cannabis with cannabidiol (cbd) extract in a bottle

If stress and anxiety are getting to you, it’s time to talk to your doctor. You may be able to reduce anxiety with a dosage of CBD. However, if you’re on any other regular medications for any other condition, such as seizures, there’s always the risk of interaction. Before you dose, check your risks.

What CBD Is and Isn’t

A goal of CBD education is to let people know what CBD, or cannabidiol, is. CBD is one of many chemical compounds found in the hemp plant. However, it’s not THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. Thus, while CBD can bind to receptors in your body and brain that are linked to anxiety and pain, it can’t get you high.

THC is a psychoactive compound. It causes euphoria. If that’s what you’re after, then CBD won’t work. However, if you’re simply looking to get a handle on stress and anxiety, CB may be of use to you.

What’s Currently on the Market for Anxiety

Current medications for stress assist your body in managing serotonin. These medications act on a serotonin receptor in your brain called the 5-HT1A. These medications, such as Zoloft and Prozac, boost your mood by boosting the availability of serotonin.

Current studies indicate that CBD acts on these same receptors and result in an elevated serotonin level. An older study, from 2011, suggests that those who battle with negative self-talk and phobias can get particular help from CBD.

How Do I Take CBD?

CBD is highly absorbable, and many users find that it acts quickly. Start small. CBD will come with a dropper, which you place under your tongue. Start with just one drop per dose late in the day. CBD can make you sleepy, so if insomnia is part of your anxiety, an evening dose can help you fall asleep.

Monitor your physical reaction, as CBD can have side effects. Diarrhea and fatigue are not uncommon. It can also cause changes in your appetite. It should be noted that while THC can cause the “munchies”, CBD doesn’t.

Using CBD Instead of Marijuana

If fighting anxiety is your goal, it’s critical that you stay away from using marijuana. While CBD can boost your serotonin, THC exposure can actually increase your worries, paranoia, and stress.

Seeking a euphoric brain release is not necessarily a bad thing; humans have long created and consumed alcohol for such a purpose. However, an anxious mind will not benefit from exposure to THC. A dose of CBD can help you fight social phobias, panic attacks, and is even shown to be effective in addressing PTSD.

CBD Side Effects

Every medication has side effects. Once you’re cleared to try a dosage of CBD with your physician, start small. Using the dropper, place a single drop of CBD oil under your tongue for quick absorption. Follow the directions on the bottle; it will likely tell you how long to keep the product under your tongue before rinsing and swallowing.

Monitor your health. Note if you get sleepy, or how well you sleep that night. Be aware that some people suffer from nausea and diarrhea after taking CBD. You may suffer from dry mouth, so work to stay hydrated before bed.

It should be noted again that CBD can interact badly with some medications. If you’re taking any medications, such as

  • seizure medications
  • blood-thinning agents
  • blood pressure medications

do not attempt to self-dose with CBD. Talk to your doctor to confirm there are no interaction risks.

Where Do I Buy CBD?

There are many dispensaries and CBD producers selling their wares online and in person. You want to find a producer that works with a third-party testing lab and bottles their own product. You also want to work with a producer who uses hemp grown in the United States.

Be aware that CBD oil comes dispersed in what’s known as a carrier oil, so you may find you have a flavored oil, such as peppermint or coconut. This oil is just to keep the CBD compound dispersed.

Anxiety can be crippling, and CBD can help. When looking for treatment for your stress and anxiety, make sure to develop a fully rounded program of care. A good diet and regular exercise program can help your body withstand anxiety while CBD helps your brain access serotonin.

About the author

Amy Sloane

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