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Hemp derived cbd oil for anxiety

The Best CBD For Anxiety

Forget the meditation cushions and the mindfulness apps — if you’re feeling anxious these days, it may be time to consider adding some CBD to your self-care routine.

Even as waves of Covid-19 variants have ebbed and flowed, so cases of anxiety rose during the pandemic. New data from the American Psychiatric Association last week found that nearly half of all Americans (48%) are anxious about the possibility of getting sick, with more than one-third saying that coronavirus is still having a “serious impact on their mental health.“

People are looking to things like supplements and natural remedies to help soothe and self-medicate. One way they’re coping with the craziness: cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD. CBD works by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoids system (ECS), which regulates a range of functions and processes in the body that include sleep, appetite, memory, and mood. Experts say proper dosages can go a long way toward relieving things like OCD and anxious behaviors by restoring balance in your ECS.

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“This system has an important role in attempting to support and maintain a sense of homeostasis (balance) in the body,” explains Jason Mitchell, a naturopathic doctor and the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of wellness brand, HempFusion. “CBD interacts in such a way that can lead to a relaxing effect in the body, and it does this in a manner that is not drug-like or as a sedative.” Put simply: CBD could help you calm down, without getting you high.

According to a study by consumer insights firm Brightfield Group, 48% of cannabis users have stocked up or plan to stock up on CBD in the near future. The numbers correlate to a spike in e-commerce sales of CBD, confirms Brightfield Group’s Managing Director, Bethany Gomez. “More than 39% of consumers plan to use CBD more frequently during the crisis,” Gomez adds, “particularly to alleviate anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress.”

It’s important to note that while CBD may help curb some of your anxiety, it’s not a catch-all cure (the FDA says it’s continuing to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of CBD products in the marketplace). “CBD supplements can help support a healthy response to specific conditions, including maintaining normal levels of stress and anxiousness,” says Dr. Jeremy Stewart, the Chief Scientist and VP of Scientific Affairs at Gaia Herbs, whose line of products include supplements using hemp extracts containing CBD. “However,” Stewart cautions, “[CBD] supplements should not be looked at as an alternative to a medication that someone’s doctor has prescribed for them.”

Another thing to keep in mind: not all products labelled as “hemp” or “CBD” on the market are the same. To get the full effects of cannabidiol, look for products using hemp-derived CBD (or cannabis-derived, in legal states) which extracts the CBD compound from the leaves, stems and stalks of the hemp plant, harnessing its full therapeutic benefits. If a product doesn’t have the CBD label (say, these “hemp oils” on Amazon), it’s because their ingredients are extracts of the hemp seed, and not the actual plant. They’ll still provide some benefits, but they won’t contain any cannabinoids, including CBD.

If you’re experiencing serious flare-ups of anxiety, it’s best to contact your doctor or medical provider. For everyone else, here are some of our favorite CBD products to try, to help you manage your mood, quell your anxiety and stay calm during this unprecedented time.

1. Caliper CBD

Caliper CBD’s perfectly precise packets contain 20mg of odorless, flavorless, dissolvable CBD powder that can be easily added to any food or beverage for temporary relief from stress, occasional aches, or restless nights. Caliper was founded by CBD skeptics who recognized a need for a quality, science-backed CBD in an industry rife with misinformation and unfounded claims.

Caliper says its clinical studies have shown its CBD powder is 6.5 times more bioavailable in the first 15 minutes and 4.5 times more bioavailable overall than oil-based CBD. Why we like Caliper: it offers you the flexibility of CBD on your terms, wherever and whenever you need it most. Sprinkle this into a glass of water, your morning coffee or a cup of tea before bed.

2. Lord Jones Royal Oil

Lord Jones’ “Royal Oil” has won over fans in the beauty community as a nourishing oil for the face and body, but the broad-spectrum CBD formula can be taken as a tincture too, to help soothe anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Each full dropper contains approximately 40mg of CBD; each half dropper contains approximately 20mg of CBD. Note: Because there are no additives or extra ingredients, expect a stronger aroma of the cannabis plant.

3. Papa & Barkley “Releaf” Capsules

One serving a day of Papa & Barkley’s popular “releaf” capsule go could a long way toward easing aches and pains associated with physical activity, stress and anxiety. Each capsule contains 30mg of CBD in a precisely-measured dose. The capsule works great to help manage stress and to enhance your mood; if you have more acute physical pains — and live in California — Papa & Barkley offer a 1:3 THC-rich capsule as well, which has worked great in my household of three active (read: constantly sore) roommates.

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4. Prismatic Plants “Good Day” Tincture

Prismatic Plants’ “Good Day” tincture combines all the benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil and adaptogenic herbs in an easy-to-take tincture that includes 10mg of CBD (for anxiety) and 3mg of CBDa (a naturally-occurring cannabidiolic acid that is said to help with inflammation). Bay Area-based Prismatic Plants combines cannabis with traditional herbalism, and the adaptogens in this formula (basically plants said to contain healing properties) help increase focus and calm, while decreasing feelings of anxiousness. If you need something to help you sleep, the company also makes a “Good Night” version that adds things like mood-bossting (but non-hallucinogenic) reishi mushrooms, and ashwagandha, an Indian root known for its pacifying properties.

5. Kin Slips “Park Life” Sublingual Strips

Like a breath mint strip laced with CBD, these “Park Life” strips dissolve under the tongue for faster, more direct relief than traditional edibles, which have to be digested before taking effect. In our experience, the strips have a near-immediacy of smoking or vaping, and the 10:1 ratio of CBD to THC works well to help take the edge off. Worth noting: these Kin Slips used to have an “earthy” flavor, but this new batch has an improved flavor with hints of fruit, mint and turmeric.

6. Life Elements CBD Bath Bomb

Life Elements says its “Mercury in Retrograde Bath Bomb” helps to “thwart cosmic chaos” with 250mg of hemp-derived CBD and essential oils like frankincense, myrrh, and a touch of palo santo. Hokey language aside, this CBD bath bomb does wonders for sore muscles and mild cramps, in addition to helping with stress and tension. Drop it in a bath of warm water, let it fizz and dissipate, then sit and soak. Prefer a lower dosage? Get the same bath bomb in 50mg, 100mg or 200mg versions starting at $14 on The Grommet.

7. SMILE “Balance” CBD Gummies

One of the easiest ways to add CBD into your daily routine is through these multivitamins, which contain 10mg of CBD per serving. The mix of essential vitamins and minerals (think magnesium, vitamin B12, and zinc) helps to better support your immune system and prevent adrenal fatigue, while the CBD helps to regulate your body’s response to stress. Bonus: the gummies taste like passion fruit.

8. Her Highness CBD Pre-Roll

Prefer to smoke? This CBD pre-roll from female-fronted brand, Her Highness, delivers 0.5g of Connecticut-sourced CBD per joint. The brand says a couple puffs could help to combat anxiety, insomnia, depression, pain and cramps. What we like: the smooth-settling formula eases you into a more mellow state, rather than hitting you all at once. This set includes a pre-rolled joint and gold lighter, which you’ll need to fill with your own butane before you light up.

9. B GREAT Relax Shots

There are a ton of CBD-infused drinks on the market right now, from Sweet Reason (a sort of CBD-meets-La Croix beverage) to the party-ready G and Juice (based out of California, naturally). But to really settle your most anxious moments, try taking these “Relax” shots from B GREAT. Each shot contains 20mg of full-spectrum hemp CBD, along with melatonin, gingko biloba (a Chinese plant known for its therapeutic properties), and lavender water. Half a shot helps take the edge off; a full shot lulls you into a balmy, blissful state to ease your thoughts and fears — at least for a little while.

I Took CBD Oil Every Day for My Anxiety—Here’s What Went Down

Dana Myers, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and life coach based in Philadelphia. She has a special interest in how race, sex, gender, ethnicity, social status and competencies impact those in marginalized communities and aims to help her clients find purpose and peace in life.

Michelle Regalado is a seasoned editor, fact-checker, and content strategist with expertise in women’s lifestyle news.

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When I first learned about CBD oil, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I’d had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who’s already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: Paranoia. But, let’s back up a bit. What even is CBD?

What is CBD?

A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I’d been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD (when derived from the hemp plant) does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel “high”; instead, emerging science has hinted that CBD may actually ease anxiety, and therefore, makes you less likely to freak out.  

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For example, one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration.   In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.

While the science behind CBD’s effectiveness for treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia is still in its infancy,   Charlotte Figi’s inspiring story sounds promising. Figi, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, was placed on hospice care and given a “do not resuscitate” order when her parents, desperate and frustrated with pharmaceutical medication, considered medical marijuana; specifically, a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Charlotte is now nearly seizure-free since she began supplementing with Charlotte Web’s CBD oil, which the brand named after Figi.

Legal and Safety Things To Know About CBD

The current CBD industry is like the internet’s early years. the Wild West. Legally, speaking, a Harvard Medical School blog post reads, “All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.”   With heightened interest around CBD, it’s important to note that because CBD is currently unregulated, it’s difficult to know what you’re getting (whether that’s a tincture—commonly referred to as CBD oil, which is often combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil—topical products like creams and balms, sprays, or capsules), despite product labels and brand promises, the blog post further reads. It’s also important to note that people experience CBD differently. For the most part, the National Institute of Medicine says that while most people can tolerate CBD, side effects do exist. They might include dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced appetite, among others.  

That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.

With that, I threw caution to the wind and asked for a sample. Here’s what happened—including what it feels like—when I took one full dropper of Charlotte’s Web’s Everyday Plus Hemp Oil in the mint chocolate flavor every morning for seven days.

My First Impression

It was actually a bad bout of jet lag after a trip to California that inspired me to finally test out the CBD oil (I’ll admit that my weed-based reservations kept me from trying it for the first few months). Knowing that the oil had also helped people with sleep issues, I squeezed one full dropper of the Everyday Plus oil onto my tongue, per the instructions, and waited.

Thirty minutes later, I was surprised by how subtle the effect was. While I expected a hazy nodding-off effect similar to melatonin’s, the oil simply relaxed my body ever so slightly—my heart stopped pounding against my chest, my legs stopped kicking beneath my sheets, my mind stopped racing. I wasn’t sure if it was the oil or the late hour, but eventually, physical relaxation gave way to mental relaxation, and I drifted off to sleep.

Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt “high” in any way—there was never a moment of It’s kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here’s what went down.

It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy

Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go.

While normally I’d be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself. With that said, I’ve still experienced some social anxiety when meeting new groups of people—I’d be interested to see what taking the full recommended dose would do.

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I’m More Focused At Work

I work well under pressure, but being extremely busy at work has almost made me less productive—I’m constantly distracted by email, Slack, and the people around me, to the point where getting my work done becomes difficult. This week, however, I’ve found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all distractions (especially social distractions), and focus on one task at a time. I think this is partly related to the lessened anxiety—I feel more frazzled and off task when my anxiety is running high. It almost feels like a newfound sense of clarity and calm that enables me to focus.

I’m Falling Asleep Faster

I assume this is also a side effect of feeling less anxious, but I seem to fall asleep faster; within the 20-30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping or at least shortening the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I’m able to snap out of the overthinking that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it’s helped on a day-to-day basis.

My Experience With CBD

Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte’s Web website, this is the typical first experience. “Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—’it depends.’ For many newcomers, they’re not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time.”

With that said, I’m definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and to possibly up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it’s an all-natural product that’s responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that’s safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I’m definitely on board.

Explore the World of CBD

Looking to learn more about CBD? These are some of my favorite products to help get you started.

For those new to CBD, Charlotte’s Web recommends this hemp oil. Containing 17mg of CBD per 1mL serving, this CBD oil is also U.S. Hemp Authority Certified. Choose from four different flavors including Lemon Twist, Mint Chocolate, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil.

Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.

Charlotte’s Web inaugural CBD oil product comes in two flavors; Olive Oil and Mint Chocolate. It’s also its most potent. According to its website, its Original Formula Hemp Extract Oil comes with 50mg CBD per mL.

Gretchen Lidicker puts a lifestyle spin on the world of CBD as the author draws on the “knowledge of leaders in the health and wellness world” to explain why CBD has become a top beauty and wellness trend for top athletes and celebrities. The book also includes recipes and recommendations for how to choose a top-quality CBD product.

This travel-friendly roll-on is packed with CBD and fragrant essential oils, including lavender, bergamot, and chamomile, for an easy de-stress quick fix. The result? “That elusive feeling of wakeful calm,” reads the Sagely Naturals website.

With this book, CBD is explained from A to Z and breaks down the good, bad, and ugly of a fledgling industry that is poised for rapid growth. CBD: 101 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil covers what it is, why people take it, who it’s for (and who it isn’t for), its myriad forms, and more.

Lord Jones’ High CBD Formula Body Oil combines CBD with organic avocado, jojoba and safflower oils for smooth, hydrated skin. Each bottle has 100mg of CBD.

Charlotte’s Web’s Extra Strength Capsules feature 25 mg of CBD per capsule. The website offers capsules as a convenient and precise way to take CBD—on the go, stash them in your gym bag, pocket, etc.

Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1

Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: A large case series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041