Despite some claims, there’s no scientific evidence that conclusively proves that CBD can help relieve anxiety. Check out this tried and tested list of the best CBD gummies to help manage anxiety and related issues. CBD products claim to help with anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain and more. It almost sounds too good to be true. So I conducted my own experiment.
Does CBD Help With Anxiety?
It’s likely that in the last few years, you’ve come across a lot of discussion and anecdotes about cannabidiol, also known as CBD. Availability and sales of CBD have exploded across the U.S. since it became legalized on the federal level and is now legal in most states.
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You can find CBD on shelves in many stores, with various brands promoting benefits that range from alleviating pain to aiding sleep. It also comes in many forms like CBD gummies, CBD oils, CBD lotions and even CBD-infused sodas. And one big claim CBD supporters tout is its ability to relieve anxiety, a feeling many of us have experienced over the last few years thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But not all CBD is created equally, and the truth about the benefits is kind of, well, complicated. To dig deeper into whether or not CBD actually curbs anxiety and what else you should know before trying it, we spoke to psychiatrist David Streem, MD.
What is CBD?
“CBD is one of the chemicals present in cannabis-containing plants,” explains Dr. Streem. CBD mostly comes from hemp and, notably, contains very small traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient that causes the “high” in marijuana. In fact, the U.S. government limits hemp-derived products from having a THC content of more than 0.3%.
As far as proven health benefits, there has been some evidence that CBD might serve as a treatment for chronic pain, but data is still mixed. More substantially, though, Dr. Streem says, “CBD has particular health benefits that have been demonstrated in scientific studies and it’s the active ingredient in an FDA-approved medication for the treatment of particular childhood seizure disorders.”
Specifically, he notes that CBD has shown benefits for children experiencing Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes, both rare conditions. “In these cases, the more common seizure medications don’t work very well.” CBD is part of a treatment package that includes other medications and even brain surgery.
Does CBD really help curb anxiety?
In short, no. CBD probably doesn’t help curb anxiety the way advertisements or anecdotal evidence claim. “The science isn’t there yet,” says Dr. Streem, adding that while there are scientific studies backing the use of CBD for the previously mentioned seizure conditions, no such high-quality data exists for CBD and anxiety yet.
And if you’re waiting on those studies to turn out evidence, get comfortable. As Dr. Streem notes, studies that yield the necessary data are difficult for researchers to conduct for two reasons.
A lack of oversight
The first is government oversight and federal laws that make research into cannabinoids, including marijuana, difficult. While the number of states that have legalized some form of marijuana — whether for medical or recreational use — has dramatically increased in recent years, cannabis containing THC remains illegal on a federal level.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has its hands full trying to regulate it. Many states allow selling CBD over-the-counter as a dietary supplement even though that’s, technically, against FDA regulations. The FDA has warned dozens of companies about this practice but, so far, little has been done to change these practices. Dr. Streem says, “The FDA has to have evidence that there’s a safety risk before they can intervene.”
That overlaps with the second issue with CBD, which is a troubling lack of quality control. You can buy CBD just about anywhere now, from boutiques that specialize in CBD to your corner convenience store. But not all CBD is created equally, and neither is the labeling.
A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) tested 84 CBD products from 31 different companies and found that 26% had less CBD than claimed on their respective labels, while 43% had more CBD than claimed on their labels.
Just as troubling, Dr. Streem points out that a number of the tested products had what he calls “relevant amounts of THC.” In other words, enough THC to trigger a positive on a drug test even if the label said there wasn’t any THC in their oil. And if you ingest CBD with a certain amount of THC, you’re also subject to the side effects, including delusions and hallucinations. Plus, there’s a chance these effects won’t go away when the effects of the drug wear off.
Risks of taking CBD
If you’re thinking of trying CBD without consulting with your healthcare provider, Dr. Streem has a simple response: Don’t. It’s about the unknowns, including the unregulated nature of most products and the possible inclusion of enough THC to flag a drug test.
“Trying a CBD product with consultation from your doctor is less risky,” advises Dr. Streem, “but you should still be aware of how the product makes you feel. If it makes you feel strange at all, stop using that product immediately.”
He continues, “If you could confirm that a product had no THC and had a CBD percentage close to what the label claims, there’s little concern it would do any harm regardless of the benefits. But that’s not what we’re dealing with right now.”
The bottom line
While data shows there are some benefits of using CBD in certain medically approved settings, for now, the scientific evidence just isn’t there for using CBD to help with anxiety, concludes Dr. Streem. Trying over-the-counter products without more stringent regulation carries more risk than reward.
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5 Best CBD Gummies for Anxiety in 2022: Top CBD Brands Online
Check out this tried and tested list of the best CBD gummies to help manage anxiety and related issues.
The current fast-paced tempo of life can manifest unpleasant feelings such as anxiety and depression. If you ignore these feelings, they may lead to harmful habits and behaviors. Developing anxiety is quite common today, and most people find it tough to deal with it. Amongst the many tranquilizing agents on the market, CBD gummies are an effective solution to soothe anxiety, depression, and moody waves. Cannabidiol, the main component of CBD products, is a non-psychoactive natural molecule derived from hemp. Unlike THC, CBD will not make you high. Instead, it may improve essential bodily functions such as sleep patterns and mood. Therefore, people often use CBD for treating a wide range of disorders and conditions, including anxiety.
These gummies contain the perfect dose of CBD that relaxes you without causing drowsiness. Most gummies contain around ten to thirty milligrams of CBD per piece. The CBD is derived from hemp plants, but it is isolated from other cannabinoids such as the psychoactive THC. Therefore, CBD is a healthier alternative to relieve your anxiety symptoms without risking unwanted effects. Apart from enhancing sleep and mood, CBD gummies can also affect your immune system and food intake. The dosage can vary from one user to another. Many consumers often take more than one gummy to achieve the expected effects as they find this method more simple for dosing in contrast to vapes or capsules.
CBD provides a tasty and guilt-free solution to your problems. Taking CBD in gummies may help you manage waves of anxiety that appear throughout the day and thus, make you feel more relaxed, inspired, and focused.
However, finding the best CBD gummies may be a bit tricky as there is a skyrocketing rise in CBD products on the market. Therefore, we reviewed the best CBD gummies for treating anxiety to help you get the ones that fit you best. So, read on and find the product that will lend a helping hand and make your daily life stress-free.
Top 5 Best CBD Gummies for Anxiety & Depression:
– Overall Best CBD Gummies Available Online, Top Rated– Best CBD Gummies for Anxiety With Ashwagandha– Broad Spectrum CBD Gummies For Relaxation & Stress Relief– Premium Quality Brand For Hemp Edibles & Gummies– THC Free CBD Gummy Products
#1. Exhale Wellness – Overall Best CBD Gummies Available Online, Top Rated
Exhale Wellness makes the leading CBD gummies for treating anxiety. This company offers premium quality products and services, elevating them above their competitors. They are highly committed to providing the best quality product on the market. They offer a variety of products, but customers claim their CBD gummies are the best when it comes to coping with anxiety issues.
Exhale Wellness uses only natural and organic ingredients to make their CBD gummies to ensure high quality. The gummies are vegan-friendly as the company does not use animal gelatin to make their product accessible for consumers with all types of preferences.
Exhale Wellness avoids using artificial colors and flavors in their gummies to ensure they are safe to consume. The gummies are infused with full-spectrum CBD and come in different shapes, like a cube or various fruit shapes, available to the taste and preferences of consumers. Moreover, they are available in two different concentrations—25mg or 50mg per gummy. Every jar contains fruit-flavored vegan gummies that are 100% organic and natural without additives.
In addition to the high-quality ingredients, which are the central focus of Exhale Wellness, their satisfied customers are yet another trait that keeps this CBD company on the top. Their consumer-friendly business practices and high-quality products result in the highest percentage of satisfied customers. It is worth noting that Exhale Wellness also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee or money-back policy, which makes it the king of CBD gummies.
- Brand Name:Exhale Wellness is known for its eager efforts to provide quality products in the market. They offer a wide range of products, all of them with positive customer reviews. Also, Exhale Wellness consistently provides the best and most prompt customer service.
- Ingredients: Their CBD gummies are vegan with no animal gelatin. The products do not contain any artificial flavors or additives. They are all-natural and safe to consume.
- Return Policy: Buying CBD is not cheap. Therefore, Exhale Wellness offers free shipping and various discount offers. Also, they claim 100% customer satisfaction and offer free returns for dissatisfied customers. Additional customer-friendly policies, such as a thirty-day money-back guarantee, is what made us put Exhale Wellness on the throne of our list.
- Third-Party Testing: A third-party lab tests all Exhale Wellness products. Their certificates of analysis (COAs) are transparent and available on the website for the public. This ensures that their products are pure, safe, and reliable.
- 100% natural and organic ingredients
- Fast customer service
- Customer-friendly policies
- User-friendly and easy-to-use website
- Free and discreet shipping
- Available in the U.S. only
- Available online only
#2. BudPop – Best CBD Gummies for Anxiety With Ashwagandha
BudPop is yet another leading brand when it comes to CBD gummy production. Their product may be an excellent solution for your anxiety as many customers’ reviews express promising results. Among many popular products, their CBD gummies are their best-seller that comes in various flavors, making them even more attractive. One of BudPop’s highlights is providing products with the best quality ingredients, which explains their positive customer response.
BudPop is a well-known and respected brand whose entire strategy is to ensure customer satisfaction and maximize the company’s potential. Their CBD gummies are an excellent natural alternative to generic medications prescribed to treat anxiety. They are vegan-friendly, thus catering to a large scale audience. The hemp they use is 100 percent organic and non-GMO and is grown in Nevada under strict regulations.
BudPop produces premium quality CBD products which ensured the brand’s instant rise in popularity compared to many competitors. The manufacturers of BudPop understand the needs of their customers; therefore, they make CBD gummies that satisfy the latest preferences and requirements. They provide a variety of CBD gummy varieties, each made to soothe challenging health conditions like anxiety, panic, stress, and others.
BudPop produces delicious gummies that not only taste good but guarantee customer satisfaction. They use natural ingredients only, and all their products are gluten-free.
- Different Flavours:BudPop offers different flavors of CBD gummies, giving customers a more comprehensive range of choices to select from. Their Ashwagandha gummies are one of the best-selling products related to reducing anxiety. This type of gummies combines the potent health properties of CBD and Ashwagandha and comes in a Mixed Berry flavor. It can boost energy and focus and promote calm. The dosage per gummy is 25mg of CBD and 150mg Ashwagandha, and the recommended dose is 1-2 gummies every 6 hours.
- Lab Verified: BudPop gets its product from third-party labs to ensure quality and purity. Thus, it removes any biases and supports their guarantee of quality. Moreover, BudPop backs up their claim by uploading attested COAs on their website for the public. They make sure to stay as transparent as possible with customers to earn and keep their trust.
- Customer Satisfaction: All the positive reviews on its official website suggests that BudPop has been highly successful at growing their fanbase. Their products come with a 30-day return policy, and they offer fast delivery services. Their customer service assists the customers effectively and answers any queries they might have.
- Hemp Source: BudPop manufactures its products directly with its organic hemp source. They grow their hemp plants in farms located in Nevada and make sure no pesticides or harmful substances are added during the hemp cultivation. By practicing strict rules and regulations, they ensure their customers get non-GMO, all-natural products.
- 30-day money-back policy
- 20% discount for new customers
- Free shipping
- Available online only
#3. Cheef Botanicals – Broad Spectrum CBD Gummies For Relaxation & Stress Relief
Cheef Botanicals is a Los Angeles-based company that produces premium quality products, their most notable CBD gummies. This product is perfect for people who suffer from anxiety and mind their dietary intake. All Cheef Botanicals’ products are vegan-friendly and gluten-free, including the gummies, so all health-conscious customers are welcome to try this tasty and safe alternative anti-anxiety agent.
In addition, it is worth noting that Cheef Botanicals is an ethical, eco-conscious brand that does not test their products on animals and is invested in eco-friendly manufacturing with non-GMO hemp sources. To produce top-quality products, they are in direct contact with the farmers in Colorado. They make their 100% natural gummies from full spectrum hemp that provides their high potency. Moreover, they don’t include any artificial flavors or additives, the gummies are pleasant and rich in taste.
For someone who is suffering from anxiety, Cheef Botanicals provides a guilt-free possible solution with their all-natural CBD gummies. They come in different dosages – 10mg, 25mg, 50mg, or 100mg of full spectrum CBD per gummy. Therefore, you can manage your dosage according to preference or the level of anxiety you are experiencing.
Cheef Botanicals provides free shipping on all orders and a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee. It is no wonder why customers express so much positive feedback. Not only do they provide exceptional customer service, but they also test their products via a third-party lab. Cheef Botanicals focuses on staying transparent about the origin and testing of products to gain and retain their customer’s trust and loyalty. All in all, the CBD gummies by Cheef Botanicals are a flavorful treat that will flatten your anxiety and lift your mood.
- User-Friendly Website: One of the main factors that distinguishes Cheef Botanicals from its competitors is the user-friendly layout of its website. They have designed their website to be accessible and easy to navigate for all customers. Their website includes all the essential information for users before they decide to purchase. The website also reflects the level of transparency toward consumers. Also, it contains a dosage chart that guides and informs users regarding their optimal dose according to body weight.
- Ingredients: Cheef Botanicals uses 100% organic ingredients. To enhance the taste of the gummies, they use brown rice syrup or sugar cane as sweeteners while keeping it all-natural. Instead of using additives and artificial flavors, they infuse the gummies with natural flavors and a dash of organic food coloring.
- Return Policies and Shipment: They provide free shipping on all orders. Moreover, they ship to all 50 states, so you don’t have to worry about the shipping fees. In addition to the rest of their favorable policies, Cheef Botanicals offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you return the product within 30 days.
- Free shipping to all 50 U.S. states
- No additives or artificial flavors
- All-natural and organic
- Made from full spectrum CBD
- Flavorful and tasty
- Various sizes and potency levels
- May not be suitable for diabetics
- High-potency, therefore more expensive
#4. Hollyweed CBD – Premium Quality Brand For Hemp Edibles & Gummies
Originating from California, Hollyweed is another top-notch brand that produces high-quality CBD gummies. They are a growing brand and quite popular amongst CBD gummy consumers. Their gummies are organic and are therefore popular and in demand. Like the rest of the products in this selection, they are anxiety-relief agents that may promote calmness and reduce moodiness, inflammation, and physical pain.
The manufacturers of Hollyweed work directly with the hemp farmers to monitor the production and acquire the best quality hemp that is safe for consumption. The company has an extensive base of satisfied and devoted customers due to its high-quality products. As there’s no better marketing than word of mouth, the high level of positive reviews reveals just how effective these products are. Another factor contributing to users’ devotion is their fast and responsive customer service. They make sure to answer any customer queries and reach solutions to their issues. Therefore, Hollyweed is known as a brand of credibility and reliability.
- CBD Source: In comparison with the other brands in the market, the practices of Hollyweed are environmentally-friendly agriculture methods. They ensure that their hemp stems from GMO-free sources and grows without pesticides.
- Customer Service: In case of any issues or inconveniences, Hollyweed offers refunds. They guarantee money-back within 30 days of purchase.
- Lab Testing: Hollyweed is a reputable brand with high popularity. Therefore they make sure to bring only the best and safest products in the market. They test all of their products in third-party laboratories to back their claim, then post the results of the tests on the company’s official website, available to the public.
- Fast shipping
- 30-day return policy
- Eco-friendly farming
- No artificial flavors
- No pesticides and GMO-free hemp source
- Third-party lab verified
- Can be pricey
#5. FAB CBD – THC Free CBD Gummy Products
People who suffer from anxiety are most likely familiar with FAB CBD. It is a well-known brand in the market and a trustworthy company. They are committed to creating high-quality CBD products. FAB CBD excels in the market because they progress with the work of professionals with 25-years of knowledge and expertise in medicine and pharmacology. This experience enables them to produce alternative CBD solutions that help people manage anxiety and improve their quality of life.
The company provides the hemp through organic farming following federal requirements and uses CO2 extraction to keep its potency. Their hemp comes from Colorado farms, where it grows naturally without pesticides to ensure user safety.
The CBD gummies of FAB CBD are ideal for vegetarians and health-conscious individuals who choose organic and verified goods in their lifestyle. The ingredients are all-natural, with no artificial additives or colorings.
The website of the company is informative and easy to navigate. Their customer service team is also exceptionally responsive and friendly. In addition, they have customer-friendly policies such as a 30-day money-back guarantee and free delivery on orders over $99.
These gummies may become your faithful mood saver, so try them today and enjoy their anti-anxiety properties. It is worth noting that customers who use these gummies typically prefer high potency per serving.
- Extraction Process: The hemp used to produce these gummies grows organically in farms of Colorado. Farmers do not use any pesticides for these crops, so FAB CBD’s products are safe for consumption. What distinguishes the hemp cultivation of FAB CBD from others is the extraction process of the cannabidiol. The farmers use the solvent-free CO2 method, which helps maintain the hemp’s potency. Thus, the final result is gummies of high quality and potency.
- Transparency: FAB CBD does not rely on false claims and promises, and it keeps an image of credibility and transparency. To gain the trust of their customers, they provide access to in-depth information about their products and the tests that verify quality and safety.
- Lab Testing: Third-party labs test the FAB CBD gummies. For complete panel lab tests, the company tests the products in reputable laboratories like ProVerde, where they analyze samples for harmful materials, pollutants, and pesticides. Next, they post the results on their website and keep them open to the public.
- High potency
- CO2 hemp extraction
- Third-party lab tested
- Soft and tasty
- 100% organic
- Shipping charges are non-refundable
- International shipping can take up to 4 weeks
How We Made the List Of Most Popular CBD Gummy Brand?
Undoubtedly, CBD products are a new fad in town, so markets are flooded with different brands of CBD gummies. Therefore, we thoroughly researched the CBD market, pre-selected products, then examined their features and health properties, and finally, made a selection of the best ones. When choosing the most outstanding companies, we looked at various factors, such as the brand’s credibility, ingredients they use, customer reviews, and authenticity. We set up criteria that we found to be the best filter when selecting high-quality, reliable products.
What We Looked For
To select the best companies that produce CBD gummies, we looked at the following factors:
- Company’s Authenticity: One of our main factors to consider was the brand’s reputation and authenticity. With such a vast market and many companies claiming to be reliable, it is essential to stick to reputable ones. Customers’ reviews are the best indicator of how effective and authentic a company’s products are. All of the selected companies in this article have positive feedback from customers who describe these products as effective. Moreover, the reputable brands in our selection pass the tests for pesticides and heavy metals according to the Certificate of Analysis (COA). Also, these companies do not market any unsupported health claims, so this increases their credibility. In addition, we checked for any FDA warning letters to ensure that the companies have a clean record.
- Ingredients: We made sure that the CBD gummies on the list below derive from organic hemp sources that are certified. Moreover, the companies use the highest quality hemp that is safe and approved. Also, we checked for the rest of the ingredients included and made sure they were all-natural. The manufacturers use FDA-approved ingredients, making them safe to consume. In contrast, we eliminated companies that use processed sugar and artificial flavors.
- Customer Service: When ordering online, it is better to select companies known for their excellent customer service. CBD products can be quite expensive; therefore, it is better to order from a reliable brand that includes return policies. The brands we selected are known for their fast shipping and swift response to customer queries.
- Lab Testing: All companies make claims about testing guarantee that sound convincing, flavors but it is vital to recognize what to trust as a customer. If a CBD product went through third-party laboratory tests, it means that it is certified. This also reflects an unbiased opinion about the product and makes it trustworthy. The selected brands tested their products through third-party labs and transparently shared the reports. Most of these brands have a certificate of analysis which shows that their products do not contain any harmful materials and are safe to consume.
CBD Gummies Buying Guide
Always be cautious when shopping from retailers that make claims that seem too good to be true, especially for anxiety treatments. The hemp industry is still quite an unregulated sector. Therefore, buying your products exclusively from well-known brands with verified reputations is essential. The brand you select should promote consistent quality of its products. You can refer to customers’ reviews or look at other websites for their ratings to verify this. Make sure the brand is legitimate and avoid falling into the traps of false advertising. Moreover, always avoid companies that have received an FDA warning.
When looking for a suitable product, the best way to confirm its authenticity is through customer reviews, especially testimonials by people suffering from anxiety. They will help you evaluate the effectiveness of products, so you can see if these brands are worth it or not. Third-party website reviews are not the most trusted source, so before purchasing any product, always check for authentic customer testimonials.
Since the FDA does not directly guarantee the safety of CBD products, there are other factors you can look at to ensure that the product you purchase is safe. Before buying, take some time for short research and choose a high-quality product. Many companies claim big but compromise on safety to save money. Regarding public safety, FDA can take action against any company that practices shady businesses. FDA warnings are a huge red flag that you must avoid.
For each product, you can look at the certificate of analysis that should ensure the safety of a product. It is better to select only the brands that test their products through third-party labs and post the result online available for customers.
FAQs About CBD For Anxiety
Q1. When do CBD gummies expire?
Most products come with an expiry date on their jar or container. CBD gummies are practically sweets, so they typically have a shelf life of one year. However, consuming them within six to nine months after purchase is better. After the expiry date, the cannabinoid in these gummies will start to break down, so they will lose their potency and effectiveness. Also, you can expect the taste to become weird and dried out. It is better to store your gummies in a dry and dark place to avoid contact with moisture or warmth.
Q2. Do CBD gummies have a positive effect on the body?
CBD is quite effective when treating anxiety, so these gummies may help you to relieve pain and treat depression. According to ongoing studies, you can use these gummies to relieve long-term back pain and or soothe insomnia. Moreover, it also helps in reducing inflammation. Therefore, we recommend CBD for various health conditions.
Q3. Are CBD gummies illegal?
Most of the well-known brands in this article produce CBD gummies with a THC level of less than 0.3%. At the federal level, these products are legal. However, in some states, they may still be considered illegal. Before making the purchase, it is better to check the laws of your state regarding CBD products.
Q4. Are CBD gummies addictive?
CBD itself does not induce addiction in consumers. However, according to researchers, heavy cannabis can cause addiction amongst users and lead to harmful habits. CBD does not have psychoactive effects, so it does not produce intoxicating effects. CBD gummies can also assist in the treatment of drug addiction.
Q5. Why are CBD gummies better than other products?
There are many reasons why we prefer CBD gummies to other products. First of all, they come in a fun shape and tasty flavors. The wide variety of gummies makes them fun to consume and brings back old memories. Secondly, you can carry them anywhere you want and eat them in public too. You can chew them anywhere, even during work, if you feel anxious. Many people do not like to smoke or hate the smell of hemp, so CBD gummies come as a better alternative. Lastly, you can control your dosage and manage your CBD intake as you know the percentage of CBD in each gummy. Therefore it is highly unlikely to overdose.
Q6. Is it okay if you take CBD gummies every day?
It depends on the product you choose. Some CBD gummies include a higher dosage and can be taken once a day, while others are less effective. You can increase your intake as you become accustomed to CBD to reach your desired results.
Q7. Is it possible to get high after eating CBD gummies?
CBD, unlike THC, can not make you high as they are not psychoactive. If you eat too many CBD candies made from full-spectrum hemp extract, you may feel sleepy. The THC quantity in some of these candies isn’t high enough to cause a noticeable high, but you can feel drowsy if you consume too many. However, be careful and do your research before consuming CBD gummies. Some gummies, for example, have a high concentration of CBD to soothe insomnia, so avoid consuming these while working, driving, or lifting heavy objects.
Q8. Should I consult a doctor before my purchase?
Since we are talking about anxiety, it is essential to speak with your doctor or medical professional before opting for any form of tranquilizer. Although the items on this list are all-natural, it is vital to get a professional opinion first. There is always the possibility that you are unaware of underlying conditions resulting in unpleasant side effects.
Conclusion: Should You Use CBD Gummies for Anxiety?
Anxiety is a severe mental condition that can worsen if left untreated. Many people suffering from anxiety would consider natural and organic products as treatment along with the regularly prescribed drugs. CBD gummies are one of the safe ways to ease anxiety symptoms and an ideal alternative rich in health benefits that enhance sleep, reduce inflammation, and ease bodily pain.
All the reputable brands on this list are leading companies on the CBD market that offer organic and natural CBD gummies that customers enjoy and recommend. We hope that this buying guide helped you learn more about this tasty CBD product and find the gummies that will cheer up your days.
What happened when I took CBD for a week to help with my anxiety
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- CBD products claim to help with everything from anxiety to insomnia to muscle pain.
- The hype almost sounds too good to be true, so Business Insider’s Benji Jones conducted an experiment to find out how it might help him with his anxiety.
- Jones took 250 milligrams of CBD oil per day for one week. Mostly, he felt tired after taking the doses, but he did notice a relief from anxiety, particularly during stressful moments of his week.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Steven Phan: You gotta lean back. No, tongue back!
Benji Jones: That’s me, trying CBD at a shop in New York City. Lately, I’ve seen this stuff everywhere: At the local health food store, but also at Urban Outfitters, Sephora, and CBD shops like this one. And if you look at some of the branding, it kind of makes sense.
CBD products claim to help with everything from anxiety to insomnia to muscle pain. It almost sounds too good to be true. And maybe it is. To find out, I set up a little experiment. For one week, I took CBD three times a day, while tracking my anxiety with a scorecard. I also chatted with an expert before and after to sort through the results. Here’s what I learned.
CBD is a distant cousin of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. They both come from the cannabis plant, but CBD isn’t psychoactive. Meaning it doesn’t get you high. Now, of course, getting high isn’t the only reason why cannabis is popular. People also use it to relieve pain, control seizures, and lessen anxiety. But as researchers like Dr. Yasmin Hurd are discovering, it’s likely CBD, not THC, that’s behind these benefits.
Dr. Hurd: “It can activate some serotonin receptors, and the serotonin system is associated with alleviating anxiety.”
Jones: Hurd has been studying the effects of CBD for over 10 years. And she’s found that it can reduce anxiety in people with a history of heroin addiction. Now, fortunately, I don’t have a history of addiction, but I do see a therapist for chronic anxiety. And CBD could still help.
Dr. Hurd: “Both under normal conditions and in people who have anxiety disorders, enough research has started to show that it does have an anti-anxiety effect.”
Jones: So, back at the shop, I tried all kinds of product. From sweets to lotions and sprays. And while Hurd couldn’t recommend a specific dose for me, she did say that 300 milligrams a day should be enough to feel something. Because participants in clinical trials typically take anywhere from 300 to 600 milligrams. So, those chocolates and sprays? They weren’t going to cut it. Instead, I went for something else.
Phan: The tinctures, right? This is where you really get into the higher-strength things.”
Jones: I decided to err on the side of caution and take 250 milligrams each day, broken out into three doses: 50 milligrams in the morning, 100 milligrams at midday, and another 100 milligrams at night. That way, it wouldn’t hit me all at once.
Jones: All right, today is the day! I have my CBD here. I’m kind of nervous. All right, here we go.
Now, mind you, this was a Wednesday. A workday. Side note: The reason I’m taking CBD this way is that there are tons of capillaries under your tongue. So, anything you put there can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. Whereas when you ingest CBD, like with that chocolate, a lot of it is broken down by your stomach. Which means you probably won’t feel much.
Anyway, several hours later, I took my last dose of the day.
If anything, I just feel extremely tired.
That was the first thing I noticed: that CBD was making me drowsy. Really drowsy. Which Hurd said is a pretty normal side effect at high doses. Though we’re not exactly sure why. But as I discovered the next night, it’s also great for hangovers.
I had some alcohol, and I’m certainly not going to have trouble sleeping. I think I’m going to eat a slice of pizza.
The next morning, I felt…great. And according to Hurd, that’s because CBD also has some anti-inflammatory effects. But what about anxiety, what I was really in this for? Each morning, I filled out the anxiety scorecard that Hurd gave me. It was a rough estimate of my daily emotional state, based on numbered responses to statements like, “I feel at ease.” But day to day, it was harder to figure out whether CBD was helping.
Just walking home on Friday night after three days of CBD, and I’m reporting that I’m mostly just tired and feeling lethargic. Not in a bad way; it kind of feels like I have a warm blanket around me, so I don’t hate it.
But over the weekend, I finally got the relief I was looking for, even more quickly than I had expected.
So, I happened to take CBD right before I had to do something stressful. It’s Sunday, but I had a task that I was not looking forward to. And I took 100 milligrams, and I pretty quickly felt my nerves calming down. And I was like, OMG, this is totally working, which is really great because I’m looking for that quick relief like everyone is.
Now, of course, this could have been a placebo. I mean, all of this could have been placebo. So, a few days later, I tried it again in a similar high-stress situation.
Not going to lie, I actually feel a little bit more calm. It kind of puts me into a dissociative state, where I’m slowing down a little bit. I actually get physical pain in my heart region when I’m anxious, which I know sounds terrible. But just 30 minutes after taking my 100-milligram dose for the evening, I feel an absence of that. I will say that I’ve also been listening to the “Lion King” soundtrack, so there are confounding variables. But yeah, I feel a lot better right now.
At that point, I had just one day left.
All right, I’m about to take my last dose of CBD! I must say, I’m kind of excited to stop having to take this three times a day. I think part of it is scheduling and remembering. But also, yeah, I’ve also just been so much more tired. I don’t feel like my anxiety was just washed away. I felt like there were a few times where it really helped in certain instances. And, overall, kind of lowered the intensity of how I was feeling because I felt lethargic. But yeah, I don’t want to be tired anymore.
Afterward, I looked over my anxiety scorecards. And sure enough, it showed that I was feeling slightly less anxious on my last day, compared to my first. Especially when I looked at statements like this. Yeah, that’s a big one for me. I wanted to run these results by Hurd.
Dr. Hurd: “How do you feel?”
Jones: Um, to be honest, I don’t feel that different. I think that the biggest change that I noticed is…I was just tired all the time. I feel this kind of slo-mo lethargia that makes me feel, like, a little bit disassociated with reality. And I think that is what made me feel a little less anxious at times.
Dr. Hurd: So, perhaps…taking it at night only might be best because it can make you a bit sleepy, and everyone has a different sensitivity. If you take it at night you get past the initial sedative effects… and then you don’t have to worry about taking other things like caffeine to try to stay awake.
Jones: And what about those moments of instant relief? Was that in my head, or could CBD act that fast?
Dr. Hurd: “Yeah, absolutely. It can act that quickly. For us, in our studies, people did — shortly after getting CBD — report reduced anxiety.”
Jones: But if there was one takeaway from our conversations, it was this:
Dr. Yasmin Hurd: Ironically, even though it’s now this huge fad in our society, we still don’t have a very good handle on how it’s working.
Jones: In other words, we don’t know: what size dose you should take, how, exactly, it changes your brain, or how it impacts different people in different ways. That’s because until late 2018, nearly all CBD was classified as an illegal substance. Which made it really difficult for scientists to study. And while research is starting to catch up… in some ways, it’s too late.
Dr. Hurd: It’s one of the first times in history that the public is determining whether something is medicine, not scientists and physicians.
Jones: As for me, will I continue using CBD? Yes — but likely only for those moments when I need instant relief. Because, while it seems to benefit a lot of people … I’m not yet fully convinced. But also because, this bottle? It costs more than $130! And if I’m going to spend that much, I want to be absolutely sure it works.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published on August 20, 2019.