Cannabidiol, often referred to as CBD, is a chemical that is naturally found in cannabis plants, which include both hemp and marijuana. According to early research, CBD oil may help relieve anxiety.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is another chemical found in cannabis plants, CBD does not cause you to feel intoxicated or “high”.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the potential benefits of CBD to treat anxiety, giving you the information you need to share with your physician so that together you can decide if this is a treatment option for you. We will also provide you with reviews on the 10 best CBD for anxiety to help you know where to start.
How Does it Work?
Your body has a system known as the endocannabinoid system. It is made up of receptors, which are protein-based chemical structures attached to your cells. These receptors receive signals from various stimuli.
Research indicates that CBD interacts with your CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are primarily found in your central nervous system (CB1) and peripheral nervous system (CB2).
The effect of CBD on CB1 receptors in the brain is not fully understood, though it’s believed that it alters serotonin signaling. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in your mental health. Typically, individuals with depression have low serotonin levels. Additionally, low serotonin could cause anxiety.
In most cases, when a physician diagnoses patients with low serotonin, they prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, such as Prozac or Zoloft. These are only available by prescription.
In some cases, patients can manage their anxiety with CBD instead of taking an SSRI- but you should always consult with your physician before you make any changes to your treatment plan.
3 Main Types of CBD
Before we get too far into using CBD for anxiety, it’s important that you are aware that there are three main types of CBD that you will encounter.
Most of the products we list below will either be broad-spectrum or full-spectrum. However, it’s important that you have an understanding of all three.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain all extracts of the cannabis plant, including:
- Essential oils
- Other cannabinoids (CBG, CBC, CBN, etc)
Legally, CBD products can contain up to 0.3% THC. If the concentration is higher, it is a cannabis product, which is not the same thing as CBD. Though there are trace amounts of THC in CBD products, there’s not enough to create the psychoactive effect you get when using THC.
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain all extracts of the cannabis plant, with the exception of THC. This is because it is processed as an additional step to remove the THC. In most cases, these products are 100% THC-free- but some of them may contain up to 0.1%.
CBD isolate is the third type of CBD. It is considered “pure CBD” and is extracted from the plant in a way that leaves all of the other components behind. Since a CBD isolate is pure CBD, you can be sure that it is 0% THC.
Research/Evidence Supporting the Use of CBD for Anxiety
Did you know that there are around 40 million adults in America that have dealt with or will deal with anxiety at some point? As mentioned earlier, many of these individuals are taking prescription medications to cope with their symptoms/condition. Recently though, there seems to be a push away from Big Pharma and a desire to find a natural way to deal with anxiety. This is why many are turning to CBD. There is some research that CBD can help ease symptoms.
That being said, research is still ongoing. While it has proven to be beneficial for some patients, others experienced an increase in their anxiety symptoms. Below, we’ll explore the research and evidence supporting the use of CBD for anxiety.
There is some indication that CBD is helpful for treating generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, CBD reduces stress in animals, such as rats.
Study subjects showed a decrease in behavioral signs of anxiety, as well as an improvement in physiological symptoms, such as increased heart rate. That being said, more research is needed on humans.
Other Forms of Anxiety
There is some evidence that CBD can benefit those with other forms of anxiety, including:
- Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Additionally, there is some indication that it may help treat insomnia related to anxiety.
A 2011 study looked at the effects of CBD on patients who had been diagnosed with SAD. Participants were given 400 milligrams of CBD or a placebo orally. Those who were given the CBD had reduced anxiety levels.
Numerous studies indicate that CBD helps ease PTSD symptoms, such as nightmares and reliving negative memories. These studies have looked at CBD as a standalone treatment, as well as a supplement to standard treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medications.
Other Neurological Conditions
There has also been some research into CBD and other neurological conditions. One 2017 literature review relating to CBD and psychiatric disorders stated that there is not enough evidence to claim CBD as an effective treatment for depression.
However, the authors did indicate that there is some evidence that CBD can help with anxiety- but the studies were not “controlled”. This means that there was no “control” group involved in the studies that would have received a different treatment or none at all.
Based on this information, more human testing is needed to understand exactly how CBD works, what the most effective dosages are, and if there are any side effects or risks associated with CBD use.
Another study in 2016 indicated that CBD can cause antipsychotic effects in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. The best part is, CBD does not cause the debilitating side effects that often come with antipsychotic medications.
What’s the Ideal Dosage of CBD for Treating Anxiety?
If you’ve decided that you want to try CBD for your anxiety, you’ll need to discuss it with your physician. They will be able to work with you to find the best starting dosage.
That being said, it’s important to note that the nonprofit organization, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, advises that there are only a few CBD products on the market that have enough CBD to replicate the effects seen in clinical trials.
In one 2018 study, male participants were given CBD prior to undergoing a simulated public speaking test. Researchers discovered that an oral dose of 300 milligrams taken about an hour and a half before the test substantially reduced the anxiety of the speaker.
Those who were in the placebo group who were given 150 milligrams saw very little benefit and the same was true for those who were given 600 milligrams.
This study was small, only involving 57 participants. Therefore, more research is necessary, including studies involving female participants to determine the ideal dosage of CBD for treating anxiety.
10 Best CBD for Anxiety Reviews
Below, we’re going to review what we feel are the 10 best CBD for anxiety. We hope that this can help guide you along your journey with CBD.
XWERKS is a well-known and respected brand in the fitness world. They are located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida and are known for producing products that support the active lifestyle.
One of the products they offer is CBD oil, which comes in two sizes: 600 or 1,200 milligrams. This is a full spectrum CBD oil, so it contains all chemicals found in the cannabis plant. XWERKS sources their CBD from plants grown in Colorado and Washington.
This company stands behind their products, offering a 30-day money back guarantee. If you are unhappy with your purchase for any reason, contact them and they will explain the return/refund process.
|Sizes||600 mg, 1,200 mg|
The CBD in products from CBDPure is sourced from plants in Colorado and Washington. They offer full-spectrum CBD, extracted via CO2. That is what makes this one of the top contenders in the industry. They offer three sizes, 300 mg, 600 mg, and 1,000 mg. Prices start out at $29.99 and go up to $79.99.
They only offer 1 flavor: natural, which is a little on the earthy side. Therefore, if you are not a fan of natural hemp, you may want to find something else. The company does offer a 90-day money back guarantee to all customers, so if you’re unhappy, feel free to let them know within 90 days and they’ll explain how to get your refund.
Finally, CBDPure is completely transparent when it comes to what they include in their products. You will see everything on the label. All of their products are third-party tested, and you can find the results on their website.
Populum is a popular CBD company, known for offering high-quality, honest, ethical CBD products. Their CBD comes from hemp plants grown in Colorado. Unlike a lot of the brands you’ll encounter, Populum is straightforward in their labeling. You can expect the best because they conduct full lab testing on each and every one of their products.
You can find their CBD oils in a variety of dosages, starting at 250 mg per bottle and going up to 2,000 mg per bottle. This is a dosage of approximately 8 milligrams to 66 milligrams.
Again, their hemp comes from plants grown in Colorado. If you need a premium, full-spectrum product, Populum is definitely among the best.
|Sizes||250 mg to 2,000 mg|
|Cost||$59.00 to $279.00|
Charlotte’s Web is one of the oldest CBD companies in the industry- being founded in 2013. Even so, they are still among the top companies when it comes to quality. You will find that their products are a bit more expensive than others and they offer a variety of products, including oils, gummies, and everything in-between.
The company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. One of the primary reasons everyone loves their CBD products is because they are 100% pure. Again, that means they are not cheap. Plus, they offer an array of high-quality products in various formulations and strengths.
One of the reasons that Charlotte’s Web is different is that they offer a starter pack if you’re just getting started- or if you’re a seasoned veteran and just want to try something new. Of course, if you have been using CBD for some time, you can jump right in with their high-dose, full-spectrum oil. While many of the products on our list are unflavored or natural hemp flavored, Charlotte’s Web offers a few different flavor options: Orange Blossom, Lemon Twist, Natural, Mint Chocolate.
According to their website, Charlotte’s Web products provide users with feelings of calmness, promote quality sleep, relieve inflammation (especially following HIIT sessions), and decrease stress levels. Their most popular products are their gummies and their oils.
|Product Name||Charlotte’s Web|
|Sizes||Starts at 30 mL|
|Flavor||Natural, Mint Chocolate, Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom|
|Cost||Starts at $29.99|
Joy Organics is another well-known and respected name in the industry. They have a wide array of products including softgels, oils, and so much more. They have both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products available, and they offer several different flavor options: Unflavored, Tranquil Mint, Fresh Lime, Summer Lemon, Orange Bliss, and Tropical Sunrise.
As implied by the name, their products are organic. In fact, they are one of the only companies that have the USDA certified organic seal. Many companies claim that they are organic, but they don’t have this seal. Their dosages start at 450 mg per bottle, which is 15 mg per serving, and go up to 1350 mg per bottle, which is 45 mg per serving.
All of the products from Joy Organics are tested in a lab and found to be THC-free. You can also check out customer reviews on their website to see how much they are loved. They offer a 90-day money back guarantee- so if you are skeptical, you can gain the trust of your potential customers.
|Product Name||Joy Organics|
|CBD Type||Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum|
|Sizes||450 mg to 1,350 mg|
|Flavor||Fresh Lime, Tropical Sunrise, Orange Bliss, Tranquil Mint, Unflavored, Summer Lemon|
|Cost||$44.95 to $89.95|
Chances are pretty high that you’ve heard of Medterra before. They are one of the largest CBD companies listed here. Their headquarters are located in California, and they were one of the first companies onto the scene. The founders of Medterra have a passion for CBD and believe that everyone should be able to access it at an affordable price.
Medterra’s CBD oils are 99%+ pure CBD with organic MCT. Their strengths start at 500 mg and go up to 3,000 mg. Their CBD is sourced from plants grown on hemp farms in Kentucky. They also do all of their processing in the United States. You can be sure these products are legal because the farmers follow the requirements put in place by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
All of the products from Medterra have been third-party tested to ensure potency, purity, and quality.
Their products also contain CBDV, CBC, CBG, and CBN as well as natural terpenes and flavonoids. However, they are 100% free of THC, so you have nothing to worry about. Plus, their products are non-GMO.
|CBD Type||Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum|
|Sizes||Starts at 500 mg|
|Cost||Starts at $39.99|
As you read through the reviews on their website, it indicates that cbdMD is one of the top brands in the industry. Like many of the other brands, they have a variety of products, such as gummies, oils, pet products, and so much more. Their oil is broad-spectrum and MCT oil is used as the carrier. This way, you can be sure that you will have a consistent experience and improved absorption.
They source their oil from hemp plants grown in the USA. Additionally, they use third-party, ISO-certified labs to test their products.
|Sizes||300 mg to 7,500 mg|
|Cost||$29.99 to $209.99|
Zatural has a variety of CBD products in their lineup, including oil, capsules, tinctures, mints, and more. They offer all three types of CBD in their products: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. They source their CBD using CO2 from plants grown in the USA.
Compared to many of the other companies on our list, Zatural is much more affordable for those who are on a budget. Additionally, they offer a variety of sizes, starting at 300 milligrams per bottle. Their dosage goes up to 12,000 milligrams per bottle, which is one of the highest on the market.
They have a few different flavors, including natural, sweet natural, peppermint, lemon-lime, spearmint, and cinnamon. Their 300 mg broad-spectrum oil starts at $27.50, which provides 30 servings at 10 milligrams per serving. Their 12,000 milligram bottle is $360.00 and provides 120 servings at 100 milligrams per serving. Even at that price, since it’s such a high dosage, it’s a bit cheaper than some of the lower dosed products from premium brands.
|CBD Type||Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, Isolate|
|Sizes||300 mg to 12,000 mg|
|Flavor||Natural, Peppermint, Lemon-Lime, Sweet Natural, Spearmint, Cinnamon|
|Cost||$27.50 to $360.00|
SolCBD is one of the newer companies on the market. It was founded by a husband and wife team, Larry and Oksana Ostrovsky in 2015. The company is located in England and sources its oils from organic hemp farmers in Europe. They offer targeted formulas, including CBD + Melatonin Advanced Sleep Formula. It is a bit expensive, $79.00 per bottle. They also offer a 4,000 mg tincture, containing 240 servings at about 17 milligrams per dose. one bottle will cost $289.
SolCBD uses MCT oil from coconuts to improve the bioavailability of the oil. This means that your body can absorb it easier. Most of their products are unflavored, though they do have a Cinnamint flavor, available in their 500 mg tincture, starting at $57/bottle. They use the CO2 extraction process.
|Sizes||Starts at 500 mg|
|Cost||Stars at $57.00|
CBDistillery is known for offering a wide range of high-quality CBD products. Their oil is sourced from non-GMO hemp farms in the USA, which use standard farming practices. That being said, all products from CBDistillery are third-party tested.
One of their most popular products is their full-spectrum tincture, offered in a variety of sizes, from 500 milligrams to 2,000 milligrams. They have a few other products they offer, such as:
- Pet products
- Synergy blends (oils, capsules, drink mixes)
Finally, CBDistillery products are hemp authority certified.
|Sizes||500 mg to 2,500 mg|
|Cost||$35.00 to $130.00|
Side Effects of CBD
For the most part, CBD is safe. However, there are a few side effects that have been reported by those who use CBD, such as:
- Appetite changes
- Weight changes
Additionally, it’s important to note that CBD may interact with other medications or supplements you’re taking. You should be cautious when taking medications like blood thinners that have the “grapefruit warning”. Both CBD and grapefruit interact with enzymes required for drug metabolism.
One rodent study showed that mice who were force-fed cannabis extract had an increased risk for liver toxicity- but this involved exceptionally large doses of CBD. You should not stop taking medications prescribed by your physician without discussing it first.
While it’s true that CBD may help anxiety, if you suddenly stop taking prescription meds, you could experience withdrawal symptoms, including:
Now that we’ve learned more about CBD and anxiety, let’s take a closer look at the 10 best CBD for anxiety.
CBD is a chemical found in the cannabis plant. Some research indicates that it may help with anxiety. You can find CBD in three forms: broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and isolate- most companies just use full-spectrum or broad-spectrum. There have been plenty of studies that have shown CBD is effective for treating anxiety, but in some cases, it does trigger increased anxiety. You should sit down with your physician and discuss your use of CBD and how it could affect you. If it is determined that it’s safe for you to move forward, start with the brands on our list. These have all been proven safe and effective.
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