CBD or Cannabidiol is a natural chemical composite found in the varieties of the Cannabis plant, including hemp and marijuana. Recent studies have produced promising results regarding CBD’s potential ability to help address anxiety symptoms. Of course, finding the optimal CBD dosage for any condition is essential if you want to experience relief. And don’t worry: unlike THC, which is another cannabinoid, CBD isn’t psychoactive, meaning that it will not induce feelings of getting ‘high’.
Read on to learn more about CBD and anxiety, so you can discover whether it is an alternative option that you might want to consider.
How CBD Works
Let’s start by explaining how CBD interacts with different areas of your body.
Cannabidiol and the Bloodstream
When CBD has entered your bloodstream, it interacts with a network of receptors referred to as cannabinoid receptors; these are typically found on the surface of your cells, everywhere from your spinal cord, to your muscle cells, skin, brain, and other organs. Together, these receptors form an entire network referred to as the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System
So, those receptors we just mentioned are basically protein-based chemical composites attached to the surface of your body cells. Their job is to receive signals from stimuli. The endocannabinoid system is composed of these receptors, and is responsible for regulating your body’s hormone response, appetite, sleep, pain, and anxiety, to name a few.
Endocannabinoid receptors come in different sizes and shapes and are responsible for responding to different cannabinoids in various ways. CBD appears to engage with CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Found in the central nervous system (within your spinal cord and brain). They are associated with effects relating to depression, memory, sleep, and anxiety.
Primarily found in the peripheral nervous system, like your tissues and organs.
We don’t completely understand how CBD interacts with CB1 receptors. However, we do know that the interactions can change your serotonin signals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an integral role in your mental health. Low levels of serotonin may result in anxiety. Now, the standard treatment for low serotonin is an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) such as Prozac or Zoloft. But, if your anxiety is triggered by serotonin insufficiencies, CBD might be able to help support your body’s natural production of this neurotransmitter. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor about your medication regimen before adding new supplements or making any changes to your routine.
Will CBD Help Anxiety?
Research suggests that CBD may help relieve symptoms of anxiety in several ways. We’ve already looked at how CBD interacts with serotonin receptors. But we also know that it can engage with receptors attached to nerve cells in your limbic system. The limbic system is the part of your brain whose job it is to regulate anxiety, emotions, and the human stress response (i.e., fight or flight). CBD appears to interact with GABA receptors, serotonin, and adenosine, all of which have been linked to anxiety in both human and animal studies.
Recently, clinical trials have offered promising findings on CBD as a potentially effective anxiety-reducing agent. In 2011, CBD was used as a pre-treatment in a clinical trial for people with Social Anxiety Disorder. And, with self-reporting, results showed that CBD reduced indicators of anxiety when participants were faced with a public speaking test.
Potential Benefits of CBD for Anxiety
The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that when it comes to GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), CBD minimizes stress in animals like rats. Clinical trials observed that subjects had low behavioral indications of anxiety, while physical symptoms, like increased heart rate, also got better.
Other Forms of Anxiety
CBD may also show some promise in alleviating symptoms of acute conditions such as social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also appears to help individuals with anxiety-induced insomnia, but we still need more research in this area.
If you have ever heard someone complain that CBD doesn’t work, it is possible that he or she simply didn’t take the right dosage. Factors that can determine your CBD dosage include:
- Drug on drug interactions
- CBD product concentration
If you are trying to determine your perfect dose, you may find the Stepwise Dosing methodology helpful. Stepwise Dosing is where you establish a baseline dosage first and then increase the dosage gradually over time until you find the amount that is right for you. Everybody responds to CBD differently, so there is no specific one-size-fits-all dose. It is also important to speak with your doctor before introducing CBD into your routine. Your physician may also be able to guide you on recommended dosing.
Establishing a Baseline Dosage in mg – (weight)
If you believe that you require a higher dosage as a start point, look at the CBD oil dosing by weight. Several factors may be considered when determining a baseline dosage including how much you weigh, your CBD delivery method, and the quality of your CBD. Below is a basic daily dosing guideline.
- 85 – 149 lbs: 10mg
- 150 – 229 lbs: 15mg
- 230+ lbs: 25mg
- 85 – 149 lbs: 15mg
- 150 – 229 lbs: 20mg
- 230+ lbs: 30mg
- 85 – 149 lbs: 20mg
- 150 – 229 lbs: 30mg
- 230+ lbs: 40mg
After using a low-tier CBD dosage, you’ll have a better understanding of how you react to CBD. After a week or so, you can decide to bump up your dose into the moderate-tier level, if you haven’t yet achieved your desired result. The average dosage per day may be around 15-30mg for some.
You can consume the CBD dose either:
This means placing the CBD product under your tongue. CBD tinctures or pure CBD oil work best with this delivery method. CBD oil is made when cannabidiol extracted from the Cannabis plant is put into a carrier oil. In contrast, a CBD tincture is made when cannabidiol extracted from Cannabis is mixed into an alcohol solution.
For the CBD ingested sublingually to have a lasting effect, you must hold it in place for around 2 minutes before swallowing. This is because you have so many capillaries under the tongue, meaning CBD will be absorbed faster and more effectively. With a bioavailability of 80%, it might take around 30 minutes for sublingual CBD doses to reach their maximum concentration in your bloodstream.
Vaporizing CBD, or vaping, refers to heating up a CBD product to a point where its cannabinoids turn into a gas or vapor you can inhale. CBD products that can be vaporized include cannabis buds, dabs, or E-liquids. After inhaling the vapor, CBD directly enters your bloodstream, where it starts taking immediate effect. It is the fastest way of consuming CBD, and with a bioavailability of 40-70%, you achieve maximum concentration in about 5 minutes. While this is the fastest CBD delivery method, vaping is also associated with serious lung injuries, so this may not be the safest choice.
What Happens If I Take Too Much CBD?
Thankfully, you can’t really ‘overdose’ on CBD. If you take a dose exceeding 100mg, you’ll likely feel tired and sleepy, but you’re unlikely to experience harmful effects. If you are new to consuming CBD, your stomach may be upset. This is a natural biological response that occurs when a foreign material enters your body. Typically, the nausea passes once your stomach recognizes that CBD isn’t an irritant.
CBD is considered to be virtually side-effect-free, non-toxic, and safe for human use. Some of the minor side effects associated with CBD include:
- Dry mouth
- Change in appetite
- Change in weight
Many people now explore CBD as a natural supplement to address their anxiety symptoms. While not an approved anxiety treatment, CBD’s natural properties may help alleviate conditions that trigger your symptoms of anxiety. Before starting on a dosage, make sure you have consulted with your physician. Together, you can decide whether it’s safe for you to add CBD to your daily routine.