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Cbd oil pill form for anxiety

What Is CBD Oil?

This cannabis extract may help treat nerve pain, anxiety, and epilepsy

Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman’s World, and Natural Health.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Meredith Bull, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is an extract from hemp plants called Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa . You might be more familiar with cannabis plants because they are grown for marijuana. However, CBD is not the same thing as marijuana.

CBD oil contains CBD that’s mixed with a base (carrier) oil, like coconut oil or hemp seed oil. These are called tinctures. You can get tinctures in different concentrations. The oil can also be put into capsules, gummies, and sprays.

People who support using CBD oil say that it can treat pain and anxiety; can help stimulate appetite and may help manage some types of seizures.

This article goes over what CBD is used for, the possible side effects, and what you should look for if you choose to buy CBD.

CBD vs. Marijuana

CBD is one component (called a cannabinoid ) that’s found in a hemp plant. Marijuana is a separate plant but it’s from the same species that hemp belongs to. Marijuana has CBD and hundreds of other compounds in it.

The main difference between hemp plants and marijuana plants is how much of a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is in them. Hemp is grown to have less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana has more.

THC is what’s responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis—in other words, it’s what makes you feel “high.”

CBD oil generally does not have THC in it; however, a very small (trace) amount might be in products sold in certain states.

What Is CBD Oil Used For?

We’re not sure exactly how CBD works. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have a strong connection with the molecules in the brain that THC binds to create psychoactive effects. These are called cannabinoid receptors.

Instead, CBD works on other receptors, like the opioid receptors that help control pain. It also affects glycine receptors that control a brain chemical called serotonin which helps control your mood.

People that support the use of CBD claim that CBD oil can treat a variety of health problems, including:

  • Acne
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Drug use and withdrawal
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle spasms
  • Poor appetite

As CBD has gained popularity, researchers have been trying to study it more. Still, there has not been a lot of clinical research to look for evidence in support of these health claims.

CBD is not a safe option for everyone. Talk to your healthcare provider if you want to try it for managing a health condition.

Anxiety

A 2015 review of research that was published in the journal Neurotherapeutics suggested that CBD might help treat anxiety disorders.

The study authors reported that CBD had previously shown powerful anxiety-relieving effects in animal research—and the results were kind of surprising.

In most of the studies, lower doses of CBD (10 milligrams per kilogram, mg/kg, or less) improved some symptoms of anxiety, while higher doses (100 mg/kg or more) had almost no effect.

The way that CBD acts in the brain could explain why this happens. In low doses, CBD might act the same as the surrounding molecules that normally bind to the receptor that “turns up” their signaling.

However, at higher doses, too much activity at this receptor site could produce the opposite effect.

There have not been many trials to look at CBD’s anxiety-relieving effects in humans. However, one was a 2019 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry.

For the study, 57 men took either CBD oil or a sugar pill with no CBD in it (placebo) before a public-speaking event.

The researchers assessed the participants’ anxiety levels using measures like blood pressure and heart rate. The researchers also used a reliable test for mood states called the Visual Analog Mood Scale (VAMS).

The men who took 300 mg of CBD oil reported less anxiety than the men who were given a placebo; however, the men who took 100 mg or 600 mg of CBD oil did not experience the same effects.

Addiction

CBD oil might help people with substance use disorder, according to a 2015 review published in the journal Substance Abuse.

The review looked at the findings from 14 published studies. Nine of the studies looked at the effects of CBD on animals, and five studies looked at the effects on humans.

The researchers reported that CBD showed promise for treating people with opioid, cocaine, or psychostimulant use disorders.

However, the effects of CBD were quite different depending on the substance. For example, CBD without THC did not decrease withdrawal symptoms related to opioid use.

On the other hand, it did reduce drug-seeking behaviors in people using cocaine, methamphetamine, and other similar drugs.

Some experts suggest that CBD could help treat cannabis and nicotine dependence, but more research is needed to provide this theory.

High Blood Pressure

A 2017 study found that CBD oil may reduce the risk of heart disease because it can lower high blood pressure in some people.

For the study, nine healthy men took either 600 mg of CBD or the same dose of a placebo. The men who took CBD had lower blood pressure before and after experiencing stressors like exercise or extreme cold.

The study also looked at the amount of blood remaining in the heart after a heartbeat (stroke volume).

The stroke volume in the men who took CBD was lower than in was in the placebo group, meaning their hearts were pumping more efficiently.

The study suggested that CBD oil could be a complementary therapy for people with high blood pressure that is affected by stress and anxiety.

However, there is no evidence that CBD oil can treat high blood pressure on its own or prevent it in people at risk. While stress can complicate high blood pressure, it does not cause it.

Seizures

In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD oral solution called Epidiolex.

Epidiolex is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy in children under the age of 2: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These are very rare genetic disorders that cause lifelong seizures starting in the first year of life.

Other than for these two disorders, CBD’s effectiveness for treating seizures is not known. Even with Epidiolex, it’s not clear if the anti-seizure effects are from CBD or another factor.

However, there is some evidence that CBD interacts with seizure medicines like Onfi (clobazam) and raises their concentration in the blood. That said, more research is needed to understand the link.

Possible Side Effects

Clinical research has shown that CBD oil can cause side effects. The specific side effects a person has and how bad they are varies from one person to the next and from one type of CBD to another.

Some common side effects people report from using CBD include:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in mood
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

CBD oil may also increase liver enzymes, which is a marker of liver inflammation.

People with liver disease should talk to their healthcare provider before taking CBD oil. They may need to have their liver enzymes checked regularly if they are using CBD.

Can You Use CBD If You’re Pregnant?

You should not use CBD oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Even though the effects of CBD are not fully understood, it does pass through the placenta.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) further states that pregnant people should not use marijuana because of the potential risks to a developing fetus.

Do not drive or use heavy machinery when taking CBD oil—especially when you first start using it or switch to a new brand. Remember that some products do contain THC, even in small amounts.

Interactions

CBD oil can interact with medications, including many that are used to treat epilepsy. One of the reasons for this has to do with how your body breaks down (metabolizes) drugs.

Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) is an enzyme your body uses to break down some drugs. CBD oil can block CYP450. That means that taking CBD oil with these drugs could make them have a stronger effect than you need or make them not work at all.

Drugs that could potentially interact with CBD include:

  • Anti-arrhythmia drugs like quinidine
  • Anticonvulsants like Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Trileptal (oxcarbazepine)
  • Antifungal drugs like Nizoral (ketoconazole) and Vfend (voriconazole)
  • Antipsychotic drugs like Orap (pimozide)
  • Atypical antidepressants like Remeron (mirtazapine)
  • Benzodiazepine sedatives like Klonopin (clonazepam) and Halcion (triazolam)
  • Immune-suppressive drugs like Sandimmune (cyclosporine)
  • Macrolide antibiotics like clarithromycin and telithromycin
  • Migraine medicine like Ergomar (ergotamine)
  • Opioid painkillers like Duragesic (fentanyl) and alfentanil
  • Rifampin-based drugs used to treat tuberculosis

Always tell your healthcare provider and pharmacist about all the medicines you take, including prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), herbal, or recreational drugs.

The interactions between these medications and CBD are often mild and you might not have to change your treatment.

However, in some cases, you might have to change medications or space out your doses to avoid a reaction. That said, never change or stop medication without talking to your provider.

Dosage and Preparation

There are no guidelines for using CBD oil. Each product works a bit differently, depending on the form.

For example, putting the oil under your tongue can produce effects more quickly than swallowing a capsule that needs to be digested.

Here are a few ways that you can take CBD oil:

  • Placing one or more drops under your tongue and holding it there for 30 to 60 seconds without swallowing. You can also use a spray that is spritz in your mouth/under your tongue.
  • Taking a capsule or chewing a gummy

There’s no “correct” dose of CBD oil. How much you take and the form you choose will depend on your needs and what you hope to get for effects. The average dose range is from 5 mg to 25 mg.

Most oils come in 30-milliliter (mL) bottles and include a dropper cap to help you measure.

That said, it’s hard to figure out the exact amount of CBD per milliliter of oil. Some tinctures have concentrations of 1,500 mg per 30 mL, while others have 3,000 mg per mL or more.

How to Calculate CBD Dose

To determine an exact dose of CBD, remember that each drop of oil equals 0.05 mL of fluid. This means that a 30-mL bottle of CBD oil will have about 600 drops in it.

If the concentration of the tincture is 1,500 mg per mL, one drop would have 2.5 mg of CBD in it. The math to figure that out looks like this: 1,500 mg ÷ 600 drops = 2.5 mg

What to Look For

CBD oil comes in different forms: isolates, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum.

  • Isolates contain only CBD
  • Broad-spectrum oils nearly all of the components of the plan (e.g., proteins, flavonoids, terpenes, and chlorophyll), but does not have THC oils have all the compounds including THC (up to 0.3%)

Alternative medicine practitioners believe that the compounds provide more health benefits, but the is a lack of evidence to support these claims.

Remember that CBD oils are unregulated. There’s no guarantee that a product is what it claims to be on its packaging. You also can’t know for sure that it’s safe and effective.

A 2017 study reported that only 31% of CBD products sold online were correctly labeled. Most had less CBD in them than was advertised, and 21% had significant amounts of THC.

If you are interested in buying CBD products, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Buy American: Domestically produced CBD oil might be a safer option than those that have been imported.
  • Go organic: Brands certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are less likely to expose you to pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
  • Read the product label: Even if you choose a full-spectrum oil, don’t assume that every ingredient on the product label is natural. CBD products can also have preservatives, flavorings, or thinning agents in them. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, ask the dispenser what it is or check online.

Summary

Hemp plants can be grown for different purposes. Some species are made for marijuana but others are used to make CBD products.

Unlike marijuana, CBD oil does not “get you high.” Instead, it may help relieve stress, anxiety, drug withdrawals, and nerve pain.

While there are many claims about the health benefits of using CBD oil, the evidence is lacking. A lot of studies were done with animals, not humans.

If you want to try CBD oil, you should learn about the different dosages and preparations first.

You should also know that the products are not regulated, which means you can’t know for sure that a product will work and be safe.

Before you use CBD oil, talk to your provider. If you take certain medications or have a health condition, you may not be able to use these products.

Frequently Asked Questions

It would be hard to overdose on CBD oil. Research has shown that human tolerance for CBD is very high. One study reported the toxic dose would be about 20,000 mg taken at one time.

It depends on where you live, the type of product, how it was sourced (e.g., is it from hemp or marijuana), and its intended purpose (medical or recreational). In many states, you must be 18 or 21 to buy CBD oil. Check your state’s laws.

Not necessarily. While the names are sometimes used interchangeably, hemp oil can also refer to hemp seed oil, which is used for cooking, food production, and skincare products.

CBD oil is made from the leaves, stems, buds, and flowers of the Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa plant. It should contain less than 0.3% THC.

Hemp oil is made from the seeds of Cannabis sativa and does not have TCH in it.

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.

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.