Cannabidiol, or CBD, is widely used as a natural treatment for a range of common conditions and ailments, both in the UK and worldwide.
Most people are familiar with CBD as a natural sleep aid. As we covered in our guide to CBD and sleep, using CBD before you go to bed can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper night’s sleep, often without interruption.
However, CBD also has many other uses. One use for CBD that’s increasingly popular is as a natural treatment for numerous common forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder and performance anxiety.
Like many of the other potential uses for CBD, scientific research on CBD and anxiety is still in its early stages. Below, we’ve looked at the scientific data and covered how CBD oil could help you to manage anxiety on a day-to-day basis.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is an oil that’s produced from the hemp plant. It contains cannabidiol, or CBD, a type of cannabinoid that’s part of the hemp plant. CBD oil comes in various forms, including oil tinctures designed for use below the tongue, edible CBD products and even CBD vape e-liquid.
Most people are familiar with THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol — the cannabinoid in cannabis that causes you to feel high. Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, meaning it won’t alter your perception or cause you to experience a high after consumption.
Instead, CBD is linked to a variety of effects within the body, including reduced levels of some forms of physical pain and improvements in certain psychological disorders.
High quality CBD oil products either contain no THC at all, or only contain tiny, trace levels of THC. This means that even though they’re derived from the hemp plant, you won’t experience any type of intoxication after you use them.
Like other cannabinoids, CBD works by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors found in the brain. This is believed to be the method through which CBD can change your mood and reduce the severity of conditions like stress, anxiety and depression.
Does CBD Oil Treat Anxiety?
Although CBD has been known to researchers for a long time, it’s only received attention in the last few years as governments have eliminated restrictions on its sale.
Today, it’s legal to purchase and use CBD oil in the UK and EU. As a result, research into CBD’s potential health effects is on the rise. This includes research into CBD as a natural treatment for anxiety.
Currently, most scientific research on CBD’s effects as a potential anxiety treatment is limited to animal studies. However, these tend to show promising results that indicate that CBD could also have beneficial effects for humans.
There’s also some limited research pertaining to CBD’s effects on humans with various anxiety disorders.
In one study, people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) were either provided with 400mg of CBD in oral form or a non-therapeutic placebo. The researchers carrying out the study found that the patients given CBD had “significantly decreased” levels of subjective anxiety.
Other human studies of CBD have looked at its effect as a potential treatment for other forms of anxiety, as well as similar psychological conditions. For example, a 2018 review noted that CBD may promote improvements in certain post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
CBD’s potential as an anxiety treatment has also attracted attention from organisations focused on reducing drug abuse. For example, in a 2015 article, the American National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that CBD has shown “therapeutic efficacy” in certain studies of anxiety.
Again, it’s worth remembering that research into CBD’s effects on anxiety is still in the very early stages, meaning none of these studies can be viewed as 100% confirmation that CBD is proven to treat anxiety. However, the existing research is certainly promising and intriguing.
How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety
If you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the treatment options that are available to you. Remember that CBD is one of many treatments for anxiety and that there could be a variety of different treatments that could help you.
If you’d like to try CBD oil to treat your anxiety, you have a variety of different options to choose from. You can:
- Use CBD oil capsules. These deliver CBD into your body through your stomach and digestive system. They’re convenient and extremely easy to use, but it can take a long time for your body to absorb and metabolize the CBD through your stomach.
You can find CBD capsules in our shop, along with a large variety of other edible CBD products.
- Use CBD oil tinctures. These are designed for use under your tongue. Also known as oral drops, they work by delivering CBD into your body through the tissue in your mouth, allowing for faster absorption than CBD capsules and other forms of oral CBD.
You can find CBD tinctures in our online shop. We stock a large selection of tinctures in different concentrations, letting you choose a dose that matches your needs.
- Use CBD e-liquid and a vaporiser. If you’re an existing vape user, you can consume CBD using a regular vaporiser in the form of CBD e-liquid. This e-liquid works just like standard vape e-liquid but contains CBD as its active ingredient instead of nicotine.
We specialise in CBD e-liquid and stock a large selection of e-liquids in varying flavours and strengths. We also sell CBD vape additives, which you can combine with e-liquids to increase their CBD content.
- Use other forms of CBD. CBD also comes in a variety of other forms, including lotions and other skincare products. These make it easy to incorporate CBD into your life if you don’t like the idea of vaping, using CBD oil tinctures or swallowing CBD capsules.
CBD products can vary in concentration. Follow the instructions provided with the CBD product you purchase and start with the lowest recommended dose, then adjust your dose to meet your needs.
While scientific research into CBD’s effects on anxiety is limited, the current studies show that it may have benefits as a naturally-occurring treatment for certain forms of anxiety.
For example, a study of people with social anxiety disorder found that use of CBD “significantly decreased” subjective anxiety. There’s also some evidence that CBD can be helpful in treating other psychological conditions, such as PTSD and general stress.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, talk to your doctor before you consider using CBD or any other supplement or medication as a treatment.