Typically known for its potentially soothing, calming, and relaxing properties, people turn to CBD for a variety of reasons. The potential for reduced anxiety is one of the main reasons for many.
So, let’s take a closer look at what CBD can do to reduce anxiety and if there is any potential for CBD to actually give you anxiety too. The answer might surprise you!
What Is CBD?
CBD is called cannabidiol. It is one of over 120 natural compounds that are found in cannabis sativa plants. This plant family includes hemp and marijuana, but CBD products produced in the U.S. are made with hemp plants containing a THC threshold of 0.3% or less.
Because of this and CBD’s interaction with the body, it is non-psychoactive, unlike its well-known cousin THC, which is the main producer of the “high” felt by marijuana users. Both THC and CBD can be extracted from cannabis sativa plants and turned into a variety of products. Some of the most common CBD products you can find on the market these days include hemp-strains, oils, edibles and topicals.
What’s The Difference Between THC and CBD?
Cannabidiol is known as major cannabinoid that can be found abundantly in hemp plants. THC is found more abundantly in marijuana plants. Both natural compounds are called cannabinoids, which have a way of interacting with the human body.
This interaction is largely due the endocannabinoid system, a large cell-signaling system natural to all mammals. The ECS (endocannabinoid system) is responsible for vital things like our moods, sleep cycles, metabolism, pain signaling and much more.
Although both CBD and THC are able to interact with the ECS, they do so in different ways. CBD has the ability to interact with a well-known serotonin receptor, among other receptors in the ECS, which could contribute to its anti-anxiety effects. Research suggests that increased serotonin levels could help to treat anxiety.
Researchers are still looking into all the effects of cannabinoids, but so far most research suggests that CBD could benefit those with anxiety rather than increasing it like THC could.
How Could CBD Help With Anxiety?
Ultimately there is more research needed to fully understand how CBD could be useful for treating anxiety. There are a number of studies that point to CBD’s promise in stress relief, improved sleep and decreased anxiety, but there is no cut and dry answer as to exactly how CBD can help. One study from 2019 found that 80% of participants reported reduced anxiety and 70% reported improved sleep. A review of 49 studies conducted in 2015 found that CBD could help with panic disorder, generalized anxiety, social anxiety disorder, OCD and PTSD.
The majority of these studies suggest that CBD helps the ECS “override” the parts of the brain that cause stress and anxiety. The amygdala, which reacts to both real and perceived dangers, is the primary part of the brain that can produce anxiety. The interaction CBD has with receptors in the ECS, especially those that effects serotonin levels, could be a primary reason for trying CBD to help reduce your anxiety.
But, Can CBD Cause Anxiety?
As with any substance that is consumed, it is always best to do things in moderation. CBD is non-psychoactive but there is the potential for taking too much and not feeling so hot. CBD should not necessarily cause you anxiety, but it could cause nausea, diarrhea, drowsiness or fatigue.
That all being said, always be sure to check the THC levels of any CBD product you are consuming. One of the best ways to check on THC levels is through third-party lab testing. High levels of THC could actually contribute to negative side effects and even increases in stress or anxiety.
If you have major concerns over THC, choosing a CBD isolate product or a broad-spectrum CBD product is a good way to ensure there is no THC in your product, and therefore a lesser chance for any anxiety. Full-spectrum products should still contain 0.3% THC or less, but double-checking third-party lab test results will give you a closer look at the product of your choice and give you a preview of its potential effects.
There is no ultimate answer to whether or not CBD can cause anxiety because it can affect everyone differently and its effects can depend heavily on the product itself. One of the safest and smartest ways to try CBD, whether for anxiety relief or not, is to utilize third-party lab tests.
If you are looking for a reliable place to start shopping for CBD, turn to Real Tested CBD for the most reliable and transparent third-party laboratory tests and product reviews.