How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety

Over the past decade, many are turning to a less invasive, more natural solution to manage anxiety and stress relief.

If you’re a regular human being, chances are you’ve experienced anxiety before. Whether it’s generalized anxiety, social anxiety, or more extreme cases such as post-traumatic stress disorder or panic disorder, 25% of Canadians will experience some sort of anxiety lasting longer than 12 months in their lifetime. And if you suffer from or have experienced the debilitating effects of anxiety, you’ve likely tried or currently take prescription medications to manage your anxiety. 

Over the past decade, however, many are turning to a less invasive, more natural solution to manage anxiety and stress relief: Cannabidiol (CBD). Read on to learn how to use CBD oil for anxiety and how you may be able to get natural, plant-based relief.

What is anxiety?

So, what exactly is anxiety? While we all experience mild stress throughout our day-to-day, anxiety takes things a step further, characterized by restlessness and the inability to set aside excessive worry. It may manifest itself physically as panic attacks, shortness of breath, high heart rate, and insomnia. Anxiety comes in many forms, from generalized anxiety (the feeling of constant worry and impending doom), to social anxiety (feelings of inferiority, irrational self-consciousness and fear in social situations), to post-traumatic stress disorder (persistent mental and physical stress as a result of a certain life event). Overall, anxiety is one of the most common emotional issues faced by our society, with nearly 264 million people living with anxiety worldwide.

Traditional treatments for anxiety

1. Therapy

One of the most popular traditional treatments for anxiety is psychotherapy, considered a fundamental step toward living an anxiety-free life. Therapy includes patients sitting with a licensed psychologist or counsellor to understand the root of the problem. Some forms of therapy include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which allows patients to learn behavioural techniques and overcome irrational thoughts. Other forms include psychodynamic psychotherapy and supportive-expressive therapy. If you are suffering from anxiety, it is strongly recommended to visit a therapist, as a treatment in conjunction with medication or other home remedies.

2. Prescription medication

There’s a reason why prescription medication exists…because it works. When a person’s anxiety is so debilitating they can’t leave the house, talk on the phone, or even go to work, sometimes therapy just isn’t enough. Medication for anxiety is usually prescribed on a short-term or as-needed basis and are designed for immediate relief. You may have heard of Xanax, Valium, or Ativan, popular anti-anxiety medications; while these medications certainly work, they come with drawbacks like drowsiness, irritability, memory and attention problems, and even a physical dependence to the drug. 

3. Home remedies for therapy

By “home remedies,” we don’t so much mean things like taking a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar everyday, but rather, natural ways to manage anxiety at home. These include practicing yoga and meditation to calm the mind, or going for brisk walks everyday. 

What is CBD?

One of over a hundred cannabinoids found in cannabis plants and second in abundance to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD has been commonly used to treat a multitude of ailments from pain, insomnia, hangovers, and even anxiety. CBD can be smoked in its natural flower form, consumed as an oil, or infused into gummies, coffees, and other edibles or drinks. 

Does CBD get you high?

Have you ever smoked weed and couldn’t stop wondering why everyone was staring at you? Although smoking marijuana may be common for those with anxiety to help calm and relax the body and mind, it can actually trigger anxiety in those who are predisposed to the condition. 

CBD oil is often extracted from hemp plants, which naturally contains high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. Marijuana plants can have a balanced amount of CBD and THC, however they often contain very high amounts of THC (up to 30%), the compound that produces intoxicating effects. Because CBD derived from hemp contains negligible amounts of this compound (<0.3%), it is not nearly enough to have any intoxicating effects, or the ability to get you high.

 Although CBD does react with a variety of neuroreceptors, one thing it does not do is interact with receptors that alter your state of mind, meaning it can offer health benefits without sending you to the clouds. Keep in mind, since CBD oil does contain trace amounts of THC, you can still be tested positive on a drug test.

Using CBD Oil for Anxiety

So, how does CBD oil work to manage anxiety specifically? Although studies are still underway to uncover this, anecdotal evidence and preliminary trials are promising. 

CBD as a serotonin stimulator

One way CBD works for anxiety is by stimulating the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor. A quick science lesson: anxiety and depression are treated by targeting the serotonin system, which produces serotonin—the chemical that boosts mood and feelings of well-being. That’s why many medications such as Prozac and Zoloft are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which basically block the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, increasing the availability of the chemical. This, in turn, reduces anxious feelings and and has an antidepressant effect. In mice, CBD has been proven to stimulate 5-HT1A, producing more serotonin without the need of SSRIs.

CBD as a neurogenesis stimulator

The hippocampus in the brain is critical for a variety of functions, and brain scans of those suffering from anxiety usually show a smaller hippocampus area. This means, neurons are formed slowly, which leads to feelings of anxiousness or even suicidal thoughts. According to one study, CBD has been shown to stimulate neuron regeneration in the hippocampus in the same way SSRIs do, potentially eliminating the need for medication. 

If you’re ready to give CBD oil a try to help manage your anxiety, here’s what to do.

Best CBD oil for anxiety

Look for a reputable seller of CBD products like resolveCBD, and be sure that you are purchasing full-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD oil. As mentioned earlier, hemp-derived CBD oil does not have intoxicating effects due to the low levels of THC. 

Full-spectrum CBD oil has not been further processed and contains all the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including CBD and THC (<0.3%). Other types of CBD oil include broad-spectrum (contains all cannabinoids except THC), and CBD isolate (no other cannabinoids except CBD). Full-spectrum CBD is considered to be the most beneficial, as all the cannabinoids work together to amplify the benefits and effects of CBD (known as the entourage effect). 

How much CBD oil should you take for anxiety?

CBD oil is available in tincture form, containing 3 ingredients: CBD oil, MCT oil, and food-grade peppermint oil for flavour. You can also purchase CBD capsules or gummies, however, oil form is often considered the best way to consume CBD as it is fast acting and can be accurately dosed. 

Next, you need to find the right dosage that works for you. Since CBD oil does not have any intoxicating effects, it is not possible to overdose on the product, however, if you do take too large of a dose, you may experience some side effects, such as nausea or fatigue. resolveCBD tinctures have droppers that are clearly marked so you can measure out your exact dose, every time.

Start off by applying ½ ml to 1 mL of CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue) and letting it dissolve for a minute, then swallow any remaining oil. Continue this for a few weeks, monitoring how you feel—keep in mind that it can take several days for you to feel the effects of CBD, so don’t feel discouraged if you do not notice a difference right away. After two to three weeks, gradually adjust your dosage if necessary. 

Alternatively, take our 3-step quiz for a personalized dosing recommendation, or view our dosing guideline chart below.

CBD dosing chart

Anxiety can be a debilitating disorder, and we certainly understand the struggle. CBD may be just what you need to help manage your anxiety, and perhaps reduce your need for prescription medication. As always, be sure to consult with your general practitioner to ensure that CBD oil does not interfere with any medication you are currently taking, and to discuss your options regarding CBD as a treatment for anxiety.

DISCLAIMER: Information and products presented here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or ailment, nor is it intended to be a substitute or alternative for professional medical advice. Always consult with a licensed professional regarding medical treatment or possible interactions with prescribed drugs. Products are intended to be used as directed, by individuals who are 19 years of age or older.