There are certainly no shortage of treatment options when it comes to dealing with anxiety. Unfortunately, few of these treatments appear to be 100% effective over the long term. And of course, many of them involve debilitating (and often dangerous) side effects. For these reasons, millions have opened their eyes and ears to the use of cannabis as a possible alternative. Before we jump to our picks on the best CBD oil for anxiety, however, let’s talk a little more about this complex disorder.
CBD is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and the other one is THC. Both of these cannabinoids bind with the CB1 receptors. However, when THC binds with the receptor you experience the so-called high feeling. That does not happen when CBD binds with the receptor. In fact, CBD can actually reduce the effects of THC. This is possible as CBD modifies the receptors in such a way that the amount of THC that binds with the receptor decreases. Also, when you are feeling high your heart rate increases dramatically, but this effect is reduced by CBD. Thus, CBD can reduce anxiety.
Here’s the thing, though—CBD oil isn’t just helpful for people with epilepsy. Turns out the oil is highly anti-inflammatory, and according to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology it’s also beneficial for treating anxiety, depression, neurodegenerative disorders like dementia, and even has anti-tumoral properties. Sounds like the ultimate superfood, right? I decided to give this magic oil a whirl and see if I noticed a difference in my mood, anxiety, and stress levels.
For example, the first study into the benefits of cannabis in veterans with otherwise untreatable post-traumatic stress disorder is beginning in 2017, but only after the researchers involved struggled through years of red tape and put their careers at risk in order to do promote the need for this vital research. Fortunately, their work, and that of others like them, have begun to peel back the bureaucracy preventing scientific research.
The use of CBD is safe, with a few non-serious potential side effects. This is shown by the studies and that is what doctors and scientists say. Most CBD users do not experience any of these side effects. Even in very high doses of CBD there is no toxicity. However, everyone is unique and the body chemistry of each individual is slightly different.
I stopped by Moon Juice after work, feeling a little nervous and excited all at once. “You might notice that your body feels a bit heavy after you try it—sometimes when I take it I feel like I just want to sit down and chill,” said the women behind the Moon Juice counter who helped me. Prepped for potential side effects, I emptied one dropper’s worth of CBD oil into my chamomile tea as soon as I got home … And didn’t feel anything. A few hours later I got into bed and immediately fell asleep.
Multiple sclerosis (MS). A prescription-only nasal spray product (Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals) containing both 9-delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol has been shown to be effective for improving pain, muscle-tightness, and urination frequency in people with MS. This product is used in over 25 countries outside of the United States. But there is inconsistent evidence on the effectiveness of cannabidiol for symptoms of multiple sclerosis when it is used alone. Some early research suggests that using a cannabidiol spray under the tongue might improve pain and muscle tightness, but not muscle spasms, tiredness, bladder control, mobility, or well-being and quality of life in patients with MS.
At first glance, the Lazarus Naturals’ website doesn’t make it easy to find tinctures that are made with CBD isolate. Most of their tinctures are full-spectrum, but if you read the product descriptions you’ll find that their High Potency Flavorless CBD Tinctures are made from CBD isolate in fractionated coconut oil. These are a great option if you’re looking for a higher concentration of CBD — and also if flavor tends to put you off.
In your internet travels, you may also come across products called “terpsolates.” The manufacturers of these products infuse CBD Isolate with terpenes (but not cannabinoids like THC). These terpenes may enhance the effectiveness of CBD — or maybe they just make it smell good. This may be a good place to point out that not all CBD products are created equal. The industry is still largely unregulated, and the quality and quantity of CBD in a given product will vary wildly. Third-party testing definitely helps to monitor companies’ claims, but it’s still up to you as the consumer to do your homework on the best CBD products.
On the hemp side of the equation, the 2014 Farm Bill which legalized the growth and sales of agricultural hemp in the U.S., and the production of its derivatives like CBD oil, should help to open the way for research into the benefits and possibilities of hemp in all its forms. While we’ll summarize some of what we’ve found from our research into CBD side effects below, we expect to see a lot more research in this field in the years to come.