Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that has become more heavily studied in recent years, partly due to the rise of CBD oil for anxiety. One thing that excites researchers is that CBD has shown properties that can help relieve symptoms of common mental health disorders. Those suffering from anxiety and depression are also rejoicing at the advent of CBD oil for panic attacks.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.
What Is CBD Oil?
As mentioned above, CBD is short for cannabidiol. So what is CBD oil exactly? It is a cannabinoid from the cannabis plant that is said to have symptom-relieving properties. The primary benefit of CBD oil is that it does is non-psychoactive and does not carry the same “high” as does THC, yet reports have shown benefits to be excellent.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Anxiety
Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a prevalent anxiety condition. Difficulty making social adjustments in day to day life characterizes what SAD is. Anxiety and depression symptoms tend to grow and can lead to less ability to function normally. It can even become debilitating in extreme cases.
Anxiety is a challenging disorder to treat because even if patients reach remission, symptoms still tend to linger. Prescription drugs for anxiety tend to have a lot of side effects, and in many cases, only offer marginal benefits for anxiety sufferers. CBD oil for anxiety is an exciting prospect because it has demonstrated mental health benefits since ancient times and has very few disruptive CBD side effects.
CBD Oil for Anxiety and Depression
At very high doses, the side effects of CBD can increase anxiety, but low to moderate doses often provide great symptom relief for both anxiety and depression.
CBD oil for anxiety symptoms works through the endocannabinoid system. This system consists of receptors throughout the body. These receptors modulate neurotransmitter signaling when triggered by cannabinoids like CBD.
Along with CBD for anxiety and depression, CBD works through the endocannabinoid system to reduce pain perception and inflammation. It also stimulates appetite, eases nausea, aids learning and memory, and improves overall cellular function.
CBD Oil for Panic Attacks
Cannabinoids can help to eradicate memories that trigger negative symptoms, and taking CBD for panic attacks has been one of its most popular uses. Products like CBD vapes and CBD oil tinctures are great for acute anxiety because they can be taken discreetly and work fast.
CBD’s ability to relieve social anxiety disorder (SAD) symptoms was looked at by a CBD anxiety study. This study found that CBD performed well on its users when taken before a public-speaking event. Most participants reported less interference from anxiety symptoms when asked to speak in front of a group.
- Increase serotonin and glutamate production through 5-HT1A receptor
- Works for acute symptoms and chronic symptoms
- Reduces negative self-evaluation and social avoidance
- Helps relieve depressive symptoms
- Very few side effects, mostly occur if the dose is too strong
- Researchers have compared CBD to clonazepam, clozapine, and diazepam
CBD for PTSD, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar Disorder
CBD can act on the physiological processes of psychiatric conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. It can also exert anti-panic effects via serotonin receptors and help reduce the recollection of memories that trigger symptoms of anxiety and panic.
A very high daily CBD oil dosage of 800 mg to 1500mg has shown to alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. More research is needed, but preliminary data show that CBD could be an effective treatment option with less problematic side effects than antipsychotic drugs.
People with psychotic symptoms should speak to a doctor before trying cannabinoid products, especially THC containing products. THC can aggravate schizophrenia so much more caution is needed.
CBD Oil Improves Endocannabinoid Homeostasis
Mood disorders and mental health often have pathologies, where neurotransmitters do not function properly. The body’s natural endocannabinoid system can inhibit or stimulate these chemical messengers. This inhibition is especially true when paired with cannabinoids like CBD.
To function normally, the endocannabinoid system needs to be stimulated. This stimulation must be by enough natural endocannabinoids to keep signals moving and stopping at appropriate times. Health problems arise when it is too much or not enough of a chemical signal in the body.
In this way, a body that does not produce enough endocannabinoids naturally can be supplemented by analogous substances from plants, such as CBD from the cannabis plant.
Most animals have endocannabinoid systems similar to the one in humans. Therefore, it is no surprise that using CBD for anxiety in dogs has also been reported as a working technique.
How CBD Works for Anxiety
One pathway of depression and anxiety is the malfunctioning of 5HT1A receptors in limbic brain areas. CBD effects on the brain can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms by elevating 5-HT and glutamate levels in the prefrontal cortex.
This area of the brain is involved in maladaptive behavioral regulation in depressed patients. Through these mechanisms, CBD can elevate glutamine and serotonin levels and have antidepressant activity. CBD’s ability to increase 5-HT and serotonin attribute to its effectiveness in relieving symptoms of anxiety from chronic stress.
Summary of CBD Effect on Anxiety
- Activated 5-HT1A receptors can create antidepressant-like effects
- Significantly enhances serotonin and glutamate levels
- Can help remove conditioned memories that trigger anxiety symptoms
- Can help patients change the context of memories that lead to symptoms
- For acute symptoms and chronic symptoms
- For anxiety reduces negative self-evaluation and social avoidance
- Helps relieve depressive symptoms
- Side effects are rare, mostly occur if the dose is too strong
- Clonazepam, clozapine, and diazepam have been compared to CBD for anxiety by researchers
Using CBD for panic attacks and anxiety has been observed to have comparable effects to taking the antipsychotic prescription medicine known as Clozapine. Clozapine is an antipsychotic drug. Injecting a dose of 30 mg/kg or 60 mg/kg tends to yield positive results. Clozapine is prescribed for disorders like schizophrenia. Clozapine is also used in patients that are suicidal or experiencing acute and severe panic attacks.
Proper CBD Dosage for Anxiety
When using CBD hemp oil for anxiety, starting at a low dose and gradually increasing as needed is the best way to meet your goals for use. A CBD oil dosage for anxiety of 25mg from an oil tincture has been suggested as a good starting point.
A study about using CBD oil for anxiety and depression suggested antidepressant effects observable after just two weeks of a 10mg per kilogram of body weight. This study also indicated that anti-anxiety properties can proliferate after lowering a daily CBD oil dosage following a short period of high dosing.
Another piece of research suggested that 300mg to 600mg of CBD oil showed good results when tested in an acute anxiety scenario of public speaking. This dose is huge and administered in an oral capsule.
Bioavailability: A Common Problem
A common problem, however, is that when processing CBD through the digestive system, its bioavailability can be extremely low, as low as 6%. This dosing would likely be much lower if the study participants were using a delivery method like a CBD vape or CBD oil tincture, which yields a gain of 3-5x in bioavailability.
Vapes and CBD tinctures work fast, in 10 to 20 minutes, whereas oral capsules need one to two hours to start working. Injected CBD has shown anti-anxiety effects at 30mg to 60mg. Vaping and sublingual delivery methods are a direct administration to the blood. A vape that has around 30% bioavailability and would need to be dosed higher, around 80mg, to reach the same blood concentration as the 60mg dose that was injected. An oral dose would require around 220mg to reach a blood concentration close to the 60mg injected dose.
CBD Dose Calculator
|CBD Dosage Calculator with Bioavailability Adjustment
|STEP 1: Enter mg per bottle and bottle volume
|mg CBD in bottle
|ml bottle volume
|mg CBD per 1ml dropper
|STEP 2: Enter the desired dosage and estimated bioavailability
|adjusted the desired dose
|STEP 3: Round the number of droppers to the neared full or half dropper
|adjusted the desired dose
|mg CBD per 1ml dropper
|number of droppers to take
mg CBD in bottle ÷ ml bottle size = mg per 1ml dropper
desired dose x % bioavailability per delivery method = desired dose + desired dose (adjusted)
desired dose (adjusted) ÷ mg per 1ml dropper = number of droppers to take
To use our interactive calculator, go to the CBD dosage calculator available for free on our site.
Possible Side Effects of CBD
Side effects of CBD may occur at the highest doses. Side effects to watch out for include dizziness or lightheadedness, anxiety, decreased appetite, drowsiness, increased heart rate and palpitations, and jitteriness.
CBD side effects are generally mild and resolve within 24 hours. Side effects are often a sign that a dose is too high. Lowering the dose should subside the side effects.
Unlike SSRI drugs commonly prescribed for anxiety and depression, there is evidence that using CBD oil for anxiety can provide comparable symptom relief. This relief could come without the SSRI side effect of inhibiting REM sleep.
CBD Gummies for Anxiety
In research, chronic CBD dosage for anxiety appeared to benefit the symptoms of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression. If you think you might want to buy CBD gummies for anxiety, both the gummies and capsules are a fantastic prophylactic approach to relieving symptoms of anxiety.
What is Prophylactic?
Prophylactics are preventative preparations. A consumer may take CBD gummies as a daily supplement, and then keep a CBD vape on hand in case they need to address acute symptoms like a rise in anxiety. The prophylactic CBD dosage for anxiety can help lower the baseline for symptoms, and less severe doses may be needed.
This prophylactic effect is partly possible because CBD has a half-life of one to two days. The residual effects of a single dose will not be as intense but will carry on more subtly. Low daily doses can maintain CBD benefits without having to spend a lot of money on large quantities.
Taking CBD gummies as a dietary supplement helps to rebalance homeostasis. When the body is well balanced on a day to day basis, acute symptoms can be less exacerbating, and lesser symptoms can produce less interference.
When taking CBD oil in a way that moves it through the digestive system, some potency can be lost. Let’s quickly talk about THC vs. CBD. Where processing in the liver can increase the effects of THC, most often CBD has been observed to lose strength. Despite this, the lower amount of CBD received from a CBD gummy or capsule many people do report CBD oil anxiety relief from these supplements.
CBD Anxiety Study
In a study about CBD oil for anxiety, laboratory rodents were tested for a variety of anxiety symptoms through tests for conditioned fear, aversion to open space, conflict tests, restraint stress, and other measures. These studies observed significant reductions in anxiety symptoms.
Human CBD anxiety studies have also demonstrated symptom reduction. CBD works to reduce acute and day to day symptoms. This reduction is because it has anti-anxiety and antidepressant qualities.
Prophylactic doses of CBD, like daily capsules, help to balance the endocannabinoid system. Taking these doses regularly supports the relief of day to day symptoms of anxiety and depression. CBD vapes and tinctures can provide fast-acting relief for acute symptoms like panic attacks.
How do cannabinoids provide this kind of relief? Surprisingly, they can regulate neurotransmitters in the body.
A 2003 study looked at cannabinoid controlled neurotransmitter functions. They found a long list of functions in the body that can be stimulated by cannabinoids to relieve symptoms of conditions like anxiety, depression, PTSD.
One way this is possible is that cannabinoids are able to increase serotonin and glutamate production through the 5-HT1A receptor. Unlike SSRI drugs, there is evidence that using CBD oil for anxiety can do this without inhibiting REM sleep.
Here are some of the neurotransmitters influenced by cannabinoids and the disorders associated with those biological pathways:
|Neurotransmitter Functions Under Cannabinoid Control
|Neurotransmitter Associated Disorder, Symptom, or Affected Biological Process
|Excitatory amino acids
|Epilepsy, nerve-cell death in stroke
|Inhibitory amino acids
|Spinal cord motor disorders, epilepsy, anxiety
|Autonomic homeostasis, hormones, depression
|Depression, anxiety, migraine
|Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, vomiting,
pituitary hormones, drug addiction
|Neuromuscular disorders, autonomic homeostasis, dementia, parkinsonism, epilepsy, sleep-wake cycle
|Pain, movement, neural development, anxiety
Where to Buy: CBD Oil for Sale
People can buy CBD oil for anxiety online and in health food and supplement stores. However, we strongly suggest staying away from both eBay and Amazon, as these marketplaces have been reported to have high numbers of fake or mislabeled CBD products.
If you are thinking of trying CBD hemp oil products, be aware that while many products are manufactured in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices, their efficacy and use have not been evaluated by the FDA. Due to the complicated legal status of the cannabis plant family, FDA evaluation of CBD supplements could lead to increased restriction of non-psychoactive CBD products. At the time this was written CBD oil is legal to order online.
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- Linge, R., Jiménez-Sánchez, L., Campa, L., Pilar-Cuéllar, F., Vidal, R., Pazos, A., … & Díaz, Á. (2016). Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Neuropharmacology, 103, 16-26. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26711860
- Welty, T. E., Luebke, A., & Gidal, B. E. (2014). Cannabidiol: promise and pitfalls. Epilepsy currents, 14(5), 250-252. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4189631/