Over 18% of all American adults have some type of anxiety disorder. Struggling with chronic anxiety can be debilitating—especially in times of heightened concern. While anxious feelings affect people differently, no one likes feeling on edge or out of control. If you struggle with general anxiety disorder, you know that medications and treatment methods are constantly evolving. One of the newer, natural ingredients that has come to light is cannabidiol, or CBD, a derivative of the cannabis (or hemp) plant.
Disclaimer: CBD is not a proven cure for anxiety (yet). But initial research and testimonials show that it has promise for people who are living with anxiety. This cannabinoid has the potential to subdue feelings of worry and make this condition more manageable. Here’s how CBD may be able to help—and how to use it effectively.
CBD vs. THC—the other cannabinoid
To understand how CBD works, you need to understand the plant it comes from. CBD comes from the cannabis plant, which many associate with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
THC is the compound responsible for producing psychoactive effects—any mind-altering effects falling on a spectrum from extreme lethargy to feelings of paranoia. It’s no surprise that THC’s effects have a negative impact on those with anxiety, intensifying anxiety by increasing the heart rate and brain activity.
Although CBD was the first individual cannabinoid identified (back in 1940), scientists were long excited by THC because of its noticeable effects on the brain’s chemistry. Much of the initial research in the field neglected the potential power CBD had on human emotions, but when scientists finally put two and two together, the results were astounding.
The benefits of CBD in battling anxiety
While scientists were studying CBD and THC, they also discovered something called the endocannabinoid system, a regulatory system comprised of native receptors for cannabinoids. Basically, these plant compounds were a perfect fit for the built-in networks the human body has. The endocannabinoid system regulates your emotions, metabolic system, digestion, and more.
CBD was found to work with the endocannabinoid system to send calming signals to the brain and reduce excessive activity pertaining to fear and the nervous system. In studies with human subjects, scientists have used patient self-reporting to validate that CBD does have these properties in people with a range of anxiety disorders, like social anxiety, and associated conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
While the FDA hasn’t yet officially cleared any medical CBD products for use with anxiety disorders, there are clinical trials under way. In the meantime, there are several direct-to-consumer CBD products that you can take to help self-manage symptoms of anxiety.
Finding the right CBD product for your anxiety
CBD oil. CBD gummies. Capsules. Tinctures. There are so many CBD products available—and in an unregulated space, it’s important to buy one you can trust. A lot of brands aren’t clear about the amount of CBD contained in one dose, and some products even contain trace amounts of THC—factors that can make it hard to reap the benefits of CBD or properly dose.
When selecting the best CBD product for your anxiety, you want to look for a few key factors:
- Milligrams of CBD per piece. The amount of CBD contained in one container of the product is nice to know, but ideally, you should have a handle on the amount per dose (or size of the dose). You can’t overdose on CBD, but taking too much may make the effects more intense and leave you feeling tired.
- Natural ingredients. You wouldn’t take Sour Patch Kids or Doritos for your anxiety. Your supplements should contain few, recognizable ingredients, natural flavors, and no artificial sweeteners for maximum benefits (and minimal drawbacks).
- Third-party laboratory-testing. Lab testing indicates that an external party verified the CBD content and absence of chemicals and pesticides. If these harmful substances are in your CBD products, the supplement could be doing more harm than good. This standard is a must for any reputable product.
- An oral delivery system. Not all methods of taking CBD are equal. Edible products that need to be digested work on a delay system—and your body can only use a negligible portion of the CBD contained within a gummy or chocolate. (More on that here.) A better system to consume CBD is through CBD gum—like Favour.
We don’t like to brag, but Favour is a science-backed product that merges the greatest bioavailability with high-quality, USA-extracted hemp oil and non-GMO ingredients - it's also vegan-friendly. Each piece is perfectly dosed and has a cool peppermint flavor. The effects vary from person to person, but Favour CBD gum may be able to help make your anxiety more manageable. It’s also an easy and convenient way to get your daily dose of 10mg CBD (or 80mg per package).
Now more than ever, it’s important to take time for yourself and focus on mental health. If you plan on taking CBD for severe anxiety, be sure to seek your doctor’s advice to determine the best course of action for you.