Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting over 40 million adults every year. While anxiety can be treated with medications, many users complain of horrible side effects and may become dependent or addicted. Many people with anxiety are turning to more natural treatment options, and as a result, CBD oil for anxiety has gained momentum and popularity in recent years. 

This raises a few questions for all who are curious about the treatment: Does CBD oil for anxiety really work? How do I find the best CBD oil for anxiety? What’s the best way to use it? Continue reading to learn how CBD oil affects those with anxiety, what current research has to say, and more. 

What Is Anxiety?

Stress is a normal, healthy part of our lives. Without it, our ancestors would’ve been less able to escape predators, and today, we probably wouldn’t be very productive or successful in our careers if we didn’t experience it occasionally. However, there comes a point where too much stress stops being helpful. 

Stress in response to a stimulus, like an unsettling person on the street or an impending deadline, causes a “fight or flight” response in our bodies. We become flushed with adrenaline and norepinephrine, our heart rates and blood pressure go up, and we are more able to respond quickly to the situation at hand. 

what-is-anxiety

Anxiety is the prolonged experience of the “fight or flight” response after the stressful stimulus has gone away. People may also experience anxiety by worrying about stressful future situations that may or may not happen. Frequent anxiety can become debilitating and exhausting. When anxiety begins to interfere with a person’s daily life and ability to function normally, it can be considered an anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety disorders are characterized by the root cause of anxiety. The most common types include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: the most common type, characterized by chronic anxiety around nothing specific.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: characterized by excessive worry surrounding daily life and social interactions, with fixations on the fear of being judged and embarrassed.
  • Phobias: a fear of a specific object or situation, which causes the individual to avoid the stimulus at all costs.
  • Panic Disorder: characterized by the random, sudden onset of panic attacks which may cause difficulty breathing, confusion, dizziness, shaking, or feelings of intense terror.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: stress and anxiety induced by recurrent memories of past traumatic experiences.

If you haven’t already, talk to your doctor if you think you may have an anxiety disorder. Symptoms that indicate an anxiety disorder may include: 

  • Heart palpitations
  • Panic
  • Restlessness and discomfort
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness or temporary loss of breath
  • Ruminating thoughts
  • Excessive feelings of dread or worry
  • Dizziness
  • Tense muscles
  • Feeling of a lump in the throat
  • Tingling sensations in the hands or feet

How Can the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety Help?

Our bodies utilize endocannabinoids to regulate essential functions and maintain stability and balance. CBD is able to assist in this natural process by interacting with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors, located within several different body systems. 

This is where CBD gets its impressive profile of healing potential – it can impact mood, circadian rhythms, stress levels, pain, immunity and other vital aspects of our health and wellbeing. When all body systems are working in harmony and communicating effectively, our bodies are better able to handle stress and prevent anxiety.  

Furthermore, research has indicated that CBD is a 5-HT1A agonist, meaning it stimulates serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for producing feelings of peace, happiness, and contentment. CBD’s ability to interact with serotonin receptors may contribute to its ability to combat anxiety, as well as depression and a variety of mental health conditions. 

Does It Really Work?

Current research supports the efficacy of CBD oil as an anxiety treatment. Specific studies looking at CBD oil for anxiety disorders like Panic Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder have also found the treatment successful.  

More recent studies even support the notion that CBD could be more effective at treating anxiety disorders than traditionally prescribed medications, such as benzodiazepines. This is because CBD:

  • Was found to be just as effective at treating anxiety, if not more.
  • Has a low potential for abuse, unlike many pharmaceuticals.
  • Has little to no adverse effects, compared to the nasty side effects experienced by many benzodiazepine users including depression, fatigue, headaches and vision problems. 
  • Contributes to fear extinction learning, or the suppression of the fight or flight response due to the same feared stimulus over time. Benzodiazepines may actually inhibit fear extinction learning, potentially causing the user to become dependent on the drug rather than supporting the body’s natural ability to combat anxiety. 

Potential Side Effects of the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety

Most people don’t experience adverse effects when taking CBD on its own, due to it being a natural supplement that complements the body’s endogenous systems.

Sometimes even the best CBD oil for anxiety can cause sleepiness or grogginess, but this is usually due to the dose being too high. To prevent fatigue during the day while using CBD oil for anxiety, it’s generally recommended that you start with a low dose and gradually increase until symptoms improve. People typically don’t build a tolerance to CBD, so it’s not necessary to keep increasing after this point.  

CBD may interact with prescription drugs and cause unwanted effects. Before using CBD oil for anxiety, especially if you’re taking other medications for anxiety or any other condition, be sure to talk to your doctor about potential drug-drug interactions. 

How to Use the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety

Dosage

All bodies respond to CBD oil in slightly different ways. Finding the right dose of CBD to help with your anxiety will undoubtedly take some trial and error. 

Two of the most important factors to consider are your weight and the severity of your symptoms. These recommendations for the best CBD oil for anxiety dosage can serve as a guideline from which you can make adjustments as needed. 

Adult CBD Dosage Recommendations Based on Weight and Symptom Severity

101-150 pounds151-240 pounds241+ pounds
Moderate8-12 mg12-16 mg16-30 mg
Medium11-15 mg16-25 mg26-50 mg
Severe15-25 mg26-50 mg50 mg+

How to Take CBD Oil for Anxiety

CBD can be taken orally, sublingually (under the tongue), topically, or by vaping. All methods can effectively help with anxiety symptoms, but some may be more effective for certain symptoms. For example, topical CBD products like lotions and salves can benefit those who suffer from muscle tightness, tension, and restlessness due to anxiety. 

CBD and Anxiety Treatment

When it comes to anxiety relief, soothing the problem from multiple angles will often yield better results.

While the best CBD oil for anxiety may work on its own, it may help to incorporate one or more of these anxiety-relieving practices into your daily life:

  • Meditation: helps with ruminating thoughts, restlessness, and worry
  • Yoga and Exercise: can release endorphins and reduce muscle tension
  • Breathing Techniques: consciously slowing down breathing can signal the body to reduce the fight or flight response
  • Self-Care: spending time away from work or other commitments and doing something you enjoy can reduce anxious thoughts and feelings
  • Active Stress Management: staying organized and addressing the underlying causes of your anxiety can help it disappear over time
  • Limited Screen Time: spending more time in the real world can help your mind focus on the present, rather than the past or future
  • Diet: low in caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars, and processed foods

Best CBD Oil for Anxiety: What to Look For

Not all CBD oils are created equal. The best CBD oil for anxiety is one that’s natural, pure, and more likely to make your anxiety symptoms better, not worse. Here are some things to look for during your search:

  • Purity: the best CBD oil for anxiety won’t contain ingredients that might make your anxiety worse. This includes THC, alcohol, and residual chemicals from the extraction process.
  • Natural and Organic Ingredients: Look for CBD oils with ingredients that won’t damage your body and mind. Avoid soy, GMOs, and any ingredients that aren’t naturally derived. 
  • Full-spectrum Oil: Research indicates that full-spectrum CBD oils containing a wide profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are more powerful and effective than CBD isolates due to the entourage effect. The best CBD oil for anxiety will be the one with the most healing potential. 
  • Lab Test Results: To make sure you’re getting a pure, high-quality product that meets these guidelines, look for the results of a third-party lab test that confirms the CBD oil’s exact contents. 

Best CBD Oil for Anxiety: Our Choice

Altura Wellness CBD oils contain two clean and simple ingredients: CBD rich full spectrum hemp oil and MCT coconut oil. Altura uses thermal extraction, a unique process that never exposes the CBD oil to harsh solvents or anything that could degrade its potency. All Altura products are inspected by multiple third-party labs, making them a trustworthy choice for anyone looking for the best CBD oil for anxiety. You can read more about Altura’s manufacturing process here and shop for high quality, affordable CBD products here.