If you struggle with anxiety, you may already be aware of how difficult the symptoms can get at times, and you might wish for something to be able to help you out.
While CBD is in no way a substitute for proper psychological and psychiatric help, as well as not similar in any way to proper medication, if used well, it has the potential to give you some relief. So let us dive into how you can use CBD products to aid in reducing your anxiety.
How Are CBD And THC Different?
Both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are kinds of chemical compounds that are found in the cannabis plant; however, as you may already be aware, their main difference is that while THC is psychoactive and gets you “high”, CBD does not.
Another main difference is that CBD is legal everywhere, being sold as CBD creams, CBD tablets, CBD oils, CBD capsules, CBD tinctures, CBD vape, as well as CBD gummies, while THC’s legality is still quite restricted. There are also many physical and mental health benefits of CBD that are often touted under THC, including but not limited to:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Multiple sclerosis
What Research Has Been Done?
While there is still a lot of research that needs to be done on the use of CBD for physical and mental disorders and issues (many studies that have been done are still animal studies), we have some work done so far that shows that we might be on the right path using this chemical to alleviate anxiety.
For example, a review of several studies done in 2020 showed that participants felt an improvement in their anxiety levels after they had taken only one dose of CBD from 300 to 600 mg. There are also a number of studies done on its effectiveness for chronic pain. It is also already incorporated into a medication used to treat epilepsy (epidiolex).
This, however, still does not mean these claims have been fully proven. Most of these studies were done with few participants and may not represent the overall population. At the same time, we still know very little about CBD’s possible long-term side effects.
Still, it is important to do more research and if you can, you should always ask your doctor whether he would recommend CBD as a form of treatment for your medical condition.
How Much CBD Should You Take?
While there is still no universally approved dose of CBD for each condition, and the efficacy of the doses below will most definitely depend on your own body and condition, there are a few approximate numbers that may help you get a sense of where you should start. These are doses that have been used in research studies that have yielded positive results.
- Anxiety: 300 to 600 mg
- Inflammatory bowel disease: 10 mg per day
- Cancer-related pain: 50 to 600 mg per day
- Parkinson's disease: 75 to 300 mg per day
- Poor sleep: 25 mg per day
- Psychosis: 600 mg per day
As you may expect, none of these numbers are standardized to the point that if you are not feeling the effects, or are feeling too much of the side effects of CBD, that you should not change your dose.
If you have a doctor that knows about your condition, it would be ideal to refer to them about what kind of dose you should take, since they can probably help you navigate this journey much better.
Also, it is important to note that while CBD has not been known to interact with most medications, it could still affect them, and your doctor should be able to give you actual medical advice.
If you are just starting on this journey and do not know yet how to make sure you are taking the correct dose, you should refer to the points below on how to make sure that you are doing it responsibly and working toward the best results:
Assess Your Sensitivity To CBD
Your own personal ability to handle the side effects of CBD will play an absolutely major role in knowing how much you should be taking, which is why we also recommend you take a smaller dose if it is your first time. You might be quite sensitive to CBD and not be aware of it, so it is good to experiment on the lower end first and see how your body reacts.
Consider Individual Factors
As with anything that you start putting into your body, your own age, sex, body weight, height, as well as overall health will also condition how much CBD you should or even can take. This will also affect the kind of method you wanna use to take it. As expected, if you are male, or heavier, or younger, you will need a higher dose, while if you are female, smaller, and older, you will likely need a lower one.
Consider The Symptoms You Are Treating
What you are trying to treat will obviously play a major role in how much CBD you should take. Check out pages with specific info on the average CBD dose for your condition, or refer to the list above if your condition has already been listed here.
Try A Dosage Calculator
There are a fair amount of dose calculators on the internet that will give you an approximate number of the dosage of CBD you should take. Although these have not been completely verified and as such, their results should be taken with a grain of salt, it might be a good place to get a starting idea of how much you will need.
Start With A Low Dose
This is obviously to be ignored if you have been given a prescription by a doctor that gives you a proper dosing, but unless that is the case, you should start off with about 10 to 20 mg a day. Before you decide to up your dose, you should try this CBD dosage for at least one week so you can make sure it starts being effective and you do not develop any adverse symptoms.
If you do find that this is indeed too low a dose, then you can up the amount of CBD you take by 5 mg a week until you start getting the desired effects. This is because there is still a lack of information on what is and is not an appropriate dose for a regular adult. I
t is, however, important to note that the doses that the World Health Organization (WHO) uses in their clinical trials and research studies is usually between 100 and 800 mg a day. You should work your way up to those numbers, though, just to be safe and take your time to find out how CBD works.
How Do I Take CBD?
You can take CBD in many different ways. The most famous way to take CBD is infused in an oil that you leave under your tongue for about thirty seconds or so. You can also have it in your food, drinks, and supplements. There are even capsules, tablets, nasal sprays, and gummies. If your concern is over your skin there are a number of lotions, salves, and cosmetics.
It is important to choose the method of administration that will work best for what you are trying to treat or experience. For example, if you want very concentrated doses of CBD then you can take an oil (and dropper), a capsule, or a gummy.
If you are looking for daily mood enhancers you can take it with a supplement. As mentioned above, if you are looking to treat something on your skin you can look for topical applications of CBD.
What Kind Should You Take?
There are three different kinds of CBD products that you will find in most stores. Understanding what each of them are is the key to being safer when purchasing these kinds of products, and if you are just starting out, you should explore which helps you out the best with your symptoms. Here are the three kinds of CBD products that you will find:
- Isolate contains pure CBD and nothing more than CBD
- Broad-spectrum contains CBD and other kinds of cannabinoids, but never THC
- Full-spectrum contains CBD, THC, and many other kinds of cannabinoids
If you ask us, broad-spectrum is often considered the best. This is because of something called the entourage effect. The entourage effect is when CBD interacts with other cannabinoids, making both the effects of CBD and the effects of other cannabinoids better and more effective.
What Are The Side Effects Of CBD?
CBD is right now considered a very safe drug not only by those who use it, but also by relevant scientists. The side effects that have been identified are often short-lived and manageable, and none of them have led to serious injury or death.
This means that although you should still check with your doctor if you get the chance, you are likely alright to use CBD fairly regularly as long as you do not experience any symptoms. If you do, here is a list of the side effects to watch out for:
- Appetite changes
- Stomach upset
- Weight changes
While there is still a fair lack of information over the long term effects of CBD, there have been certain studies in mice that show it can increase the risk for liver damage. However, since this has not yet been confirmed in human trials, as it stands at the moment, there seems to be no confirmed long-term side effects of CBD.
This means that you are likely safe to use it long-term, but you should do it with moderation and while monitoring if there are any changes to your health that may be caused by your taking of CBD.
Is It Possible to Take Too Much?
While it is important that you keep in mind that we do not as of yet have extensive research on the topic, researchers seem to think that CBD is quite safe to take, and that there is no toxic limit where serious injury or death would occur.
However, this does not mean that if you take too much, you will not experience uncomfortable symptoms that may not bring you the results you originally desired. According to research, a daily dose of 600 mg of CBD is perfectly safe, and you can get as high as 1,500 mg a day without experiencing too many downsides.
However, as has been mentioned before, it is always the best choice to start off at a lower dose and work your way up rather than starting with too high a dose and experiencing some negative side effects. If you have the chance to, always talk to your doctor about it first.
How Do I Keep Safe?
Unfortunately, as it stands at the time of the writing of this article, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) is still not fully regulating CBD products. This means that there is a bit of work that needs to be done on the part of the consumer to inform themselves on how to read labels and how to know that the product you are buying is properly tested and high-quality.
You will also need to understand that the lack of regulation also means some manufacturers will make claims that have not actually been proven about what their products are used for and how effective they are.
There was a recent study that was done by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that showed that people were reporting more serious negative effects of cannabidiol products that had likely been contaminated with synthetic CBD.
The products in this study did not label themselves as containing synthetic CBD. Lack of information on the label or unproven claims often run rampant in the CBD industry, so it is good to make sure you find out if the product you are buying has been appropriately tested by a third-party lab.
Another thing to watch out for is the THC content. Although you can safely market a CBD product that contains less than 0.3 percent, since that is only considered trace amounts. However, another study showed that often companies have an issue meeting that 0.3 percent threshold, which can be especially dangerous if you are regularly drug tested.
If you are getting your CBD from a supplier that has been known to not meet the regulations on the THC levels, then you might accidentally test positive and potentially face legal trouble even if you did not know you were breaking the law.
CBD can be a very effective helper for people who struggle with certain kinds of chronic conditions and certain kinds of mental illnesses. However, it is always important to know how to use CBD and how much to take so that you are getting the most effectiveness out of it and you are not unwittingly making your condition worse.
You might have to go through several periods of trial and error even with the information we have given you in this article, since none of this is really an exact science and relies mostly on averages and approximations.
If you have the opportunity to, exploring different doses and kinds of CBD can really benefit you in the long run and can be a healthy and natural way of dealing with anxiety disorder and the symptoms of other health conditions, too.