Anxiety disorders are the most common of the various categories of mental illnesses laid out in the DSM-5. Up to 40 million people in the United States suffer from a mental illness.
If you struggle with an anxiety disorder, you’re not alone. You’re also probably desperate for a way to help your symptoms. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) might help, but the side effects are often unpleasant, and it can take ages to find one that works for you. Therapy can also help with anxiety, but the cost and wait times associated with mental health care mean many people can’t access it.
Can CBD products be used for anxiety? If you believe the hype, it’s a miracle drug that will solve all of your problems. If you listen to the skeptics, it’s snake oil. The truth is somewhere in between. CBD won’t make you love public speaking or a long, turbulent flight, but it might ease some of the anxiety symptoms you experience.
As you begin researching your options, if CBD products can be used for anxiety, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of CBD products available on the market. To help you get started, we’re going to cover the basic types of CBD wellness products, which are likely to be the most effective in treating your anxiety.
As its name suggests, CBD isolate is pure CBD—it is isolated from other compounds often found within other CBD products. That makes it an excellent choice if you’re sensitive to other cannabinoids, flavorings, or have a job that requires you to undergo regular drug tests.
But wait, you might be thinking. Drug tests? Isn’t the whole point of CBD that it isn’t THC and therefore won’t have a psychoactive effect?
Technically, yes. CBD won’t produce the “high” feeling caused by THC and associated with marijuana use. However, legally speaking, full-spectrum CBD products can contain 0.3% of THC. That’s not enough to alter your state of mind, but it could appear on a drug test.
The manufacturing processes that create CBD isolate remove all other compounds, leaving a tasteless, scentless crystalline solid composed entirely of pure CBD.
The human body produces its cannabinoids. While research is ongoing, scientists believe these cannabinoids influence everything from appetite to mood to pain perception. CBD works by activating your cannabinoid receptors, mimicking the effect of compounds your body naturally produces.
There’s also evidence that CBD interacts with the 5-HTP serotonin receptor, which scientists currently believe is why CBD has an anti-anxiety effect. Those of you familiar with how SSRIs function may have just perked up.
Scientists suspect that low serotonin levels within the brain contribute to anxiety. SSRIs don’t create serotonin, but they allow your body to get more use out of the limited amount it has. So, to answer the question of can CBD be used for anxiety? If researchers can definitively prove that CBD has a similar effect, it will transform the mental health care industry.
Like CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD is THC-free. It does, however, contain other compounds like terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids other than CBD. With broad-spectrum CBD, you don’t have to worry about a positive drug test, and you may benefit from a concept known as the entourage effect.
The concept behind the entourage effect is that some compounds work better together than they do when isolated by themselves.
Let’s look at the terpenes found in broad-spectrum CBD products. Terpenes are the compounds that give everything from oranges to lavender to marijuana their distinctive smells. Current research suggests that terpenes help our bodies absorb cannabinoids more effectively, too, thus boosting their beneficial impact.
Flavonoids are a class of plant color pigment. More importantly, for our purposes, they also appear to have anti-inflammatory properties. One of the specific flavonoids found within broad-spectrum CBD is called apigenin. Apigenin may reduce anxiety and insomnia. For context, it’s also found in chamomile, which has traditionally been used to treat both.
Finally, there are the other cannabinoids that broad-spectrum CBD contains. Although the most well-researched, there are a lot of them, including CBG, CBC, and CBN. Every cannabinoid interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in your body a little differently, increasing the efficacy of the compounds.
See the different CBD Products we offer. Have questions on which CBD products are best for you? Have specific questions regarding if CBD can help with anxiety? Contact our CBD experts for a free consultation!
Last but certainly not least, we have full-spectrum CBD. Unlike something labeled as broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD products can contain up to 0.3% THC. We want to reiterate that this isn’t enough to cause intoxication, but it may show up on a drug test.
The small amount of THC contained within full-spectrum CBD adds a final boost to the entourage effect. It appears to primarily be the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of CBD that increase with THC, but the anti-anxiety properties may increase as well.
It’s important to note that full-spectrum CBD may increase anxiety in people who are particularly sensitive to THC, although this is unlikely at lower doses. If you’ve had an adverse experience with a product that contained THC before, whether that was paranoia or a panic attack, it may be best to avoid high doses of full-spectrum CBD.
Can CBD products be used for anxiety? If you are among the tens of millions of Americans who suffer from anxiety, know that you have options. CBD wellness products may be able to help. Before you try CBD, reach out to your doctor to ensure it’s safe for you, particularly if you take other medications. Drug interactions are possible.