You can’t always predict what is going to trigger your anxiety, until suddenly you are dealing with an onslaught of unpleasant symptoms, from sweaty palms and an elevated heart rate to racing thoughts of fear and panic. Dealing with this and not letting it take over is much easier said than done.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the world, according to WHO (the World Health Organisation), with one in thirteen people living with one. There is no cure for anxiety, but rather a set of treatments to help people manage it. Different things work for different people. No two people are the same, and no one will experience anxiety in an identical way to someone else. This is why it is important to find the best possible treatment for you. One of the most common ways to treat anxiety is using prescribed medication. This works well for many people, but there is a large demographic who are weary of the side effects of chemical medication; this is where cannabidiol (CBD) has risen as an anti-anxiety alternative.
CBD interacts with the human body through a set of receptors which make up the endocannabinoid system. The effects this can have are similar to anti-anxiety medication, mainly due to the fact that the compound mediates the alterations in the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A.
In 2019, a study from Kyoto University, Japan, looked into how 37 teenagers with diagnosed social anxiety disorder (SAD) responded to CBD.1 In this double blind study some of the teenagers were given 300mg of CBD oil every day for four weeks, while others received a placebo. Afterwards they were assessed using surveys to diagnose the symptoms of SAD. Results showed that the participants who took CBD had lowered anxiety, comparable to Paroxetine - a popular anti-anxiety medication. In a follow up interview it was found that 9 out of 17 participants had actually sought further treatment for their social anxiety after the study, which is a significant step as generally this is rare due to the fear and stigma attached to therapy, and the further anxiety this may provoke.
Last year a retrospective case study was also carried out on outpatients at a mental health clinic in colorado, 47 of which had concerns about their anxiety.2 Over three months these patients were given 25mg of CBD each day, in addition to any other treatment they were previously receiving. After the first month 79.2% reported an improvement in their anxiety levels, and in the second month 78% reported an even further improvement. Nevertheless, 15% of participants said that their anxiety was worse after the first month and 19.5% iterated that after the second month it worsened further.
If you’re looking to treat and manage your anxiety naturally with CBD there are several options. Perhaps the most commonly used is CBD oil which is quick and easy to take by dropping a few drops under the tongue, which is then absorbed sublingually. Effects of CBD oil can be felt within around 10-20 minutes. CBD capsules are also widely popular due to their convenience. These capsules contain the same premium quality CBD oil, but measured out for you - so each time you know exactly how much you are taking. Additionally, these are great for on-the-go. CBD capsules are absorbed through your digestive system and effects can be felt after around 30 minutes. A third option for taking CBD for anxiety is the RxPen (raw hemp extract), which delivers CBD in its purest and most natural paste-like form.
Learning about your optimal dose for managing your anxiety with CBD is a task which might take a bit of time and attention (but nothing too complicated, don’t worry). Start with around 20 mg and increase the amount slowly while keeping note of any effects you are feeling. Remember that your body chemistry is unique, so taking factors like weight and metabolism into account, your optimal dose will also be unique to you. If you have any medical concerns about CBD or combining it with any medication you may already be taking, please do not hesitate to speak to a healthcare professional.