We need stress. Stress is a natural part of life.
And as much as we’d like to avoid it altogether, without a healthy amount of stress, life would be quite uneventful. Healthy stress keeps us motivated, inspires us to grow, and pushes us to be our very best.
However, today’s busy world can often cause an unbalanced, overwhelming amount of stress. We are constantly bombarded with:
- Negative news in the media
- Never ending, dizzying to-do lists
- Financial pressures that can make you feel like you’re drowning.
When we are unable to properly cope with the amount of stress on our plate, anxiety kicks in and the results can sometimes be debilitating.
It’s no wonder people are looking to natural remedies such as CBD to help enhance their own ability to manage and rebound from daily stress and anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a persistent, unrelenting worry or fear of everyday situations. It is a natural response to stress. However, if anxiety goes unchecked or continues over a long period of time, it can become concerning. Anxiety can cause your heart rate to increase and your blood pressure to rise. It can also lead to mental and physical exhaustion or physical symptoms.
Anxiety can be connected to a specific event like taking a test or giving a presentation. But, at other times anxiety may kick in unprompted. This can leave you feeling confused, frustrated, and unable to move forward. You might feel in desperate need of a solution.
There are lots of ways to balance and manage stress and anxiety proactively. This may include regular exercise, eating a well-balanced and nutritional diet, or implementing sustainable time management strategies.
While these tools are helpful, many people are searching for additional methods to help them handle their anxiety and symptoms. In order to combat stress successfully, we all need to have a toolkit of effective strategies on hand.
CBD has become an increasingly popular and effective way to reduce anxiety both naturally and safely.
How Can CBD Help Anxiety?
Most people have heard of CBD. It is becoming a household term. And while people may be more and more familiar with the term, they might only associate it with psychoactive marijuana.
CBD, while derived from hemp of the marijuana plant, does not have any psychoactive qualities.
Often people incorrectly dismiss its benefits because they associate it with an intoxicating substance. The more we can educate ourselves about CBD’s qualities and benefits the better!
It is often surprising for people to learn that it is actually legal to use CBD in many states. This is because it has extremely low THC levels. CBD has various health benefits and can be healing to both the body and mind.
CBD has been known to help many people manage their reaction to stress and anxiety. CBD is an excellent compliment to other stress reduction strategies and a healthier lifestyle.
Here, we will explain how CBD can specifically help you reduce your anxiety so you can live a more positive, full life! CBD can reduce anxiety by helping you sleep better. It can also work with your body’s natural receptors to help you manage and cope with day to day anxiety symptoms.
CBD Can Lead to Better Sleep
Poor sleep can increase anxiety
Think about the last restless night you’ve had. Your mind was probably racing with things that went wrong in your day and concerns about tomorrow. You closed your eyes, but sleep never came.
Instead, your evening consisted of tossing and turning, readjusting your pillow, and getting up to get yet another glass of water (which meant at least 1 or 2 more mid-night bathroom visits). Or maybe you found yourself watching back-to-back TV episodes in hopes that the blue light and white noise would lull you into a zombie-like slumber.
When you woke up, you likely felt drained. Instead of starting your day with 100% battery power, you felt sluggish and exhausted. We all know that leaving the house with our cell phone charged to only 25% is asking for disaster. Same goes for YOUR battery.
When you are tired, you’re more likely to be irritable, impatient, and less focused. When you don’t get a good night's rest, your threshold for stress is lower. This means anxiety kicks in faster and stress will get the best of you.
CBD has been linked to improved sleep
Luckily, CBD can help with sleeplessness. CBD has been linked to both improved sleep and reduced anxiety.
The Harvard Medical School shared that, “CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.” Grinspoon, P., MD. (2021, September 24). Cannabidiol (CBD): What we know and what we don’t. Harvard Health. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from … Continue reading
Using CBD to help your anxiety starts with improving how well, how deeply, and how long you sleep at night.
This study reported that participants who used CBD experienced improved sleep ratings and lower anxiety over an extended period of time Scott, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019, March 1). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041.
Another study offers a case study that demonstrates how CBD can be used as a safe alternative to pharmaceutical medications for improving sleep patterns and quality Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016, December). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente … Continue reading
We all feel better and more prepared to handle stress when we get a full, good night’s sleep. Adding CBD to your evening routine can help you rest easy. You will wake up feeling more refreshed and energized for the day ahead.
More research is still needed to understand exactly how and why CBD helps with sleep. However, many researchers believe it is because CBD gets to the root of insomnia itself.
CBD Counteracts the Effects of THC
Lots of studies have started to look into CBD’s potential to combat anxiety. This started after people witnessed the counteractive effects it has on THC.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the high sensation. THC is why we often associate cannabis with getting “high”.
While THC is intoxicating and can cause psychoactive results, CBD in some ways is the antidote. THC and its associated high have been connected to an increase in anxiety and paranoia for some users. When THC is taken with CBD, however, something changes.
CBD has been found to counteract these feelings of anxiety according to research conducted by Dr. Ethan Russo. When people take both THC and CBD together, it can help them receive the high sensation without the negative, stressful side effects Russo, E. B. (2011, July 12). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(7), 1344–1364. … Continue reading
This phenomenon left scientists wondering if CBD can reduce anxiety and stress as a result of THC, could it also reduce anxiety caused by regular day-to-day stressors?
CBD Works With Brain Receptors
The cannabis plant has many different types of cannabinoids with unique properties. CBD is one of these cannabinoids. The full name of CBD is “cannabidiol”. Cannabidiol has been known to interact with special receptors in the brain.
Did you know our bodies are actually full of receptors that make up our natural endocannabinoid system? It’s true! When CBD interacts with receptors in the body or the brain it can have numerous benefits.
Instead of causing an intoxicating high, like THC does, CBD impacts the body in a very different way. CBD can work with the brain’s serotonin receptors to regulate fear and anxiety Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019, March). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/18-041.
Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter Eske, J. (2019, October 18). What to know about serotonin syndrome. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326716. It is known to interact with brain cells for a variety of functions. One of the benefits of serotonin is improved mood which can help with stress and anxiety management Serotonin: 9 Questions and Answers. (2008, January 23). WebMD. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/serotonin.
When CBD interacts with Serotonin receptors it can influence us in a similar way and can help reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety.
What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is known to be very important for your mental health. If your body isn’t producing enough serotonin, this could be connected to an increase in anxiety or even depression.
Typically, individuals who have low serotonin levels may be prescribed SSRI or Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Zoloft or Prozac. Consult your physician to find out if CBD could be used to compliment these pharmaceutical treatments or even replace them as an alternative option.
The dosage of CBD needed to reap these benefits varies from person to person. You will want to take the time to test your sensitivity to CBD. You may need to adjust your dosage to find the right fit for you and your needs.
If you are looking to manage your anxiety symptoms with the help of CBD, be sure to discuss options with your doctor first. This will ensure that you can use it wisely and responsibly in tandem with other treatments as needed.
If you are experiencing severe anxiety symptoms you will want to work with a health professional to find a treatment plan that will help improve your mental health and overall quality of life.
How to use CBD for Anxiety
CBD is becoming more and more available in the U.S. You can now find it in a variety of dosage options and formats to fit your needs and preferences.
You can take CBD for general anxiety in these forms:
- Oils and droppers which are easy to use
- Tablets or capsules; just like taking a multi-vitamin
- Gummies and chewables with delicious flavors
- Lotions that absorb quickly into the skin
- Bath bombs to help you soak, relax, and unwind
It can be helpful to try different methods to see what you prefer and what fits in best with your lifestyle and schedule.
How much CBD Should I Take?
The dosage of CBD varies from person to person. There is no one-size-fits-all dosage suggestion. It is smart to start with a small dose and gradually work your way up. Be sure to notice how the dosage makes you feel and if you notice your reactions to stress and anxiety shifting in a positive way.
It’s a good idea to start with about 15-25 mg of CBD orally per day. Try this for about a week before making any adjustments to allow your body time to respond.
Journaling and tracking your CBD dosage may also be helpful so that you can notice subtle changes or observations. You may choose to explore how different forms of CBD impact you. Some people find capsules make dosage easier to predict, while others prefer oils for the quick absorption rates.
How To Choose CBD for Anxiety
Choose Full Spectrum CBD
While there are some CBD medications that are government regulated and approved Office of the Commissioner. (2020, March 5). What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD. U.S. Food … Continue reading, most CBD is not overseen by the FDA. So, it is important that you know what to look for in a high quality product.
It is wise to shop for a CDB brand that is considered full spectrum. Full spectrum CBD products include trace amounts of other cannabis compounds. It is believed that these additional compounds can help to make CBD’s effects stronger.
A full spectrum CBD option can leverage these different compounds for an optimal experience. This is called the entourage effect. When a CBD product includes other cannabis compounds such as flavonoids and terpenes it can enhance the health properties of CBD.
Additional Calming Ingredients
Many CBD products can also include ingredients that will help to calm the mind and body. Some common ingredients include Ashwagandha, lavender, or chamomile flower. All are known to encourage the human body to rest and feel a sense of calm.
As CBD becomes more available and familiar to the general public, the potential of CBD is just beginning to be tapped by the medical world. Healthcare professionals are intrigued by CBD’s possible benefits for both physical and mental health needs.
Initial research has led to several studies which have revealed the potential for CBD to be used as a treatment option for individuals with general anxiety symptoms. This study, for example, reported that CBD, “reduced anxiety associated with a simulated public speaking test in healthy patients.” Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015, September 4). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. … Continue reading
As more research and evidence becomes available, it is exciting to learn about the new ways CBD can enhance our health and our lives.
As with any supplement, it is essential that you find the plan that works best for you. Listen to your trusted healthcare provider and always listen to your body when making decisions about your mental health and anxiety needs.
With the right dosage and high-quality product, CBD can be an excellent addition to an anti-anxiety regimen that will help you respond to and overcome stress in your daily life.
|↑1||Grinspoon, P., MD. (2021, September 24). Cannabidiol (CBD): What we know and what we don’t. Harvard Health. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476|
|↑2||Scott, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019, March 1). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041|
|↑3||Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016, December). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4). https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/16-005|
|↑4||Russo, E. B. (2011, July 12). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(7), 1344–1364. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x|
|↑5||Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019, March). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/18-041|
|↑6||Eske, J. (2019, October 18). What to know about serotonin syndrome. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326716|
|↑7||Serotonin: 9 Questions and Answers. (2008, January 23). WebMD. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/serotonin|
|↑8||Office of the Commissioner. (2020, March 5). What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD. U.S. Food And Drug Administration. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis|
|↑9||Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015, September 4). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1|