Using CBD Oil for Anxiety
Updated: Aug 17, 2018
Thinking about users of cannabis, one may picture either an ultra-relaxed individual or an ultra-paranoid individual. These two responses are largely due to the different strains of cannabis, Indica and Sativa. For the most part, Indica causes users to feel more relaxed and can have sedative properties, while Sativa will stimulate the user and may cause more anxiety. Today, plants are labeled “Indica” if they are short in stature and have broad leaves. They are labeled “Sativa” if they are taller in stature and have narrow leaves. While these features don’t totally predict which effects they will produce in a user, generally users find that Indica strains relax them while Sativa strains energize them. However, it might be more about what other chemical compounds are commonly found in each plant rather than the height and leaf size of the plant that determine the effects.
The real players behind the effects felt are the cannabinoids and terpenes. These are the chemical compounds found in the plant, like THC, CBD, and various aromas. Pinene is a terpene that will increase alertness, while linalool relaxes. Most people understand that THC is the psychoactive ingredient that gives users a “high” feeling. Some wish to avoid this compound, so they look for strains with lower THC and higher CBD content. Hemp is a type of cannabis strain with only 0.3% or less of THC, so users don’t have to worry about accidentally getting high. The CBD levels in hemp are higher, so it’s generally extracted from these plants. However, CBD can also be extracted from regular cannabis plants with very little to no THC added.
As more people are starting to realize the benefits of cannabis, many are hoping to benefit from the plant without the less than desirable side effects. Thankfully, they have found relief from extracted CBD oil. The oil is usually extracted from the stalk of the plant, or the leaves in some cases. Researchers have performed multiple studies on CBD oil now with promising results for treating symptoms of M.S., epilepsy, and even Alzheimer’s disease. One of the exciting benefits of CBD, that could help millions, is reduction in symptoms of anxiety.
Studies on CBD Treated Anxiety
Although cannabis has only been legalized in the U.S. for a short amount of time, studies on the effects of CBD related to anxiety have been publishing their results since at least 2010. Various studies have found CBD to help with social anxiety, panic disorder, OCD, and even PTSD. Current anxiety medications don’t always work for users, and some can have harmful effects such as low blood pressure, memory loss, and even dependence on the drug. Those who abruptly stop their anxiety medication can experience withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, panic attacks, restlessness, and sometimes seizures.
For people suffering with anxiety, taking these types of medications may even increase their anxiety with the potential negative side effects they have! More natural options with CBD are a huge relief for anxiety sufferers. Although CBD can have side-effects such as nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, and gastrointestinal upsets, many users experience no side effects when taking CBD to treat their ailments. Before beginning CBD as a treatment option, it’s important for patients to discuss the option with their physician. CBD can interfere with certain medications, so patients shouldn’t start using CBD before researching the effects it can have with their medications.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take for Anxiety?
Because there are no official CBD-based medications on the market today for anxiety, it’s difficult to recommend a dosage for people treating their anxiety. Normally, users take one CBD capsule at a time to see how it affects them. If they see little to no improvement after one capsule, they will increase their dose to two capsules and so on until they feel the effects. Swallowing CBD in a capsule takes more time to take effect than other methods, so it’s wise to allow one to two hours for it to activate before increasing your dose. The right amount of CBD for a user will depend on the size of the individual and the illness being treated.
With the CBD-based medication for epilepsy recently approved by the FDA, the future of CBD-based medications is hopeful. Soon we may have CBD-based medication options for anxiety and other diseases that will have more accurate dosing information. As of right now, it’s a bit of a guessing game when it comes to the right dose for each individual user.