Best CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression: Dosage & Benefits
CBD has become popularized as a treatment for a range of conditions, including chronic pain, depression, insomnia, and more. But can you use CBD for anxiety? Here, we review the current research and potential benefits of cannabidiol for treating various forms of anxiety disorder.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. The cannabidiol compound interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is the body’s regulatory biological system. The system maintains homeostasis when the body receives alerts of external change or stressors.
Cannabis works on the human body by mimicking its internally produced endocannabinoids. The compound interacts with cannabinoid receptors that exist throughout the human body. These receptors are relevant across a whole host of physical functions. They can affect memory, sleep, appetite, and sex.
The CBD compound itself is rich in cannabinoids. It binds to the cannabinoid receptors, activating the endocannabinoid system. In turn, this prompts the body toward balance and natural harmony.
Research into the exact function of CBD on human biological systems is ongoing. However, we can be sure that CBD works in part by naturally stimulating the body to pursue homeostasis.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. However, the term also encompasses a broader set of disorders. People with anxiety disorders may experience excessive, acute, or persistent fears and worries. Their feelings may be a response to certain triggers, such as specific events or objects. Or, these feelings of worry may manifest more generally.
The various types of anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
- Panic Disorder
Symptoms of these disorders can vary from one individual to another. They may include:
- Feelings of nervousness
- Feelings of impending danger
- Heightened tension
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Shaking / Trembling
- Sudden Fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Digestive problems
Treatments for anxiety disorders vary. One conventional treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or “talk therapy.” With this therapy, patients learn to correct faulty ways of thinking or identify unhelpful behavior.
For GAD, other treatment options in the form of medication are also available. One such medication is Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs are antidepressants. Depression commonly affects people with anxiety disorders, and SSRIs have shown to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
CBT and medications do not work for everyone. Their effectiveness can vary from person to person. The varied results are why the medical community has shown increasing interest in the potential for CBD to treat anxiety.
It is always worth checking with your doctor before starting a new drug or substance. Taking CBD is often recommended or accepted after other therapeutic methods have failed.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Anxiety
Social Anxiety Disorder
Recent studies have suggested the potential of CBD to reduce anxiety levels in patients with SAD. SAD presents as feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness, or fear of others’ judgments, leading to avoidance of social situations.
In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers found that CBD reduced anxiety in study participants diagnosed with SAD. They suggest the reason for this is the effects of CBD on limbic and paralimbic activity in the brain.
GAD and Public Speaking
Generalized Anxiety Disorder can manifest in many ways, one being the fear of public speaking. The symptoms of this fear can vary. They can range from physiological responses (sweating, shaking, etc.) to selective mutism.
One study showed promising results for the potential of CBD to reduce the fear of speaking in public. After administering pre-treatment with CBD, study participants experienced reduced anxiety, discomfort in their speech, and cognitive impairment.
Sleep Disorders, Anxiety, and Pediatric PTSD
PTSD can result in sleep disorders and anxiety. In a study of one ten-year-old girl, researchers found that cannabidiol helped to relieve the symptoms of PTSD. The trial run of CBD oil resulted in maintained levels of reduced anxiety and improved sleep quality.
CBD Dosage for Anxiety
There have never been any cases of overdoses related to CBD oil. Also, further studies have shown that it has limited adverse physiological effects. The compound is non-toxic and does not adversely alter the body’s physiological responses (heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure).
One should note that taking CBD for anxiety is not the same as getting “high.” CBD oil derives from hemp plants. Hemp plants are distinct from cannabis plants that are grown for recreational intoxication. Hemp plants have significantly lower levels of THC. By definition, hemp is a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC content.
As a result, you can be confident that only taking CBD oil is safe and will not result in you getting high. There is also minimal risk of CBD usage leading to addiction. Trials are also underway for CBD oil as a treatment for those who are addicted to opioids.
While more research is necessary for the potential of using CBD for anxiety, the current studies show great promise. The calming effects of cannabidiol may hold the key to treating a wide range of emotional and mental health disorders.