CBD Oil for Anxiety: How CBD Helps with Stress & Anxiety

CBD oil is a versatile supplement. There’s a growing body of evidence supporting its use in a wide range of health conditions.

One of the best-studied areas of CBD oil’s efficacy is anxiety.

Anxiety disorders are prevalent among adults and children alike. According to the Psychiatric Clinics of North America, the highest risk of developing anxiety symptoms lasts from childhood to early adolescence.

Anxiety is also common in new mothers — according to research done by the University of North Dakota, 10–50% of mothers experiencing postpartum anxiety also report symptoms of depression.

Let’s be honest, mothers are put under way too much pressure these days. We’re expected to be perfect moms, stellar employees, 5-star cooks, and whatever else our society comes up with.

Until recently, we’ve had to rely solely on pharmaceutical treatments for anxiety — many of which bring short-term relief at the cost of serious long-term consequences and potential for addiction.

Fortunately, the growing awareness of the benefits of CBD oil for anxiety disorders has filled many desperate mothers with the hope of an effective and safe treatment for their anxiety.

In this guide, I share everything there is to know about using CBD oil for anxiety — along with our top 5 CBD brand recommendations.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the active ingredients found in cannabis plants — including hemp and marijuana.

CBD is the modulator to the endocannabinoid system, a complex neurochemical network responsible for controlling a wide range of vital functions in the body and brain. The endocannabinoid system regulates our memory, cognitive performance, body temperature, immune function, pain perception, and our reaction to fear along with many other processes.

CBD helps the endocannabinoid system maintain the chemical balance within the body — also known as “homeostasis” or “equilibrium.”

CBD has other effects on the body as well — the most relevant in the context of this article are its effects on a neurotransmitter called GABA — which is responsible for slowing us down when we become too stimulated — which is that case with anxiety and many of the side-effects of chronic stress.

Unlike its cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), cannabidiol is non-psychoactive —, so it doesn’t get the user high or stoned. The FDA considers this compound a nutritional supplement — making it accessible for people from all walks of life — including children and adults alike.

Our Top 5 CBD Oils for Anxiety

The market is full of different CBD oil brands, so how do you spot the true pearl amidst the sea of gray stones?

I’ve based my research on hundreds of online reviews from parents using CBD oil for anxiety. I’ve also done a thorough background check on each of the brands listed in this ranking to make sure their claims are backed by facts, not bold claims.

Let’s get straight into it.

1. Royal CBD

Royal CBD Oil 500mg bottle

Pros:

  • Contains the full spectrum of phytocannabinoids
  • Made from 100% natural ingredients
  • Suspended in premium-quality MCT oil
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Lab tested for potency and purity
  • Up to 500mg of CBD per bottle

Cons:

  • Only two potency options available
  • Not certified organic (few actually are)

What We Like About Royal CBD Oil:

A newcomer to the scene, Royal CBD is a California-based CBD brand with a growing collection of rave reviews from both regular users and industry experts.

Unlike many of their competitors, Royal CBD doesn’t use far-fetched claims in their marketing, nor do they sell any “innovative” products. Their assortment is all about the classics. They sell full-spectrum CBD oil and THC-free CBD gummies suited both to parents and their kids.

Royal CBD uses organically-grown (not yet certified) hemp from the finest farms in California and Colorado. All their products are obtained through CO2 extraction and dissolved in premium-grade MCT oil for better absorption and the added benefit of heart-healthy omega fatty acids.

Their CBD oil comes in two different potencies — 250mg (good for new users and children) and 500mg (for adults with higher CBD needs).

This is a full-spectrum extract, so the user can benefit from the entourage effect coming from CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes in hemp. The second-most abundant cannabinoid in this oil — CBN —provides additional calming properties and can improve the quality of your sleep, something which is invaluable for new parents.

All of this, combined with unparalleled transparency and their consistent advocacy for cannabis as a health supplement makes Royal CBD our number one pick among the best CBD oil brands for anxiety.

2. HempBombs

Pros:

  • Sourced from 100% certified organic hemp from European farmers
  • Extracted with CO2
  • Contains zero THC
  • Lab tested for purity and potency
  • Available in 5 potency options
  • Up to 4000mg CBD per bottle
  • Less expensive than full-spectrum extracts

Cons:

  • No entourage effect from other cannabinoids
  • The ultra-high potency options are overkill for most users

What We Like About HempBombs CBD Oil:

HempBombs is an American company specializing in the production of 99% pure CBD isolates. These products are available as standard tinctures, vape oils, capsules, or gummies.

Hemp Bombs CBD oil comes in five different potency options ranging from 300mg to as much as 4000mg of CBD per bottle. The CBD has been sourced from certified organic hemp plants from Europe and extracted with supercritical CO2 for the highest purity level.

If you’re afraid of getting a false positive on a drug test, then HempBombs will be your best bet because their CBD oil has ZERO THC inside — it’s just CBD in its purest form.

And it gives you the highest dosage per serving.

Isolates are highly versatile products; you use them on their own, make DIY CBD infusions (e.g. creams and balms), add it to E-liquid for an extra punch, or use it in cooking delicious food.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that CBD isolate is purged from any cannabinoids other than CBD, so if you’re looking for the entourage effect in your product, you might want to consider the other brands from our ranking.

3. CBDistillery

Pros:

  • Sourced from non-GMO, pesticide-free hemp
  • Available as full-spectrum CBD or pure CBD oil (THC-free)
  • Lab tested for the cannabinoid content and purity levels
  • Available in 5 different potency options
  • 66.6mg of CBD per mL in the standard potency (1000mg)
  • Good price/quality ratio

Cons:

  • Not certified organic
  • No flavored options

What We Like About CBDistillery CBD Oil:

CBDistillery is one of the industry’s veterans, but make no mistake, the brand hasn’t rested on its laurels. On the contrary, CBDistillery continues to set high standards for its competitors, both in terms of the quality of ingredients and the potency of their products.

CBDistillery’s CBD oil is available in five different potencies, starting from 250mg up to 5000mg of full-spectrum CBD. The 2500mg and 5000mg options come in 30mL bottles, which breaks down to 83–166mg per serving — this is enough CBD to keep you supplied for weeks if not months.

What I love about CBDistillery’s assortment is that their products are sold at reasonable prices. Their 250mg CBD oil costs around $20, so you don’t have to break the bank to get yourself a high-quality health supplement.

Users can choose between full-spectrum CBD oil and THC-free (broad-spectrum) oil, which is a nice move towards those who want to keep any traces of THC away from their system without losing the benefits offered by the entourage effect.

4. CBDPure

Pros:

  • Sourced from organic hemp grown in Colorado
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Extensively tested in 3rd-party laboratories
  • You can get a full refund within 90 days if you’re not satisfied with the product

Cons:

  • Only available as oil drops or softgel capsules
  • Low potency (20mg of CBD/mL at best)
  • No flavored options
  • They don’t ship to Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, and Kansas

What We Like About CBDPure CBD Oil:

Similar to the other brands in our ranking, CBDPure sells full-spectrum CBD oil that has been sourced from domestically grown hemp and extracted with pressurized CO2 for the ultimate purity of the end product.

If you’re looking for the highest potency, though, you might end up a little bit disappointed, as the maximum strength offered by their products is 600mg of CBD per bottle, which is equal to 20mg of CBD per mL.

The good news is that these are full-spectrum extracts, so you need less CBD to find relief from anxiety than you would with CBD isolate. Each batch of their products is tested in a certified laboratory for the entire cannabinoid profile, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as for potential contaminants.

As a matter of fact, CBDPure is one of the most transparent companies I’ve ever come across.

If you’re not satisfied with their CBD oil for your anxiety, they have a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed program, which allows you to get a full refund if you send the order back within 90 days after the purchase.

5. NuLeaf Naturals

Pros:

  • Made from 100% organic, Colorado-grown hemp
  • Extracted with a combination of subcritical and supercritical CO2
  • Lab tested for potency and over 200 common contaminants
  • Full-spectrum extracts
  • Available for humans and pets
  • Up to 4850mg of CBD per bottle

Cons:

  • Narrow product range
  • More expensive than much of the competition

What We Like About NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oil:

NuLeaf Naturals is another veteran brand that has been selling CBD oil for over 5 years now. While they don’t have the broadest range of CBD products — only oil drops for humans and pets — they definitely know how to make all-natural CBD oil.

All of their goods are sourced from domestic hemp and extracted with CO2, using a mix of subcritical and supercritical extraction. NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil has a beautiful amber-gold color, which is a good indicator of its quality. The oil has been thoroughly filtered to contain only pure CBD extracts, without the unwanted plant matter.

NuLeaf sells its products in five different volumes and potencies. Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect from each option:

  • 5mL — 240mg of CBD
  • 15mL — 725mg of CBD
  • 30mL — 1450mg of CBD
  • 50mL — 2425mg of CBD
  • 100mL — 4850mg of CBD

This potency bracket makes the NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil well suited to different forms and levels of anxiety. However, these products are more expensive than the rest of the CBD oils reviewed in this ranking. Given this, you need to be prepared for spending a little bit more money than you would with the competition.

What Causes Anxiety?

The scientific definition of Anxiety is “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

Anxiety is a natural process developed over the course of human evolution to protect us from environmental threats like changes in our environment, exposure to predators or other dangers.

As such, some anxiety is actually helpful since it helps us adapt to scenarios that may pose a danger to our health.

However, many of us experience far too much anxiety on a daily basis — leading to the development of anxiety disorders and the long-term health consequences that may result.

These can take many forms and levels of seriousness, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, insomnia, and many different phobias.

When you notice alarming signs of chronic anxiety, it’s important to consult the situation with your doctor or another health care professional before deciding on the type of anxiety treatment.

Some anxiety disorders can be cured or treated through behavioral therapy without any supplements or medications. Other people with anxiety will eventually need some outside stimulation to overcome the problem

Why Are Pharmaceutical Anxiety Treatment Thought to be Dangerous to OurHealth?

The main problem with conventional anti-anxiety medications is that they can be highly addictive, and often lead to a worsening of symptoms over time as tolerance to the medications begins to form.

There are a few classes of drugs that can be used to support sleep. Some common examples include:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Opioids
  • SSRIs
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Side-effects to these medications are common and can range significantly in severity.

Here are some of the most severe side effects of prescription anti-depressants:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Arrhythmia
  • Galactorrhoea
  • Cardiac disease
  • Blurred vision
  • Collapse
  • Weight gain

Not to mention the increasing substance tolerance and, consequently, drug dependence.

Now, let’s see how CBD oil works for anxiety.

CBD Oil for Anxiety

At the very beginning of the article, we’ve mentioned that the endocannabinoid system regulates our response to fear among many other functions.

Unlike conventional anti-anxiety treatment, CBD oil doesn’t just mitigate the symptoms of anxiety, but it also gets down to the root of the problem by regulating endocrine disruptions as well as the amount of produced anandamide in our brains — the so-called “bliss molecule.”

Below you’ll find more details on the effects of CBD oil for anxiety.

What Effects Does CBD Oil Have on Anxiety?

CBD can help you deal with anxiety by exerting several actions in the brain. While the majority of research describing how CBD works for this disorder is either preclinical or based on animal studies, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of testimonies from people who have found relief in CBD oil after failing with the conventional treatment.

1. Serotonin Receptors

CBD works as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. In simple terms, this cannabinoid blocks reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, increasing its availability in the synaptic space.

Consequently, brain cells can transmit more serotonin signals, which reduces stress, anxiety, and boosts mood in certain cases.

2. Anandamide Production

The next anti-anxiety effect of CBD is linked to its ability to increase the amount of the body’s natural endocannabinoids and maintain their higher concentrations in the system. This effect also applies to anandamide, one of the two major cannabinoids produced in the brain.

Anandamide has almost the same chemical structure as THC, the cannabinoid responsible for triggering euphoric and psychoactive effects in cannabis users.

When your brain produces more anandamide than usual, this results in an elevated mood and feelings of joy/bliss/euphoria.

In contrast, the decreased production of anandamide — or its fast breakdown — may result in a low mood or “overreaction” to stress and potential anxiety triggers.

CBD stimulates the release of anandamide when it’s needed and it also blocks the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of this cannabinoid, which helps the user maintain emotional stability.

3. Hippocampal Neurogenesis

The hippocampus is a critical brain area that plays a vital role in an array of brain functions.

Brains scans of patients struggling with anxiety and depression often exhibit a smaller hippocampus, and successful anxiety treatment is associated with the production of new neurons (neurogenesis) in this area.

It appears that CBD may stimulate the hippocampus to regenerate neurons, which could be groundbreaking for anxiety patients (5).

Current evidence suggests that severely damaged neuronal plasticity may influence suicidal behavior, so by regenerating neurons in the hippocampus is thought to reduce the chances of depressive behavior such as this.

What to Look for in the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety

The hemp industry has proven a lucrative market for many companies, but as with many emerging businesses, it’s also a tantalizing sector for sketchy companies trying to capitalize on unaware customers.

You want to steer clear of inferior CBD supplements. Such products are often made from low-quality hemp, extracted with toxic solvents, and promise a lot more than CBD oil is actually capable of.

When searching for the best CBD oil for anxiety, keep an eye out for the following details:

1. Hemp Source

Hemp is an effective bioaccumulator, meaning it absorbs everything from the soil it grows in. When grown in polluted soil, the plant may contain heavy metals and other harmful toxins, resulting in a poor end product. Such hemp is often imported from overseas, mainly from China because of the lower import cost.

If you want a high-quality CBD oil to help you deal with anxiety, look for products that have been sourced from domestically grown hemp. US farmers are subject to strict quality control standards and the growing competition prevents them from cutting corners in their cultivation practices.

Plus, many US growers use organic growing methods even if their CBD oil is not certified organic, mainly due to the extremely high cost of these certifications. Always ask your potential vendor how they source their plants to ensure you’re not throwing your money down the drain.

2. Extraction Method

The majority of high-quality CBD oils are extracted with pressurized carbon dioxide. This method produces a pure and highly potent product, leaving you with pure extracts free of any solvent residue.

CBD tinctures, which are a bit different than CBD oil, are extracted with high-proof alcohol. Some less common extraction methods call for using olive oil, but when a company isn’t open about how they obtain their CBD extracts, it should raise a few red flags because that means they probably applied some toxic solvents in the process. And what’s worse, there’s a risk these solvents weren’t completely purged out after extraction.

3. Full-spectrum vs. Isolate

What do you want to achieve with your CBD oil aside from anxiety relief?

Are you aiming at maximizing your CBD dose per serving?

Or is the whole-plant synergy more important than the potency of cannabidiol?

If you want a versatile product that carries extremely high doses of CBD, then isolate-based CBD oil will be your best bet.

On the other hand, full-spectrum extracts offer one perk that isolates users cannot achieve with their products — the entourage effect.

The entourage effect refers to the synergistic effect achieved by all active compounds in cannabis plants. Researchers suggest that each of these compounds amplifies the benefits of one another, resulting in a greater therapeutic potential.

The cannabis community appears to support this concept; the Internet is full of testimonies from people who switched from isolates to full-spectrum CBD oil for anxiety because they needed lower doses to get the much-desired relief.

4. Additional Ingredients

High-quality CBD oil contains two main ingredients: the CBD extract and carrier oil in which the CBD is suspended.

Additionally, CBD oil can have some natural flavorings added to mask the not-so-pleasant hemp aftertaste. Some products are infused with supplementary herbs and organic compounds to amplify the stress relieving properties of cannabidiol — such as chamomile or melatonin.

But if any of the additional ingredients make you cringe as you try to pronounce them, there must be something in the water and you might want to reconsider your choice.

5. Laboratory Testing Results

3rd-party lab testing is the ultimate way to verify the credibility of your CBD vendor.

Not only do such tests check for the potency of CBD in the product, but they also list the entire cannabinoid profile and can detect any impurities that could compromise its quality.

If the brand actually uses premium ingredients in their CBD oil (as they claim), they should be open about their lab testing reports and proudly show them to the audience. This way, users know exactly that what they buy is what they get.

CBD Oil For Anxiety: A Brief Summary

As scientists put more and more effort into the research on the health benefits of CBD, this compound may soon revolutionize the world of modern medicine.

Because cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system and mimics the actions of naturally occurring chemicals in the body, it is capable of regulating a wide range of physical and mental functions like stress and anxiety.

Speaking of which, CBD has a strong impact on anxiety and many patients suffering from anxiety disorders report significant relief after regular supplementation with CBD oil without the dangerous side effects of commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drugs.

The greatest challenge lies in finding the best CBD oil for anxiety, and the abundance of different brands and products only makes things more complicated. That’s why we’ve created this guide. We hope our article has managed to clear up any confusion regarding how CBD oil works for anxiety and how to choose the best products based on the basic quality criteria.

Have you tried using CBD for anxiety? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments!

References:

  1. Beesdo, K., Knappe, S., & Pine, D. S. (2009). Anxiety and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: developmental issues and implications for DSM-V. The Psychiatric clinics of North America, 32(3), 483–524.
  2. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics: the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836.
  3. Russo, E.B., Burnett, A., Hall, B., and Parker, K.K. (2005). Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1a Receptors. Neurochemical Research, 30(8), 1037-1043.
  4. Leweke, F. M., Piomelli, D., Pahlisch, F., Muhl, D., Gerth, C. W., Hoyer, C., … Koethe, D. (2012). Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Translational psychiatry, 2(3), e94.
  5. Beale, C., Broyd, S. J., Chye, Y., Suo, C., Schira, M., Galettis, P., … Solowij, N. (2018). Prolonged Cannabidiol Treatment Effects on Hippocampal Subfield Volumes in Current Cannabis Users. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 94–107.
  6. Wenzel, A., Haugen, E. N., Jackson, L. C., & Brendle, J. R. (2005). Anxiety symptoms and disorders at eight weeks postpartum. Journal of anxiety disorders, 19(3), 295-311.

1 thought on “CBD Oil for Anxiety: How CBD Helps with Stress & Anxiety

  1. Most of the people who take CBD oil to help with their anxiety decide to take the oil by ingesting it orally. CBD oil comes in many edible forms, including foods, beverages, and medicines.

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