In recent years, CBD oil has become a widely used remedy for anxiety disorders. While some people take CBD oil to relieve their everyday worries, others use it to treat more severe diseases like generalized anxiety disorders.
Although research is still in its infancy and cannot prove beyond a doubt whether hemp oil, cannabis oil, or other marijuana products are an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, and stress, more and more sufferers are reporting an improvement in symptoms.
CBD for anxiety; experiences & insights
Due to the legal disagreement regarding marijuana and especially the THC, it contains laws that tend to vary widely from country to country when it comes to CBD products of any kind. It is, therefore, essential to determine whether CBD oil is legal in your country before use.
To understand the effects and health benefits of cannabidiol, cannabis oil, hemp oil, and medicinal cannabis, we will investigate how these substances affect our brain and, therefore, our body. We will clarify common misunderstandings about CBD, show you in which shops you can find the right products, how to use them, and how they can help with anxiety states.
So the thesis we are looking at today is as follows:
“CBD works similarly to antidepressants or anxiolytics in an anxiety disorder, but has no significant side effects.”
To this end, we are investigating relevant scientific studies, empirical data, and a red-hot clinical study on anxiety disorders from 2019, based on which we have created the following infographics. (We will also go into the study in more detail in the course of this article).
What does fear mean for those affected?
Anxiety – often associated with depression and panic attacks – is one of the most common emotional and behavioral problems that occur in our society. Indeed, a 2017 World Health Organization report shows that nearly 264 million people worldwide live with pathological anxiety.
As you can imagine, researchers and doctors from around the world are continually looking for new ways to help people cope with stress, panic, and anxiety.
In short, anxiety is a condition that is often characterized by restlessness and excessive worry. In the case of a pathological anxiety disorder, these conditions are usually chronic and uncontrolled.
Those affected have a hard time making decisions, speaking in public, tolerating criticism, or asking their boss for a raise. Can CBD be a solution to this everyday fear? More on this later – first, a look at the different types of anxiety.
The five types of anxiety disorders and their symptoms
From social anxiety and panic disorder to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and agoraphobia – fear comes in many “forms and sizes.”
As a rule, a distinction is made between five similar but sometimes fundamentally different types of anxiety problems. A look at the coupled symptoms and trigger situations best characterizes these subtypes:
Generalized anxiety disorder:
- Muscle tensions
- cold, clammy hands
- Dry mouth
- Lump sensation in the throat
Social anxiety disorder:
- Approaching a stranger
- Making an appointment
- Deliver an address
- Recite a poem
- Sing a song in front of others
- Report for a lesson
- Take a test
- To go to an authority or a doctor
- Speak to a superior
- Prevail in a dispute
- Dine out
- Make a call
- Driving a bus, train or car
- Travel by air
- Public spaces
- Being far from home
- Go away on one’s own
- Stand in a queue
- Getting into an elevator
Post-traumatic stress disorder:
- The weakening of feelings and interests
- Constant remembering and re-experiencing of the trauma (intrusions and flashbacks)
- Avoiding, repressing and forgetting what happened
- Nervousness, fear, and irritability
Fear of animals (classic would be cats, dogs & mice) or insects like wasps, spiders, the phobia of heights, as well as the anxiety of blood, injuries, and often injections. Women are more commonly affected by such phobias than men. 75% to 90% of patients with animal phobias and 55% to 70% of patients with phobias of blood or injuries are female.
Anxiety disorders – a widespread disease
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 4 million people in this country suffer from anxiety disorders. This means that anxiety disorders are the second most common mental illness after depression.
In the USA, anxiety disorders are by far the most common mental illness: according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect more than 18 percent of the population here every year.
The pharmaceutical industry is meeting this growing demand in its way. For example, antidepressants are being established on the market that promise relief of the symptoms of anxiety. However, they are not free of side effects.
So although anxiety disorders are usually treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both, many people avoid these standard approaches and treat themselves with cannabis products such as CBD oil:
According to a survey published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2018, almost 62% of cannabidiol users reported using CBD to treat a disease, most commonly pain, anxiety, and depression.
However, due to lack of research, scientists are not yet sure how CBD oil could help for anxiety. Research findings suggest that cannabidiol in the body not only affects the endocannabinoid system but also affects the receptors that are involved in modulating serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that is believed to play a role in regulating anxiety.
CBD as an alternative source of hope for those affected
Many people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, depression or panic attacks are tired of treating the symptoms with antidepressants. Sometimes serious side effects and states of dependence slowly but surely burn out the affected people. With the emergence of the CBD-hypes, a new spark of hope arose understandably, to have found in cannabidiol an effective, alternative anxiety-relieving substance.
CBD liquid, drops, or capsules – do CBD products, and other cannabinoids (e.g., THC) from the cannabis or hemp plant represent a practical recommendation for those affected? What effect can be expected? Does CBD have an anxiety-relieving effect?
One thing is for sure: conventional medicine does not pay much attention to the cannabis plant and the use of cannabidiol / CBD in particular – on the contrary: most of the time, a therapist acts exactly as he/she has learned in his/her initial training. Conservative and fact-based.
Rightly so, because an anxiety disorder can turn life into a permanent horror for those affected, so let us first take a look at these same classical treatment methods.
Traditional treatment methods for anxiety states
The first recorded use of cannabis for the relief of anxiety was around 1500 in India. Since then, experts and physicians have been studying the effects of cannabinoids as a potential treatment for a variety of brain diseases, cancer and emotional problems such as depression, post-traumatic stress, work-related stress, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease and many more.
Psychotherapy for anxiety disorders
One of the most popular treatment options for anxiety is therapy. This involves sitting with a licensed counselor or psychotherapist who will help you understand the core of your problem and take the first steps towards healing.
By using techniques such as exposure therapy, the challenge of thinking, or Socratic questioning, you can overcome the irrational thought patterns that drive your constant anxiety and gain the courage to live a fear-free life.
Medication for anxiety
Medications for anxiety disorders have been around for decades, and with good reason. Patients suffering from pathological anxiety cannot even leave the house or look after themselves. If one therapy alone is no longer sufficient, antidepressants, or, especially in the case of an anxiety disorder, so-called anxiolytics are used.
Fortunately, the pharmaceutical industry has developed a wide range of drugs for anxiety, known as anxiolytics. But like all other psychiatric drugs, anxiolytics can have many unpleasant side effects.
As a result, some health professionals have turned their attention to cannabinoids such as CBD and THC made from hemp or marijuana. Indeed, many experts believe that cannabidiol can have a positive effect on the brain, provide pain relief, and reduce the symptoms of stress, depression, or anxiety.
Home remedies for anxiety
Did you know that there are many natural ways to reduce fear?
Simple practices such as meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and significantly improve your general well-being. And the best part is that you can practice them at home.
How could CBD oil help with anxiety?
Did you know that the human body has a built-in system specifically designed to process cannabinoids?
It is called “the endocannabinoid system” and plays a vital role in homeostasis – the body’s ability to maintain a healthy inner balance. This means that CBD oil and other derived supplements can regulate sleep, appetite, mood, and thus the level of anxiety we might experience at any given moment.
But what is fascinating is that this compound can have a real impact on the brain receptors that are involved in the body’s response to anxiety.
CBD is believed to relieve anxiety by helping the body process serotonin, a hormone, and neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating emotions. It is thought that the process by which this happens is similar to that of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of anxiety and depression drugs.
SSRIs target a serotonin receptor called 5-HT1A and increase the availability of serotonin in the brain to improve your mood, explains James Murrough, MD, the director of Mood and Anxiety Disorder
The state of affairs: This is what research says about CBD for fear
In the following, we will, therefore, take a closer look at scientific studies to be able to make as accurate a statement as possible on the core issue of “CBD oil for fear.”
During the research for this article, we were particularly interested in a clinical study carried out in 2019, which was part of a semester project involving several chairs and universities.
“CBD leads with a very high probability of a significant improvement of symptoms in patients with anxiety disorders.”
This was the conclusion reached by the master students Mr. Jona Decker (business administration), Ms. Sabine Wrawlinski (sociology), Mr. Jens Erlewind (business administration), Ms. Nabu Estrain (biochemistry) and Mr. Johannes Kleinbau (psychology).
But first a look at the underlying study design:
Within the framework of an empirical study, the randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind study was conducted with 40 subjects who took CBD oil for 30 days.
The final evaluation is based on the anxiety values of the test subjects, which were collected at the beginning and end of the treatment period. At the beginning of the study, the values were 4.1 on average (1 = no discomfort, five = very severe discomfort).
The result in detail: 17 of 19 subjects in the CBD group showed an improvement in anxiety values, while only one reported no significant changes, and another reported a worsening of symptoms. Quantified, the 17 “winners” ended up with an anxiety value of 2.8, which corresponds to an improvement of the perceived symptoms by 31.71%.
Other exciting studies on CBD in anxiety
As a rational, cautious consumer, you are right to wonder what researchers have to say about using CBD oil for anxiety.
While much of the positive support for the daily use of low-dose CBD comes from animal studies, laboratory tests, and individual reports, “there is strong evidence in the medical literature that CBD has an anxiety-relieving effect,” says Dr. Steve Patierno, Curaleaf Medical Advisory Board Chairman and Deputy Director of the Duke Cancer Institute.
For a scientific article published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015, scientists analyzed research to date. They found that CBD oil holds promise in the acute treatment of diseases such as cancer.
- Generalized anxiety disorders
- Panic disorder
- social anxiety disorders
- obsessive-compulsive disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorders
If you are interested in taking a look at other studies, here are two that are worthy of in-depth investigation:
A 2011 study looked at people with public speaking phobias and found evidence that CBD can reduce anxiety and negative “self-declarations” such as “I am not a good person.”
For this study, 24 people with social anxiety disorder received either 600 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo one and a half hours before a simulated public speaking test was conducted. Also, 12 other people with social anxiety disorder performed the same analysis without receiving CBD treatment. Results showed that CBD pre-treatment significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort during the participants’ speaking time.
A meta-analysis of 49 existing studies concluded that CBD could be an excellent way to combat anxiety, panic disorders, and perhaps post-traumatic stress disorder.
How should I use CBD for my anxiety?
First things first: CBD is not ideal for everybody, and it can interact with certain drugs (such as blood thinners and anti-seizure medications) in a harmful way. Regardless of your health condition, it is essential to talk to your doctor before you start taking CBD, says Dr. Hampton Atkinson, co-director of the Center for Medical Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego.
Once you get the all-clear, you should first try CBD oil for anxiety. These drops have a high bioavailability, meaning the body absorbs them efficiently and effectively.
Have you never used drops or any other CBD product before? Here are a few things you should be aware of:
The correct dosage for anxiety
It’s a tricky business. There are no dosage guidelines for CBD, which means that you have to rely on experience and body awareness. Since everyone is different, it is up to you to try and test it by doing every day to see what works best for you.
While the FDA approves CBD as a supplement for a variety of medical and psychological conditions, it is also strongly opposed to companies that market cannabidiol as a “100% guaranteed” cure for severe medical conditions.
But even though CBD oil for anxiety is an FDA-approved treatment, experts still find it challenging to determine the correct dosage. They must keep in mind that choosing the right dose depends on a variety of factors, from weight and age to the intensity of symptoms.
Fortunately, since cannabidiol is a safe and non-psychotropic compound, you don’t have to worry about taking a dangerously high dose. The worst that can happen is the feeling of being a little nauseous or dizzy, symptoms that indicate that you need to lower the dose.
Dr. Patierno recommends starting with a lower strength product and take a 1-milliliter dose in the evening, one hour before bedtime. Just make sure you stick to a CBD routine for several weeks as you may not feel its effects immediately or at all.
Besides, you can determine the ideal dose for yourself by consulting a doctor or asking the manufacturer.
How do I take the correct dose?
Start by taking the dropper and placing the CBD oil under the tongue – this is called sublingual intake. Allow it to work for a few seconds so that it enters your bloodstream before swallowing.
Should I take CBD or give a permanent dose for acute anxiety attacks?
Again, try it out; feel it. Unfortunately, there is no patent solution, but the effect of CBD seems to unfold best with a permanent intake.
Conclusion: Can CBD help to treat anxiety?
All in all, products made from marijuana, cannabis, or hemp plants (e.g., CBD oil, hemp oil, cannabis oil, and many more) can be an effective treatment for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
If you have symptoms such as frequent restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, fatigue, lack of control over worry, and sleep disturbances, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. By working with a psychiatrist, you can find the right anxiety treatment plan for you.
Since leaving an anxiety disorder untreated can affect your quality of life and lead to physical health problems (e.g., digestive issues), it is important to consult a doctor rather than treating yourself. When considering using CBD to relieve your anxiety (and it is legal where you live), talk to your doctor about whether it is a good decision for you.
Appropriate cannabis products for anxiety
Because so many companies are establishing themselves in the market for CBD, it is difficult to make an informed choice.
Concerning CBD for anxiety or anxiety disorders, we have had an excellent experience with NordicOil. Based on countless positive reviews from the community, we believe that we can make a well-founded recommendation for these CBD products.
Here you can buy high-quality full-spectrum CBD, which contains a synergistic spectrum of active ingredients.
In our experience and based on feedback from other customers, the manufacturer offers first-class natural hemp products at moderate prices. Delivery is fast, and customer support is ready to provide valuable handling information.
The selection is also extensive: You can order cannabidiol either as drops or capsules with CBD oil for anxiety as well as in many other forms in the shop.
Our tip: Start with a small dosage to test how the product works for you.