Almost every single one of us has experienced anxiety at some point in our lives, whether it be before a big event or as a result of some daunting news. And for some, anxiety may happen more frequently and consistently than others. Depending on the underlying issue or severity of the stressors, you could be experiencing disproportionate amounts of anxiety.
Of course, these feelings of anxiety can interfere with day-to-day life, your sleep and rest, and distort your overall sense of self during an anxiety attack.
Before we can start to address the best form of CBD for anxiety, and why you could find relief with cannabis for your symptoms, let’s first review what is anxiety and explore some of the triggers that might cause you stressors.
What is anxiety?
According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Anxiety can be caused by many different interceptions such as major life events or experiences, but could also be based on inherited traits passed down genetically.
What are anxiety triggers?
Being aware of what triggers our anxiety is the first step in handling and dealing with it. If you can start to identify what drives your anxiety, you can begin to address it through proper help, with CBD and cannabis potentially playing a role in helping resolve some of those symptoms.
Generally, our anxiety is triggered by something, so here are a few examples of triggers:
- Health issue related: Depending on your health or a recent diagnosis, this could cause an immediate trigger of anxiety or induce a longer and more powerful hold over you depending on the severity of the situation. While everyone’s unique situation is relative, there are precautions you can take like speaking with medical professionals regularly and leading a proactive lifestyle with health and wellness at the forefront.
- Medications: Certain medications can produce negative side effects which can trigger anxiety, if you are concerned about a particular medication, we always encourage you to speak with your medical professionals to help guide you on what is the best route for you. Should you be concerned about a potential medical conflict between your current medications and cannabis, we have partnered with Leaf411 a cannabis nurse-staffed hotline to provide our community with free access to talk directly to them about any possible issues or conflicts between your medicine and CBD.
- Caffeine: According to a 2010 study by PubMed on the effects of caffeine on anxiety, reported that people with panic disorder and social anxiety disorder are especially sensitive to the anxiety-inducing effects of caffeine. If you notice your anxiety being triggered after consuming caffeine, that may be a good indication to cut back or swap for less interfering solutions that can still enable you with energy without the anxiety.
- Nutrition: A big factor in managing and controlling anxiety can be our diet. Depending on how often and what you eat could cause anxiety so it’s important to be mindful of what is going in your body. In regards to cannabis, it is fat soluble so you’ll want to maintain a balanced diet to ensure your body is absorbing enough nutrients to help you function properly.
- Your mind/thoughts: How we speak to ourselves matter, and it’s very easy to let our mind wander toward negative thoughts. It’s not that you’re never going to experience negativity, but how you handle it and what tools you use to help you navigate your feelings and experiences can be tremendously powerful in combating anxiety. A great benefit of CBD can help you ease your thoughts to help you better manage and cope with whatever is triggering the anxiety.
- Social events: Let’s be real, there are introverts and extroverts, and we all handle social situations differently. For some, they thrive in the unknown environment eager to make new connections, but for others, the thought of having to make small talk and attend an event can cause them to begin to spiral with anxiety. The good news is there are some events where it makes sense to push outside of your comfort zone and others where you might learn it’s better to just politely decline and not attend. But for the events where you need a little but of help managing the jitters that come with being in a buzzy environment, CBD could possibly be an aid in helping you combat those nerves and settle into new conversations with ease.
- Conflict: Conflict is not fun, it instigates our sense of fight or flight, and when we feel threatened, it can produce an anxiety that we feel lost and out of control with. While we can’t protect ourselves from conflict 100% of the time, we can start to find tools and solutions that can empower us to cope better when we find ourselves in those positions.
- Stress: Whether you experience daily stressors like sitting in traffic or an unexpected appliance malfunction. Or you’re someone who experiences long-term stress from a dissatisfying job or relationship. Stress can have ripple effects on our health and longevity if not dealt with properly. It’s critical to find resources that can help calm you down so you can manage to move through the stress in a healthy way.
- Public performances: I know that not everyone is at ease in front of a crowd, but even for those who feel like they shine on stage, it can still produce some forms of anxiety to take hold. Identifying the situations and triggers that put us in this state of panic is critical in helping us address and tackle them with solutions that can enable us to work through the feelings and become more comfortable in those situations, especially if being in public and performing is a key part in your job, role, or function.
- Personal triggers: These triggers are a bit more nuanced and certainly personal from person to person. It could be a place, a smell, a song, or a memory that gets triggered and puts you in a state of anxiety. For a lot of people traveling causes anxiety, but that shouldn’t get in the way of you exploring. Another deeply personal trigger might be related to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in which case you might need to seek medical help in order to diagnose and properly treat it. Identifying personal triggers will take time, but it’s necessary so you can learn to overcome them.
Using CBD to help anxiety
Now that we know what and how anxiety is triggered, we can look at how using CBD to help manage our anxiety could work and explore what is the best form of CBD to take for anxiety.
CBD, for those of you who might be new to this term, stands for cannabidiol and it is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is non-psychotropic and was federally legalized in 2018 thanks to the Farm Bill legalizing hemp, which is where the majority of CBD is produced from.
If you want to learn more about CBD and other cannabinoids, explore our CBD 101 guide. It will go over in more detail the different types of CBD, the benefits, and more details to help familiarize yourself with this popular cannabinoid.
How CBD works
CBD as a cannabinoid plays off of our bodies’ own endocannabinoid system and receptors. Specifically, CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
And with the way CBD interacts with the CB1 receptors, is attributed to impacting the serotonin signals.
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays an important role in your mental health. And low serotonin levels are typically associated with causing anxiety. So taking CBD which interacts with your CB1 receptors could help rewire those transmitters to fire optimally causing an increase in serotonin and a reduction in anxiety.
What form factor to use?
There are a lot of different types of products with varying doses out there, which can be confusing for consumers looking for immediate relief from their anxiety symptoms. Depending on your preference and what ultimately works best for you will guide you towards what products to explore to find potential relief from anxiety.
To discover where to begin, you need to think through what form factor makes the most sense. Do you prefer something discrete, or something with more immediate effects? Depending on the time of day you’re wanting to take it could also steer you towards a particular product over another.
For most people, the sublingual oil is the most popular because of its potency, easy-to-use administration, and fast-acting effects. Our droppers are calibrated, and in our 40mg/ml full spectrum oil, you’ll get 1200mg of CBD in the total bottle, with thirty 40mg servings. If you take the full 1ml dropper, you’ll be getting 40mg, take half and that’s equal to 20mg, a quarter is 10mg, etc.
What dose works best for you will be different from person to person, so we always recommend starting with 10mg and increasing from there. The benefit of the sublingual oil is that it is absorbed pretty quickly thanks to the capillaries found in our tongues. Anything placed under your tongue will be immediately absorbed into your bloodstream.
Another popular consumption method is edibles due to their pre-dosed format and discrete consumption. You will need to first determine the best dose to start, and we have 30mg full spectrum fruit slices which is a popular starting point for most. If you feel more comfortable, you can start with half a gummy which is equivalent to 15mg of CBD, and see what works better for you dose-wise from there.
The good thing about CBD is it is nonpsychotropic so you shouldn’t have any fear of an overdose, too much CBD can cause drowsiness which is why we recommend starting with a low dose and working your way up.
There is also no wrong frequency of CBD to take so for some people they take it daily before bed, for others, it’s daily as part of their morning routine, and for others, it could be a combination of both depending on how anxious they are feeling on a particular day.
Another benefit of digesting CBD in edible form is that while it might take longer to take effect because it is breaking down in your digestive tract versus being absorbed immediately sublingually, you could experience longer ongoing relief because of how it’s being absorbed.
We definitely encourage you to play around with the right dose and form factor to figure out what is best for you.
Probably the most fast-acting will be inhalation which can be done either by smoking CBD hemp flower, you could also vaporize the hemp flower, or smoke it via a cartridge and battery through vaping.
No matter what you choose, this form factor will be easier to feel the effects as you are inhaling it and within a few puffs should feel relief. So it would be easier to gauge how much to do based on how you feel after a few inhales. We recommend taking one to three puffs and taking a pause before reconvening. There isn’t an exact dose, only what works best for you in your time of need so keep exploring what products and doses help ease your anxiety best.
Some people they don’t enjoy smoking, and that’s okay, that’s why there are other form factors to choose from. But someone seeking more immediate relief from an anxiety attack could consider some type of inhalation of CBD to experience the benefits compared to another type of consumption.
We have CBD vapes in our retail store that are also available to ship in Texas.
We have a wide range of CBD hemp flower to choose from, feel free to reach out to our team to inquire what their favorite strains are and why.
And different types of devices for you to smoke your help flower whether you want a pipe, water bong, or herb vaporizer.
In conclusion, there is anecdotal proof that CBD can be an aid in helping to manage and mitigate anxiety, but it will come down to how much and how frequently you consume it to find the best benefits for your personal situation.
It’s not a one size fits all approach, but that is why our team is here to help guide you on your canna-curious journey and help connect you to resources and education to make the best decision for you.
Have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out! We are happy to answer your questions and are on standby for a chat.