Doing It Wrong? How to Dose CBD Oil for Anxiety
If you have dealt with anxiety at some point in your life, you are not alone. Increasing issues of anxiety and stress are becoming commonplace throughout the developed world. In the United States, nearly a third of the population will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. These rates have doubled in the past twenty years.
The Problems With Treating Anxiety With Medication
Prescription medications can be emotionally debilitating. Many people simply ignore the problem. Very few seek out relief through therapy, lifestyle change, or medication. The most common treatment option is medication, with numbers skyrocketing in recent years.
Upwards of forty million Americans take at least some form of medication to treat anxiety disorders. These medications may stop a panic attack, but can be emotionally debilitating in other areas. The side effects include a decline in sex drive, feelings of apathy, over-sedation, and even depression in some cases.
With such difficult and sometimes dangerous side effects, why don’t more people use CBD for anxiety?
Using CBD for Anxiety: A Growing Trend
A small but growing community of people is turning away from the pharmaceutical options. Instead, they are finding an all-natural solution through cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabidiol is one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but unlike THC, it is non-psychoactive.
Using CBD for anxiety is a growing alternative therapeutic trend in health and wellness. As more research is published and more extensive clinical trials get underway, it also is becoming increasingly accepted by the medical community as a valid treatment option.
CBD and Anxiety: An Examination of the Research
There are many small-scale human studies on CBD and anxiety, especially CBD for social anxiety. Although the research is in the preliminary phases, the initial data is quite compelling. Further large-scale clinical trials are needed to confirm what the preliminary results have demonstrated.
CBD Oil for Anxiety
Cannabidiol affects the brain in a way that reduces fear, anxiety, and stress response. Perhaps one of the earliest CBD experiments, from 1982, gave participants a dose of THC (1 mg/kg), followed by either a dose of valium or CBD (0.5 mg/kg). The results suggested that CBD had a counteractive effect on THC-stimulated anxiety. The antagonism between the two cannabinoids has been one of the most-pursued lines of research thus far.
In another study using data garnered from “single photon emission computed tomography” (SPECT) and “functional magnetic resonance imaging” (fMRI) machines, CBD seems to reduce anxiety where it counts. According to the brain imaging, researchers found that with CBD, brain activity increased in areas such as the left parahippocampal gyrus, and decreased in the left amygdala-hippocampus complex.
For those of us who are not neurosurgeons, the data paints a picture indicating that CBD affects the brain in a way that reduces fear, anxiety, and stress response. The study also reported that CBD decreased the immediate emotional reaction of participants when shown expressions of fear.
[Image of an expression of fear]
Humans are preprogrammed to react to the facial expressions of others. We’ve developed internal mechanisms to respond in kind to expressions of fear, anxiety, and anger in others. However, in this study, participants had a milder, less triggering response to negative emotions in others.
CBD Oil for Social Anxiety
In another study, participants with social anxiety disorder were asked to deliver a public speech. One group took CBD, the other a placebo. When researchers compiled the data from both self-reported and physical measurements of stress, it was clear that using CBD for social anxiety had powerful effects.
They determined that CBD reduced anxiety and the associated cognitive impairment, but also increased the participant's performance levels. The dosage during this study was 300 mg. This particular study of CBD oil for social anxiety has been replicated many times since the initial publication.
Trying to get to the bottom of just how CBD oil was capable of treating social anxiety, a 2011 study used Tc-ECD SPECT imagery to map cerebral blood flow in patients with social anxiety disorder. In two separate sessions, participants received either CBD oil or a placebo. After analyzing the results of the scan, researchers determined that, “Relative to placebo, CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety.”
Clearly, more in-depth study is needed to clarify the mechanisms when using CBD oil for social anxiety disorders. But that hasn’t stopped many people from taking CBD on their own, doing a little self-directed experimentation for many types of anxiety disorders.
CBD Oil for Anxiety: Determining Dosage
If you already are taking CBD oil, or just getting started, you’ve probably already asked yourself, “How much CBD oil should I take?” Look no further than the detailed guidelines below. Because CBD remains a relatively new alternative therapy for anxiety treatment, finding the correct CBD tincture dosage takes a little experimentation.
[Image of a CBD oil Dropper]
Experimenting with CBD Oil Dosage
How much CBD to take varies from person to person. It takes time and patience to find the right dosage for CBD oil and anxiety. Many people struggle to determine the correct dosage because there are no official federal guidelines in place yet.
When the available information is taken collectively, from the personal experiences posted in online forums and Facebook groups, to the dosages in published studies, one can estimate the parameters. On average, it seems that CBD dosages fall within the 40 mg to 600 mg range.
Before you dose at the higher end of the spectrum, remember that everyone’s needs are different. We recommend following the below guidelines to help you determine how much CBD you need.
Start with a Low CBD Dosage:
Always start with the lowest possible dosage, no matter what health issue you are using CBD oil for. This gives your body time to adapt to the cannabinoid and ensures you are not taking too much right out of the gate.
Increase Dosage Slowly:
Every few days, increase your dosage. It takes time for the compound to build up and affect the endocannabinoid system. Other cannabinoids, such as THC, trigger almost immediate results, but CBD is much milder. Changes can take a few days to become apparent. Therefore, it's crucial that you stick with the same dosage for a few days before deciding to increase it.
Separate into Smaller Doses throughout the Day:
As you increase your dosage, you may find that you suddenly are taking many drops at a time. Although under most circumstances it is safe to take CBD, even in high doses, it may increase the absorption rate and efficacy if you separate the doses and take smaller amounts throughout the day.
Speak with a Doctor:
Although it is always a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional before starting a new medication or supplement, it is especially important when combining that with other anti-anxiety medications.
One of the side effects of CBD oil is that it may increase the potency of other pharmaceuticals. Also, if you hope to wean yourself off of other medications based on the results from CBD oil, that always should be done under medical guidance.
What’s the Best CBD Product for Treating Anxiety?
Cannabidiol for anxiety comes in a few different product formats. Cannabidiol tinctures and extracts are some of the most popular forms, but some people prefer to ingest CBD through a sublingual spray or vape juice. Each of these options has pros and cons, but it primarily comes down to product quality.
Before finding the right dosage, it’s essential to find the highest quality product. Depending on your current source of CBD oil, the strength and bioavailability will vary greatly. Unfortunately, the language used in the industry is often very confusing, especially for someone just starting their CBD journey.
Should You Use a Tincture or an Extract?
CBD can come from the cannabis plant, either as a tincture or an extract. According to one source, “All tinctures are extracts, but not all extracts are tinctures.”
It mainly comes down to the concentration of the final substance. Tinctures are concentrated substances, but not all extraction methods allow for concentration. Therefore, use CBD oil labeled as tinctures; they will have higher concentrations of the medicinal properties than a simple extract.
Are Some Products more Potent than others?
Unfortunately, CBD is by nature a difficult substance for the body to absorb. Depending on how the CBD was processed, it can have a dramatically different bioavailability of the medicinal compounds. For example, most CBD oil has a bioavailability of only 15 percent.
There are a few methods through which producers can increase the absorption rate of their CBD oil. Producing CBD oil with a high bioavailability requires an investment in time and technology; therefore, many low-budget companies continue creating products with low potency.
High-quality producers have taken it upon themselves to invest in liposomal production methods, which transform CBD from 15 percent bioavailability to more than 50 percent. Using only liposomal CBD oil is a great way to ensure quality and potency.
RELATED: Liposomal CBD Citrus Flavor
You may be asking, where to start? How much CBD to take for your struggle with anxiety? Finding the proper dosage of cannabis oil for anxiety takes time and patience.
Although some of the studies mentioned used higher doses of CBD, you may not need that much. With slow increases in dosage and frequency, you should be able to find a perfect dosage that provides you with a sense of calm and relaxation and alleviates underlying phobias.
Does CBD help with anxiety? If you are still curious about whether CBD works for the treatment of anxiety disorders -- such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, and social anxiety disorder -- check out my testimonial here.
The Endocannabinoids Your Body Produces & How They Help You
Just as your body reacts to cannabinoids introduced from ...More...