Imagine a racing heart, clammy palms, and a mind flooded with relentless worries. For those grappling with anxiety disorders, these distressing symptoms can turn daily life into a daunting ordeal.
Anxiety disorders affect a staggering one in 13 individuals worldwide, establishing them as the most prevalent mental health conditions globally, as per the World Health Organization (WHO). For those navigating the turbulent waters of anxiety, discovering a safe and effective approach to managing these symptoms is a paramount concern.
Traditional fast-acting anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium can provide immediate relief but carry the risk of addiction. On the other hand, long-term anxiety medications such as Prozac may gradually alleviate symptoms but don’t offer a universal solution.
This is where cannabidiol, or CBD, steps into the limelight. CBD has recently emerged as a compelling option for addressing anxiety, either as an alternative or complementary treatment. If you are considering using CBD to address your anxiety, it’s important to note that having a mmj card is crucial to ensure legal access to medical cannabis.
CBD: Is it a Cure for Anxiety or Just Hype?
In recent years, there has been a significant surge in clinical research focused on CBD as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. This growing body of evidence suggests promising therapeutic benefits.
While many CBD studies have been preclinical and conducted with animal models, there is now a growing number of clinical trials involving human participants.
In a double-blind study conducted in 2019, 37 Japanese teenagers diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (SAD) were provided with a daily dosage of 300 mg of CBD oil or a placebo over a four-week period. These teenagers underwent evaluations using surveys designed to diagnose and assess SAD symptoms. Remarkably, the anti-anxiety properties of CBD effectively alleviated symptoms associated with the disorder, providing relief comparable to that of Paroxetine, a commonly prescribed medication for this condition.
What’s particularly noteworthy is that, during the follow-up assessments, nine out of the seventeen teenagers who had received the CBD intervention expressed their decision to seek some form of treatment. This is significant because teenagers with SAD often hesitate to seek help due to the stigma associated with the condition and concerns about engaging with therapists.
Furthermore, a retrospective case study conducted in 2019 examined outpatients at a mental health clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado. Among these patients, 47 had voiced concerns related to anxiety. Over the course of three months, the majority of these patients were administered a daily dosage of 25 mg of CBD in addition to their ongoing treatment.
What’s the Best Way to Use CBD for Anxiety?
If you’re contemplating the use of CBD oil to assist in anxiety management, acquiring knowledge is paramount. Familiarizing yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of different consumption methods can assist you in selecting the most suitable approach for your requirements.
- Tinctures and oils
CBD tinctures and oils offer a convenient and precise means of consuming CBD. Typically, tinctures consist of CBD in an alcohol base, while CBD oils feature CBD extracts blended with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.
Utilizing a dropper, tinctures and oils enable you to accurately measure your CBD intake. When taken sublingually (under the tongue), the cannabinoid swiftly enters the bloodstream, with effects often noticeable within as little as ten minutes and lasting for approximately three to four hours.
- CBD vape oils
CBD can be inhaled through vaping using a specialized pen designed to vaporize the oil. However, it’s important to note that vaping safety has come under intense scrutiny in recent times. A severe lung condition known as VAPI, or EVALI, has led to the hospitalization of over 2,000 individuals and caused 42 fatalities. The federal Centers for Disease Control has determined that the majority of these cases are linked to the use of illicit-market THC vape cartridges contaminated with vitamin E oil (tocopheryl-acetate).
CBD vape cartridges obtained from legal, state-licensed cannabis stores are subject to strict regulations and oversight. In contrast, CBD cartridges obtained from other sources remain entirely unregulated. Therefore, it’s crucial to exercise extreme caution when considering any vaping product in an unregulated environment.
CBD can be seamlessly incorporated into a wide range of food items. While this form is exceptionally convenient and often delightful, especially in the form of gummies, it’s worth noting that it may take an hour or more before you begin to experience its effects.
Furthermore, the oral bioavailability of CBD can pose challenges for absorption. When you consume CBD orally, it must navigate through your digestive system before being metabolized by the liver. Consequently, only a limited amount of CBD enters your bloodstream.
It’s important to be aware that the FDA has recently declared foods containing CBD to be illegal. Therefore, to obtain CBD edibles, you’ll need to explore state-licensed adult-use markets and you should have a medical marijuana card to buy the CBD products from these licensed dispensaries.
Smoking offers a nearly immediate way to experience the effects of CBD. When you smoke, CBD is directly delivered to the alveoli in your lungs, allowing CBD molecules to swiftly enter your bloodstream for rapid absorption. However, it’s important to note that accurately measuring your CBD intake can be challenging when smoking, and the act of smoking itself may lead to lung inflammation.
Finding the Right CBD Dosage for Managing Anxiety
- General dosing tips
When determining an appropriate CBD dosage, there are several fundamental factors to take into account, including:
- Body weight
- CBD concentration
- Severity of your anxiety
CBD concentration is typically expressed in milligrams (mg) per container, and it can vary significantly between different products.
- Bidirectional Effects
CBD exhibits bidirectional effects, meaning it can have different impacts at varying doses. Overstimulating the body’s endocannabinoid system might actually worsen symptoms instead of improving them.
In addition, higher doses of CBD, like 300 mg, have been observed to induce drowsiness and relaxation. Conversely, lower doses may lead to an uplifting response, promoting wakefulness and alertness. To prevent unintended bidirectional effects, it’s wise to heed the advice: start with a low dose and gradually increase it.
- Start low, go slow
Titration is the method of carefully fine-tuning the dosage of a medication to achieve its optimal benefits while minimizing potential side effects. While CBD has demonstrated safety even at high doses ranging from 300 to 600 mg, it is recommended for both safety and cost-effectiveness to initiate with a lower dosage and gradually raise it. This approach allows you to monitor your response and make adjustments as needed.