The core problem at the heart of anxiety disorders is low serotonin—a neurotransmitter related to mood and well-being. SSRIs, for instance, work by blocking the absorption of serotonin in your brain, meaning you get more serotonin. CBD oil may do something similar.
With symptoms like excessive worry, extreme self-consciousness, chest pain, and panic attacks, anxiety can be a debilitating condition. Depression can be equally destructive—feeling sad, with little interest in the activities you once enjoyed.
3. How Does CBD Oil Work?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is another type of cannabinoid. It’s the chemical responsible for the “high” one feels after using marijuana. Because CBD is not THC, you cannot get high from using CBD oil.
Second, no CBD oil products are approved by the FDA for the treatment of anxiety or depressive disorders. Only one CBD oil product is FDA-approved, and that is for the treatment of epilepsy.
The pros & cons of taking CBD oil:
CBD oil for depression and anxiety is still being studied and doesn’t have as much research to back it up as many other treatments do. Make sure you talk to your doctor about whether it’s a good fit for you and how to incorporate it into your treatment plan.
Dry-herb Vaporizing: For patients who are feeling all kinds of jittery and need more immediate relief, some experts recommend vaping CBD through a dry-herb vaporizer, which heats up dried CBD flowers (unlike traditional vape pens which require oil-based cartridges). These are relatively safe because they avoid the by-products produced from burning plant material and can be set to a desired temperature that allows you to get the most benefit from the CBD you are consuming.
Oils or Tinctures: Keep in mind, not all CBD plant extracts and formulations are created equal (blame it on the wild west unregulated substances create). However, experts believe the most effective form of CBD is an oil or tincture (alcohol-based solution) that’s placed under the tongue. These sublingual preparations ensure the cannabinoids get distributed throughout the body. This method bypasses the gut, which is why experts often prefer it to edibles, most of which get destroyed by the gastrointestinal system. Every person will react a little differently due to their individual biology, metabolism, and DNA, natch.
Found mostly in the brain, the CB1 receptor is thought to tame central nervous system inflammation and help modulate the effects of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that oversees mood. In fact, the way many antidepressants work is by increasing serotonin in the brain.
What Forms of CBD Are Most Effective?
We went to some of the nation’s top experts in CBD to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.
CBD is thought to positively influence the processes that regulate our mood, sleep, and pain perception, among others. These processes need to function properly, so we feel better, sleep more soundly, and experience less pain. Anxiety and depression are conditions related to poor sleep, pain, and poor mood regulation because the endocannabinoid system isn’t working to the best of its ability.
CBD is thought to be relatively safe—a position that’s backed by the World Health Organization—but there can be some mild side effects including:
Who Should Consider CBD for Anxiety & Depression (and Who Shouldn’t)?
changes in appetite
Author of Medical Cannabis and CBD: A Physician’s Guide for Patients; Internal Medicine and Primary Care Doctor