04 Jan What is the BEST CBD for Anxiety?
With the disclaimer required by the FDA upfront – CBD and other cannabinoid or hemp products are not approved by the FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. If you are on medication for panic disorder or anxiety, please seek the advice of your doctor before altering your medication regimen.
Background on the Production and Use of CBD
Cannabis contains many active compounds. Scientists call these compounds cannabinoids. CBD is one of the primary cannabinoids in cannabis. It is important to know that CBD comes from cannabis. Many People often express confusion about this because cannabis usually refers to what is known as marijuana. The difference between hemp (from which CBD is derived) and marijuana (known for high THC) is a legal distinction, not a biological one. They are both cannabis. They look the same, smell the same, and both produce cannabinoids. Historically, “hemp” referred to the tall stalky plants with almost no cannabinoids. Textile manufacturers use “industrial hemp” to create fabrics and other textiles. While industrial hemp is also technically cannabis, it is not suitable for the creation of cannabinoid products.
Farmers grow hemp for high CBD (or CBG etc.) and low THC. This hemp is more accurately referred to as “phytocannabinoid rich” hemp, rather than industrial hemp. Producers of CBD and other cannabinoid products grow it for both smoking and extracts. The most common component in hemp extract is CBD.
Scientists have researched CBD for hundreds of uses. Consumers of CBD most commonly use it for three things. These are chronic discomfort, anxious feelings, and sleeplessness. This article discusses the second of these – anxious feelings.
All CBD is calming, and many people find it helpful for reducing anxious feelings. Are your shoulders up around your ears? Is your fuse short? Do you have the urge to run screaming from the building? Are you sleeping well? Do you commonly experience a sense of impending doom? These experiences can be chronic feelings of anxiety or acute anxiety caused by specific situations. Research indicates that CBD helps about 70% of people who have these kinds of feelings. Choosing the right product can help you find out if you are among that 70%.
Many CBD formulations contain added ingredients to help with anxiety. However, the “best” CBD for anxiety is the one that you can be consistent with. The observations of hundreds of clients tell us that consistent dosing with CBD is the key to controlling chronic feelings of anxiety.
Consistent dosing typically means 2 times per day (think breakfast and dinner). Some people will increase to 3 times per day while others find a single dose per day is enough. The goal is to keep the CBD in your bloodstream and allow for the cumulative effects over time. Like SSRIs, CBD is best when taken consistently. For those who suffer only occasional anxious feelings, “as needed” dosing may be effective. However, you may need to take a larger dose. For example, consistent dosing twice daily may only require 15-25mg. An “As needed” dose might be 50-100mg..
Options for Beginners
We find that CBD oils are best for starting out. They have the advantage of allowing you to adjust dosing very easily. Our dosing guidelines follow the “start low, go slow” methodology to help you find your ideal dose. Our “go to” for reducing anxious feelings is our Calm Blend. It contains spearmint and orange oils. These mitigate the “hempy” taste and add a little additional “kick” of calm. Don’t like spearmint? Try the Natural oil.
If you can’t abide the taste of an oil, gummies are an excellent option. You can adjust dosing by halving them or taking multiples. You will not be able to fine tune your dose as precisely as with an oil. However, gummies taste better, and you may find it easier to be consistent with them. Our “go to” is Lazarus Naturals Calm Gummies. They contain ashwagandha and L-theanine to give them the additional “kick” of calm. Some people prefer the Energy Gummies for morning and the calm are reserved for evening.
Capsules make an excellent choice for those who need a simple option. They are also perfect if you have already found your best dose. Since capsules come in standard doses, you can choose from several sizes. If you have not determined your best dose, start with the 25mg capsules. You can always choose larger capsules if you find you need multiples.
Choosing Your Option
Whichever option you choose, we strongly suggest the following. These steps will help you determine if CBD can help and how much you will need to take.
- Choose the option you think you can be consistent with for at least 2 weeks. 30 days is even better.
- Dose 2x per day with incremental increases in dose every 2-5 days until your bottle / jar is gone.
- Only increase dose if there is no or little effect at current dose.
- Pay attention to how you feel day to day. Our dosing guidelines contain a tracking sheet if you are so inclined.
Additional Options for Those Who Need Rapid Onset Relief
CBD comes in so many forms that it can be exceptionally confusing. We recommend the options above because they are the simplest way to get started. However, people who suffer from acute anxiety rather than chronic anxiety may find a more “rapid onset” option more effective. Oils, gummies, and capsules take anywhere from 30min to 2 hours to take effect. That said, slow in = slow out. Therefore, the options listed above are more appropriate for chronic anxious feelings as they are in the bloodstream longer. If you need something to take effect more quickly there are two options.
We carry canned CBD beverages and water soluble CBD powder that can be added to any beverage. We chose the powder option because it has far less flavor than most of the available tincture options. This powder makes a perfect addition to your favorite beverage, shake or smoothie. Onset is typically within 15 minutes.
Many people object to the very idea of smoking, however, inhalation has been a valid delivery method for medications for millennia. These options can be considered separately.
Smoking – this is the most complete method as the plant is still in its natural form. Fresh, moist, aromatic Hemp Flower can be a very relaxing smoking experience. We are not suggesting sitting around and smoking it all day every day. But if you experience occasional acute bouts with anxiety, inhalation is the fastest method for getting the CBD and other beneficial compounds into your bloodstream. Onset is within 5 minutes. Users get all the benefits of the full range of cannabinoids. These include CBD, CBG, CBC, CBN, and small amounts of THC. That said, rapid in = rapid out. It is only in the bloodstream few hours (2-4 is typical). Many people will take a dose of oil at the same time as a few puffs of flower. This provides the advantage of immediate relief combined with longer-term benefits.
Vaping – Vaping developed a terrible reputation because of the health risks linked to additives found in “black market” products. These include vegetable glycerin, MCT oil, propylene glycol, and most notoriously vitamin E acetate. Blue Lotus Wellness only carries vapes that are free of these additives. Our vapes have only pure full spectrum Hemp Distillate and plant-based terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that add flavor and effects.
We would not imply that inhaling anything other than clean air is “good for you.” However, occasional, limited use for acute feelings may be something to consider. CBD is known to be a bronchodilator and is being researched as an inhalable treatment for COPD. Please note that all research in this area is preliminary currently, so please do not start using vapes if you have COPD without consulting your physician. Vaping carries fewer risks than smoking the flower. This is because the user is not burning plant material and inhaling all the smoke. Vaporizing carries far less odor (virtually none) and does not leave smoky residue or ash.
Fine-Tune Your CBD Experience
Readers who are new to CBD may enjoy this more in-depth look at some of the key terms related to CBD.
Full Spectrum CBD – The extract used in these products contains everything that was in the original extract. This includes the “full spectrum” of cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids from the plant. The THC is not filtered out. This means full spectrum products contain a very little THC (always less than 0.3%). If you are subject to random and regular drug screening, you may wish to avoid these products. Otherwise, most people find full-spectrum products to be the most effective.
Broad Spectrum CBD – Makers of broad-spectrum products filter out the THC. We have examined hundreds of products. The filtration process always catches more than the CBD. What this means is that broad-spectrum products rarely have all the terpenes and minor cannabinoids in-tact.
Isolate – This means “isolated CBD.” Chemists filter the extract down to just CBD to make isolate products. People who are randomly drug screened and parents who purchase CBD for their children may find isolate products the most appropriate. Some consumers require higher doses of isolates than of full-spectrum. It is noteworthy that the only CBD medication approved by the FDA (Epidiolex) is an isolate product used for kids with severe epilepsy.