There has been a surge in interest in CBD oil for anxiety for some time now. Some people say it works, while some people are still of the opinion cannabis heightens anxiety. One thing that's in no short supply, however, is proper science. So what's the deal with CBD oil for anxiety— what exactly does the science say?
CBD for anxiety - what's the evidence?
Both human and animal studies (rats) show that CBD works as an anxiolytic (an anti-anxiety drug).
To date, much of CBD for anxiety research has included social anxiety. For example, in 2019, a study in Japan with teenagers with social anxiety who took high dose amounts of CBD (300mg) over a period of 4 weeks noted significant decreases in levels of social anxiety after 4 weeks.
Similar positive effect were seen for generalised anxiety disorder. In a 2019 study, with 72 adults presenting with anxiety or poor sleep, showed that almost 80% of participants reported a decrease in anxiety levels within the first month of taking CBD.
Can CBD oil make anxiety worse?
Are there any dangers of taking cbd oil for anxiety? There's still a misconception that CBD can heighten anxiety. Unfortunately, this is a confusion with CBD and THC, the illegal compound that gets you high. THC is biphasic, at small doses for most people it is good for anxiety (especially when contained with CBD) but at large doses it can have the opposite effect.
The below video is a great introduction into using cannabis for mental health.
How exactly does CBD help anxiety? 🤓
Looking through the research, there are two main ways CBD helps
- CBD helps prevent the breakdown of anandamide, whose name originates from the sanskrit “ananda,” which means “bliss” or “joy,”. It is a mood enhancer produced in our bodies.
- CBD affects the serotonin levels in your body, serotonin being the mood-boosting neurotransmitter. CBD interacts with the 5-HTP1A serotonin receptors helping serotonin bind more easily to these receptors.
👉 So to put this really simply (and I’m simplifying a-lot here), we will have higher levels of serotonin and anandamide in our bodies, which make us feel better.
This sounds familiar to how SSRI's work?
Exactly. This is pretty much exactly how all anxiety and anti-depressant medication works with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), preventing the breakdown of serotonin in our bodies making us feel better.
Here's a overview of the science of how CBD works
What will i notice after taking CBD?
Our bodies are full of receptors that react too cannabis, in our endocannabinoid system (a system only discovered in the last 25 years).
When we first start taking CBD for anxiety, we will be essentially ‘waking up’ some of these receptors so initially it will take a while to notice anything until the receptors become sensitised. After that, it really depends on your unique endocannabinoid system, the quality of the CBD product and how much you are taking.
But overall CBD has a very subtle effect, so you won’t actually really ‘feel’ anything. It’s more about making you feel better, it is a wellness supplement.
Note however, its effects are cumulative so you need to be taking it on a consistent basis.
What is the right dosage?
There is no specific perfect dose that works for everyone the same. Everyone's endocannabinoid is different so you really need to work out what works best for you.
You do this by following the rules like starting low and going slow.
We do favour micro-dosing here, that is smaller doses 2 or 3 times a day, after food.
Are there any side effects ?
Taking CBD has no known serious negative side effects or long-term effects. Even at ridiculously high doses, like 1500mg, CBD is shown to be well tolerated in our bodies.
It is extremely safe to take (but we would advise to always talk to your doctor if you are concerned)
At extremely high doses of CBD, people have reported some milder side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth and nausea/diarrhoea.
Could CBD interact with my existing anxiety medication?
We always advise you to talk with your doctor before taking CBD if you are taking medication.
We know from our research that surprisingly grapefruit and CBD have the same interactions with medication. So anytime you see a ‘grapefruit warning’ on your medication, that is a sign that there could be interactions.
For other medications, it is advisable to leave at least 2 hours after taking medication before taking CBD but please speak with your doctor about this.
Best CBD oil for anxiety in Ireland
Here's how to choose a cbd oil for anxiety in Ireland
- Use a full spectrum CBD oil from the hemp plant so it is dense in all plant compounds
- Choose organic CBD (because hemp is a bioaccumulator so it absorbs everything form the soil)
- Look for calming terpenes to be present like myrcene, beta-caryophyllene and linalool
- Make sure you have full access to the lab reports
- Look at the customer reviews. These reviews should come from a trustworthy site like TrustPilot and not from Mr. Google random sites that are often run by shady CBD companies !
Adaptogenic herbs for anxiety:
Consider also adding some adaptogenic supplements, medical plants to help handle stress to your daily routine.
We are big believers in a holistic way living - there's never going to be one pill or one anything, no matter what people say that will "fix you".
It is a number of different changes you need to make to your life, including talking therapies, meditation, exercise and diet - and whatever else you do that works for you.