Anxiety is the most prevalent mental health condition in the world. Cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, helps in binding the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This relieves mental disorders such as anxiety.  CBD interacts with the CB1 receptor (CB1R), the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, and other receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviors. CBD is helpful in several anxiety disorders, including; generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PRSD), panic disorder (PD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). People who have used CBD to treat anxiety have reported improvement in their ability to do daily activities. They also report reduced pain, anxiety, and depression symptoms.

How CBD works for anxiety

The human body has many different receptors, the protein-based chemical structures attached to the body’s cells. CBD interacts with CB 1 and CB 2 receptors in the brain. The CB receptors are mainly found in the brain and the central nervous system.

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays an important role in mental health. Low serotonin is associated with people who suffer from depression. In most cases, a low level of serotonin causes anxiety. CBD can be used in managing anxiety conditions in some people instead of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.  However, you should consult a doctor before using CBD to help you with anxiety disorder.

For generalized anxiety

CBD helps in reducing generalized anxiety disorder when taken in correct doses. It mainly does this to animals such as cats. For other forms of anxiety, CBD can be given in doses of 400 mg of CBD placebo. Those who receive this report a decrease in anxiety levels. CBD also helps with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, such as having nightmares and replacing negative memories.

CBD acts as an antagonist of the 5-HTI1A receptor- a serotonin-subtype receptor. CBD activates the 5-HTI1A  receptors. The activation of these receptors has positive effects on mental and physical health.  For instance, it decreases anxiety, provincial effects, decreases aggression, decreases impulsivity, and analgesic or the painkilling effects.

By activating the 5-HTI1A receptor levels, CBD increases the activity and presence of serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain. This, in turn, is associated with positive effects. CBD may also regenerate anxiety.  It is capable of providing the brain with what it needs to repair itself. It also promotes progenitor proliferation and cell cycle and mimics the proliferation effects of the CB 1 and CB 2 cannabinoid receptor activation. This helps the cells in the hippocampus to start repairing themselves.

Mental disorders like depression and anxiety cause measurable changes in critical areas of the brain like the hippocampus, which is associated with memory. Mental disorders have the potential to interfere with the healthy growth and maturation of the brain cells, CBD on the other hand; they have the potential to regenerate the brain cells.

CBD for reduction of Anxiety During Public Speaking

Some people experience fear when going out of their homes to social situations. CBD has effects on social anxiety. When people with this kind of fear take CBD, they are likely to experience; reduction in anxiety, a reduction in cognitive impairment, reduced discomfort in their speech performance, and a significant decrease in alert in their anticipatory speech.

CBD oil is also helpful in reducing anxiety in social anxiety patients through its activities in the limbic and paralimbic areas. CBD potentially disrupts the forward intrinsic connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate. CBD targets different biochemical nervous/receptors systems that are related to anxiety. CBD is regarded as a possible tool to help in fighting anxiety.

How to use CBD oil for anxiety

CBD products are many and different.  They also come with different potencies and ingredients. There are two different ways of ingesting CBD. If you want to reduce anxiety, you must consume therapeutic amounts of CBD.  There are only three ways to precisely take CBD; taking CBD oil orally or sublingually, vape CBD oil, or smoke/vape high CBD strains.

Taking CBD oil orally.

This is the most straightforward way to consume therapeutic amounts of CBD for anxiety. This is the most effective way because only edible CBD oils will find full-spectrum CBD oils. CBD oil has been proven to be more effective when taken together with THC and also when taken together with all other cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp plants. Cannabinoids and terpenoids found in hemp plants influence each other’s pharmacological effects.

CBD full-spectrum CBD oils contain other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant, like THC and different terpenoids. If CBD oil is taken sublingually, it takes some time before producing its effects; it can take up to thirty minutes. It can take at least 2 hours before orally consumed for it to reach a maximum level.

Between 30 minutes to two hours, the effects of CBD are experienced. The anxiety-relieving effects are experienced within this period.  The effects of orally consumed CBD last longer compared to smoking or vaping CBD products. When CBD is taken orally, it is essential that you keep the effects last longer compared to smoking or vaping the products.

In this way, part of the inside of the CBD oil is placed under the tongue for at least 60 seconds, after which it is then swallowed. Through this method, CBD is directly absorbed into the bloodstream through the mucous membrane under the tongue. However, all the CBD has to go through the gastrointestinal rack, where it risks getting degraded. This method of consumption is generally known as sublingual consumption.

After your meal, you should take CBD oil with some fats or a different edible oil like olive oil. CBD oil has a higher bioavailability when taken together with other dietary lipids. It is well absorbed by the body when taken on a full stomach than in a fasted state. Note that, when using edibles, CBD should NOT be vaped. This is because edible CBD is not suited for vaping. When vaped, edible oils can cause lipid pneumonia. If you are not ready to use CB oil for anxiety with the oral or sublingual method of consumption, then you can go straight away to step-by-step recommendations.  The oral method is considered the most effective, pulling out a tube and dropping drops of CBD oil under the tongue.

Elena Ognivtseva
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Nutritionist, Cornell University, MS

I believe that nutrition science is a wonderful helper both for the preventive improvement of health and adjunctive therapy in treatment. My goal is to help people improve their health and well-being without torturing themselves with unnecessary dietary restrictions. I am a supporter of a healthy lifestyle – I play sports, cycle, and swim in the lake all year round. With my work, I have been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Women's Health, and other media outlets.

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