is to start out with a lower, baseline dose, and then work your way up from that point. For example, you could start out with something like 20 to 40mg of CBD daily, use that dose for about a week, and then increase by 5mg if needed on the second week, and adjust further if needed as the weeks go by.
Even though CBD is not FDA-approved, some professionals in the medical community have embraced the idea that CBD may help with anxiety. Therefore, talking to your doctor about CBD and how much you should take is always a good recommendation. Likewise, if you are currently taking prescription medication for anxiety, your doctor can make sure the CBD will not cause any negative interactions.
How should you take CBD for anxiety?
When it comes to how you use CBD for anxiety, you do have a few good options. The CBD-infused product market has truly blossomed, so you can now find everything from CBD balms and tinctures to CBD edibles like brownie mix and gummies. Each way of consuming or using CBD can yield its own benefits. However, taking your CBD sublingually or swallowing the CBD for ingestion tends to be the best option when using CBD for anxiety.
Sublingual CBD Use for Anxiety
Sublingually using CBD involves placing CBD tincture or oil under your tongue, holding the fluid in place for about 30 seconds, and then swallowing. Taking CBD in this fashion allows the CBD to absorb into your system through the mucosal lining of your mouth, which can mean a faster onset of effects. Most people will see the effects of CBD kick in within around 15 minutes when using a sublingual product.
Ingesting CBD for Anxiety
Edibles, capsules, and even tinctures can simply be ingested or swallowed, which allows the CBD to be broken down by your digestive system and then used by the body. The one downfall of simply swallowing the CBD is that you can lose some bioavailability through the digestion process and edibles can take longer to take effect. Usually, you won’t feel any effects for about an hour or two.
Can you take too much CBD for anxiety?
Overdosing on CBD would be a difficult feat. Scientists have determined that in order for CBD to be toxic, you would have to take more than 20,000mg of CBD pretty much in one sitting. Even at that much CBD, you would likely only experience extreme levels of typical side effects. The general side effects of CBD can include:
- Appetite changes
- Dry mouth
- Digestive upset
So, if you were to take an excessive amount of CBD for anxiety, you could have a heightened risk of some side effects. However, by taking a CBD in moderation, starting with a low dose, and working your way up, you likely will not have any noteworthy side effects to contend with.
Opt for a Quality-Made CBD for Anxiety
Without question, one of the most important things you can do if you want the best outcome when trying CBD for anxiety is to make sure you get the highest quality products. The market is vast, unregulated, and filled with questionable manufacturing practices. To make sure you get a good quality CBD product, you do have to use some discernment. A few tips:
- Look for products that are made from USA-grown hemp
- Make sure the product has been properly tested by a third-party lab for cannabinoid content and contaminants
- Opt for products made from pesticide-free, non-GMO hemp
At Jenny’s Baked At Home, we take producing CBD products seriously because we truly believe in the holistic power of the plant and want you to reap the benefits. All of our CBD products are created with pesticide-free and non-GMO hemp grown right in the US. We also use full-spectrum, phytocannabinoid-rich, organic CBD in all of our products. Take a look at our collection of vegan CBD edibles, tinctures, and more.