If you type in “CBD and anxiety” or “best CBD for anxiety” in your search bar you’ll get countless CBD websites with rehashed information, describing what anxiety is, the different types, common medications, symptoms, etc.
Finally, after reading for 10 minutes you get to more of what you’re looking for; something along the lines of ‘The 10 best CBD products for Anxiety!
Here at Dr.Ganja, we like to get right down to business and list the essentials you need to know about CBD and anxiety because, if you’re searching for CBD to help anxiety, chances are you don’t need to know what anxiety is… you already suffer from it! Furthermore, to list the best products for anxiety is a bit disingenuous because everyone is different, and there is no objective way to measure how effective a product is. With that being said, there are compounds in certain CBD products that may enhance its anxiolytic properties, such as terpenes. Here we’ll briefly talk about the critical aspects of CBD and anxiety (spoiler: the most important thing is bioavailability and therefore, dose).
If you’ve read our other article about the science of CBD, you saw that for the few human studies on CBD and anxiety, researchers reported that a 300-600 mg dose of CBD was the optimal range for treating anxiety. If you’re thinking ‘wow that is a huge dose of CBD’, you’re absolutely right. Take note though that this is for people who have genuine anxiety disorders, so if you’re just looking to soothe some stress on a rough day, you may not need such a large dose. Many people report a feeling of calm and peacefulness with a 1/3 or even a 1/6th of that dose (100mg or 50mg, respectively).
If you are brand new to CBD, you should definitely not start with a 300 mg, or even a 100 mg dose. Start small, and if you’re not feeling the changes you desire, then up the dosage in a step-wise fashion. This doesn’t mean that if you take 25 mg on day one and don’t feel much, that the next day you up it to 100 mg. CBD works on your endocannabinoid system and needs time to produce good results. 25 mg is a good starting point, and it should be maintained for a week or two. If you don’t like the results after the first few weeks, then increase it to 50, rinse and repeat. Additionally, CBD serum levels in the body peak about 1-2 hours after ingesting CBD, so again, be patient. CBD works, but it is not the instant gratification that some people claim it is; fixing a problem as complex as anxiety takes time.
If you are one of those who is looking to help with sincere anxiety, you’re looking at higher doses of CBD. Which brings us to another problem.
Bioavailability. Bioavailability is a measure of how much of a substance actually makes it into your body to take effect. You can swallow, say, 300 mg of CBD, but that doesn’t mean that ALL 300 mg of CBD makes it into your system. Much of it gets broken down or altered before it can do anything.
So then that begs the question, which method of taking CBD has the highest bioavailability? Or to put it simply, which method gives me the most bang for my buck? The short answer: inhalation. The more complex answer that no one wants to hear: it depends. There are three common methods of taking CBD: vaping/smoking (inhalation), sublingual (under the tongue), and oral (swallowing). The intake method with the highest bioavailability is inhalation, followed by sublingual, and then oral. The reason we gave you the stereotypical ‘it depends’ is because with vaping and smoking, it’s incredibly hard to measure out a dose. Certain vape cartridges and vape pens such as the Johnny Apple CBD Zynergy Sativa Vape Cartridge have the total amount of CBD in the cartridge, but you don’t know exactly how much CBD you’re getting each puff, because everyone puffs a bit differently. CBD flower is another beast, because CBD concentrations vary quite a bit, not only from strain to strain, but even within the same plant. What’s more, while smoking/vaping has the quickest onset time and highest bioavailability, it also clears from your system the fastest. Sublingual and oral routes stay in your system much longer, approximately a 4-5 hour increased duration.
So, it depends. Really, it depends on you. Do you want to potentially experience relief faster, but for not as long? Maybe inhalation is your game. Additionally, flower is usually cheaper. Do you not like the act of smoking, and feel more comfortable with “easing into” your dose and having it stick with you throughout the day? Maybe try CBD oils and tinctures. These also have the benefit of more accurate dosing. (Pro-tip: if you are using a CBD oil, let it rest underneath your tongue for a 60 to 90 seconds before you swallow it for better bioavailability).
A quick note on THC/terpenes
THC has been shown to exacerbate anxiety at certain levels, so if you’re looking to ease anxiety, you want high CBD/low THC.
As mentioned before, certain terpenes found in cannabis display anxiolytic properties. These terpenes include: pinene, carophyllene, linalool, and limonene. If you find CBD products enhanced with these terpenes, the anxiety relief should be amplified. Check out our article on terpenes if you want to know more.
Now, we think we’ve given you enough information here to make an informed decision on what CBD product is best for you. Obviously, you want a clean product, low THC, maybe some added terpenes for extra relief, and certainly one that will fulfill your dosing needs. If you’re looking for some Dr.Ganja recommendations, here’s a few:
Elektra CBD Flower – 15.4% CBDA and less than .03% THC. Sticky, fragrant, and easy on the wallet.
Johnny Apple CBD Calm Terpene Isolate – A loose concentrate product that contains CBD and three terpenes that have been shown to have anti-anxiety properties – linalool, carophyllene, and pinene. You can do what you want with it- cook, dab, smoke.