One of the greatest promises of medical cannabis is the hope that cannabidiol (CBD) products extend to people suffering from anxiety. CBD products are perceived as a safer, less toxic option to pharmaceutical chemicals in treating conditions related to anxiety disorders.
In contrast to potential side effects from pharmaceutical medications prescribed for anxiety-related conditions, the best CBD products for anxiety are relatively mild. CBD products for anxiety and depression cause few if any of the side effects common to pharmaceuticals and do not present the same danger of toxicity.
CBD products do not have pharmaceutical medications’ history of impairing sexual functioning, spiking suicidal ideation and causing sudden and lasting weight change. Unlike many pharmaceutical drugs, CBD products can be discontinued free of negative consequences.
What Makes a Good CBD Product?
When compiling this list, Leafwell looked for the following criteria:
- Product is tested for safety
- Third lab testing
- Product consistency
- Products tested for cannabinoid and terpene content
- Reasonable pricing
- No outrageous medical claims are being made (unless they have good evidence proving it!)
- The company is willing to put their product/s through clinical trials.
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To find out more about how Leafwell seeks to understand what makes a good cannabis product, take a look at our blog post here. As far as efficacy goes, CBD derived from medical cannabis is ideal, but we realize that not everybody has access to such products all the time. We therefore tend to pick a mixture of cannabis and legal CBD products.
Does CBD Really Help for Anxiety?
Mainstream medical acceptance is growing that CBD really helps patients suffering from anxiety and related disorders. The Permanente Journal is a peer-reviewed publication covering scientific research and innovative healthcare published by the Kaiser Permanente medical network. In 2019, The Permanente Journal published findings from an American psychiatric research project into the efficacy of CBD in treating anxiety and associated insomnia.
The study, titled “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series,” tracked the outcomes of 103 adults under clinical care for anxiety and depression at a Fort Collins, Colorado, mental health facility that concentrates on integrative medicine and psychiatry.
Nearly all patients were given 25 mg doses of CBD in capsule form. A minority of patients received 50 mg or 75 mg doses. One patient with schizoaffective disorder and a trauma history had a dosage increased gradually to 175 mg.
Within the first month of receiving cannabidiol dosage, anxiety levels were lowered in 79.2 percent of patients in the study. Those anxiety levels remained reduced during the study’s duration.
Sleep scores showed a 66.7 percent improvement with cannabidiol treatment, but fluctuated.
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How Does CBD Work for Anxiety?
How CBD helps anxiety is related to the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. CBD impacts all this receptor activity in ways that are not universally clear. No one is exactly sure how or why CBD’s impacts on cannabinoid receptor activity help with anxiety and depression. However, many suspect that it’s due to cannabis’ and CBD’s effect on serotonin and adrenaline (adrenergic) receptors.
Studies back up another school of thought that the anti-anxiety effects of CBD products come through CBD altering the action of the chemical serotonin in the brain.
The only full certainty about CDB products, as confirmed by Harvard Medical School, is that it can help with anxiety and that “in humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
“Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series,” suggests that a primary benefit of using CBD for anxiety is safety, noting “there have been no reports of lethal overdose.”
How to Use CBD for Anxiety
CBD is an active ingredient of the cannabis plant that produces no psychoactive reaction. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD provides no intoxicating high. Be aware that not all CBD products contain zero THC.
CBD oils, gummies and other products use one of three common varieties of CBD.
- Full Spectrum CBD, the richest CBD, contains the complete cohort of phytochemicals (phyto meaning from the plant) that the cannabis plant has to offer. All of the various cannabinoids, terpenes, and oils are present in full spectrum CBD, including detectable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- Broad Spectrum CBD contains every phytochemical that Full Spectrum CBD contains, minus the THC.
- CBD Isolate is a distillation of pure CBD. No other phytochemicals are present in CBD Isolate.
For beginners, start with a low-dose product, perhaps as low as 5 mg. Gradually increase the dosage until determining whatever is most effective. We generally recommend full or broad spectrum CBD products, as many tend to find them more effective. However, those who are worried about drug testing may want to utilize CBD isolates.
CBD products can be consumed as oils, capsules, drops, teas, vapor and candies.
The first-timer’s CBD product should be in a form of ingestion where dosage can be precisely controlled. Tinctures are usually a good first go-to.
CBD oils and tinctures are best applied under the tongue (sublingually) in a measured dose from a medicine dropper. Let the liquid pool under the tongue for at least 20 seconds before swallowing.
CBD gummies and candies are, after checking dosage and CBD variation, popped in the mouth and chewed meditatively. However, those who wish to watch their sugar intake may be best served by a tincture.
As with all medical cannabis products, be sure to consult with a primary caregiver before embarking upon CBD treatment. There can be a risk of CBD producing unwanted reactions with other medications.
It’s also a good idea to stick with CBD products from brands that certify an independent third-party lab has tested the CBD product for safety, purity and strength of contents.
Explore: A List of Best CBD Products for Anxiety
The best CBD products for anxiety or depression will be different for different individuals.
Deciding factors include CBD variation, consumption method, dosage strength, price and even flavor.
Once an individual decides which attributes are most important in a CBD product for anxiety, sift through these lists provided by CBD aficionados and steer a course to your own CBD preference and benefits.
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Best CBD Oils
- CBD Pure — Non-GMO and organic
- CBDfx — Low THC, third-party tested
- Joy Organics — Third-party tested, wide selection
- Penguin CBD — High-grade American hemp, co2 extraction
- Charlotte’s Web CBD — Organically grown hemp, varied flavors
- American Shaman — Nanotechnology, oil options
- Medterra CBD — Non-GMO and organic, mild flavor
- Green Garden Gold — USDA certified organic hemp
- Royal CBD — Non-GMO, third-party lab tested
- Provacan — Developed to high standards, lab tested and willing to put their products through clinical trials
- Papa & Barkley CBD Range — Well made and plenty of great reviews
Best CBD Gummies
- Charlotte’s Web Calm CBD Gummies — more than 80 phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
- Pure Relief CBD Gummies — Potent, at 30 mg of CBD isolate per gummy.
- +CBD Oil Gummies — Gluten free, vegan, no artifical ingredients.
- Hemp Bombs CBD Sleep Gummies — Calming ingredients include I-theanine, Scutellaria, and Passiflora.
- Green Roads CBD Relax Bears — Non-GMO, THC-free.
- CBDistillery Nighttime Gummies — Vegan, gluten free, allergen free; 30 mg of CBD in each gummy.
- Sunday Scaries CBD Gummies — Vitamins B-12 and D-3 in combo with full-spectrum CBD.
- Verma Farms CBD Gummies — CBD isolate from American hemp, no pesticides, solid 21 mg dose
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million U.S. adults grapple with anxiety disorders each year. Anxiety disorders are America’s most common mental illness and are deemed highly treatable.
Only 36.9 percent of people afflicted with anxiety receive treatment.
The 63.1 percent of anxiety-plagued Americans who have not received treatment might be best served to explore anxiety relief through CBD products.
No matter how manic or disturbed, no one ever committed suicide with CBD. That fact alone places CBD treatment for anxiety in a separate league from pharmaceutical medications.