The 7 Best CBD Oils for Anxiety [2022 Update]
Apart from the day-to-day “anxiety” that most of us suffer from, anxiety is a complex disorder. At times, it is paralyzing and debilitating. According to recent data published by the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million adults. This equates to over 18% of the population annually.
That said, anxiety has traditionally been a very misunderstood medical condition. Indeed, less than 37% of people with an anxiety disorder receive treatment despite the growing array of options. Furthermore, certain medications prescribed for anxiety carry potentially harmful side effects. This is why a growing number of people are seeking alternatives such as CBD oil.
This detailed guide outlines what anxiety is, how CBD could help, and also provides scientific research into cannabidiol for anxiety. We conclude by providing a list of who we feel are the seven best brands if you’re seeking CBD oil for anxiety.
Anxiety: What Is It?
Anxiety is often mistaken for those “anxious” emotions we feel during moments of high stress. For example, taking an exam or driving too far with the red gas light on in our car. However, an anxiety disorder – an umbrella term that includes various conditions – is a different beast.
True anxiety disorders are serious and can prevent you from maintaining a normal life. Some have said that anxiety is not a disease or an illness but a psychological/emotional state that occurs when we behave apprehensively. It turns into a “disorder” when the worry interferes with our lives. If it isn’t dealt with, ongoing anxiety can lead to numerous medical illnesses and advanced psychological issues.
The term “anxiety disorder” can describe:
- Social anxiety: A situation where individuals become apprehensive and scared of different social situations.
- Panic disorder: Random panic attacks that suddenly come on. This includes symptoms such as chest pain, sweating, and even heart attacks.
- General anxiety disorder (GAD): When someone feels constantly worried about normal day-to-day situations.
Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder
Those who suffer from day-to-day anxiety, or even chronic anxiety disorders, may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Panic attacks
- Sleep issues
- Cold or sweaty outbreaks
- Dry mouth
- Tense muscles
While anxiety disorders can develop at any age, most are treatable. Conventional treatments usually include medication or specific therapy techniques, including:
- Medication management/monitoring
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- Exposure therapy
In terms of medication, many antidepressants can positively effect anxiety disorders. These include drugs like Prozac, Lexapro, Xanax, and Klonopin. Of course, these medications are by no means considered a “quick cure for anxiety.” Often, one should consider lifestyle adaptations before beginning medication. This can help maintain a healthy and stress-free lifestyle and potentially prevent anxiety outbreaks. Lifestyle adaptations include:
- Eating a healthy diet: This includes lowering sugar intake and cutting down on drinks and food that contain caffeine.
- Exercising regularly: Exercises like fast walking, jogging, and biking help release chemicals that reduce stress and anxiety. Other useful activities include things like yoga, swimming, and meditation.
- Having a good night’s sleep: Inadequate sleep directly connects to stress and anxiety. Therefore, it is crucial to develop healthy nightly sleep patterns.
Is CBD Oil an Option for Anxiety?
Over the years, cannabis oil has been used to help with anxiety and depression symptoms. CBD’s effects on anxiety are among the most intriguing areas of modern cannabis research. However, more clinical data must be collected to develop effective protocols for CBD oil as a therapy.
Online searches suggest that more people are considering cannabis in place of prescription drugs.
Online search data shows that ‘CBD oil and anxiety’ is one of the most frequently searched topics (at least in terms of cannabis-related therapy and medical treatment). Specific searches on “CBD oil anxiety” have increased tremendously over the last decade. This suggests that a greater number of people are considering cannabis in place of prescription drugs.
Physicians and healthcare providers need to see tangible clinical data, and little of this exists. However, several promising studies have been conducted in a laboratory setting.
Contemporary Research on CBD and Anxiety
A 2011 study published in Neuropsychopharmacology observed CBD and anxiety in humans. Ten people with social anxiety (none of whom had any prior treatment for their disorder) were divided into two groups. One group received 600mg of cannabidiol (CBD), and the other a placebo. Results showed that the cannabidiol effectively lowered “anxiety induced by simulated public speaking.”
A review of studies published in Neurotherapeutics in 2015 looked at CBD as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. The researchers found that cannabidiol had “considerable potential” for helping patients with anxiety disorders such as:
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
A study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019 analyzed the effects of CBD on 57 males who performed a simulated public speaking test. They received either a dose of CBD (150mg, 300mg, or 600mg) or a placebo.
The researchers found that the volunteers who consumed 300mg had significantly reduced feelings of anxiety during the speech compared to placebo users. Interestingly, there were no significant differences amongst the men who used the 150mg or 600mg doses.
While CBD has shown some potential as an anti-anxiety option, we still need more evidence. Also, to date, it has had the greatest effect in relatively large doses of 300mg+ per day. Given the cost of cannabidiol, it may represent too high an expense for many potential users.
Best CBD for Anxiety – Things to Consider
Before considering CBD as an addition or alternative to anxiety medications, you need to navigate the crowded marketplace safely.
Unfortunately, since cannabidiol isn’t federally legal, the CBD industry is poorly regulated for the most part. Therefore, you must be extremely careful when choosing a brand. Please ensure that the cannabidiol products you use:
- Come from American or EU-grown hemp
- Contain a maximum THC content of 0.3% by dry weight
- Have up to date Certificates of Analysis (COAs) that show the cannabinoid content and proof that the items contain no heavy metals, molds, pesticides, or other chemicals
- Come from a reputable brand with a significant number of positive customer reviews
- Contain a full list of ingredients on the label
It is also great if the brand is known for excellent customer service, fast shipping, and has a site that’s easy to navigate. If possible, stick to products where the brand uses CO2 extraction, although some well-known brands use ethanol extraction. The problem with the latter form of extraction is that some residual solvents can remain. This could lead to doses of CBD that contain harmful ingredients.
All of the brands we’ve included on our list tick all of the above boxes. You’re free to explore other CBD companies, but we’re confident that the following represent the cream of the crop.
CBD Oil for Anxiety: Our Top 7 Picks
#1 – Pure Kana (Rated the Best for 2022)
PureKana seems to understand CBD oils. It has developed a clean full-spectrum formula that is, among other things, aimed at reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. Its premium oils come in the following flavors:
Moreover, there is something for all budgets as PureKana’s oils have a CBD concentration ranging from 300mg to 2500mg.
PureKana’s Natural CBD oil could help you enjoy increased health and vitality. Due to its full-spectrum infusion of hemp phytochemicals, it seems to have a relatively quick effect. All products go through laboratory testing to ensure safety and potency. Also, PureKana CBD oils are non-intoxicating with minuscule levels of THC.
It provides some of the best customer support on the market and has a free shipping policy. One of the key features of this brand is that PureKana believes in its products and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee policy.
- To view its full list of products, go to www.purekana.com
- 20% Coupon Code: 20KANA
#2 – Premium Jane CBD Oil
Premium Jane is another brand that has undeniably impacted the contemporary CBD industry. Premium Jane has maintained small-batch manufacturing from a pure, US-grown hemp supply by focusing on a handful of products.
It also prioritizes transparency, which is crucial in today’s unregulated market. You can view up-to-date lab analysis reports on the official website for each product. Here are a few additional reasons why Premium Jane CBD Oil ranked second on our list:
- High-quality flavors: Citrus, Mint, Natural, Chocolate, Peach Nectar, and Lemon-Lime
- Plant material is sourced from regulated hemp farms
- Verified lab reports confirming plant-based cannabinoid content
You can find Premium Jane CBD oils by visiting the brand’s online store. It currently offers its oils in the following CBD concentrations:
Visit their official store for the best prices: www.premiumjane.com
#3 – FAB CBD
FAB CBD products are far from the market’s standard “cut-&-dry” options. If you decide to do a little homework online, you’ll see that the brand consistently ranks among the nation’s top CBD for anxiety lists due to its high-quality products.
It has done amazing things for the CBD market in terms of improving overall product quality and transparency.
The brand has slowly but surely increased its product range, but it remains focused on producing top-notch CBD oil. You can purchase it in the following concentrations:
There are also five delicious flavor options:
For more details about the range of FAB CBD products, visit its official site at www.fabcbd.com.
#4 – Hemp Bombs
Hemp Bombs offers among the most highly concentrated CBD oils on this list. Some of its sublingual tinctures provide over 166mg of cannabidiol per ml. In addition to its oils, the brand offers many other CBD products. However, its CBD oil range remains its biggest attraction for many consumers.
Hemp Bombs is a U.S.-based company with its main offices in Tampa, Florida. It has earned a positive reputation over the years due to its high standard of customer service. Also, the brand’s staff is knowledgeable and is more than happy to speak with you and answer any non-medically oriented questions you may have.
Its CBD oil range is available in the following concentrations:
If that’s not enough, you also benefit from a wide range of gorgeous flavors:
- Acai Berry
- Orange Creamsicle
- Natural Hemp
- Chocolate Mint
Want to learn more about HempBombs CBD? Read our detailed Hemp Bombs Review.
Alternatively, jump to its official site to see the variety of products: www.hempbombs.com.
#5 – CBDistillery
If you’ve been around the CBD market for long enough, you’ve undoubtedly heard about CBDistillery. In many circles, this is regarded as one of the most iconic and time-tested brands.
CBDistillery is largely known for its line of CBD vape products. It offers a variety of market-leading flavors and formulations for reasonable prices. These products have the potential to help with anxiety and stress reduction.
The CBDistillery website isn’t the easiest to navigate, but it is worth the extra effort. You’ll quickly find that it sells full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD oils. Many customers prefer the full-spectrum option in the belief that the ‘entourage effect’ could help. Broad-spectrum contains various cannabinoids but no THC, while isolate contains nothing but CBD.
The CBD concentrations range from 500mg to 5000mg, and the latter is referred to as ‘Max Plus’ strength.
Check out our complete brand review here for more information on CBDistillery products.
Alternatively, jump to its official store over at www.thecbdistillery.com.
#6 – CBDPure
CBDPure is an extremely popular brand in the United States. Its online store sells a variety of CBD oils and sprays, and its products are also found in retail locations across the country.
Apart from providing outstanding customer service, the management team genuinely knows and understands cannabidiol and cares about the needs of its customer base. CBDPure specializes in full-spectrum formulas, incorporating a blend of cannabinoids and terpenes in its products.
Benefits of CBDPure include:
- The use of certified organic hemp grown in the U.S
- Optimum CO2 extraction
- Quality testing performed via independent third-party labs
- Affordable pricing
- 90-day money-back guarantee
One downside is the lack of available flavors; all you get is a natural hemp taste. Indeed, CBDPure believes in keeping things simple and sells only 300mg, 600mg, and 1000mg CBD concentrations.
Want to learn more about CBDPure? Go to www.cbdpure.com.
#7 – CBD Essence
Like other brands on this list, CBD Essence has been around for a few years and knows a thing or two about hemp oil. The company’s founder, Don Ballou, has experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He knows how to deliver a quality and effective product.
CBD Essence oils are made using CO2 extraction methods. This is important as this method is typically safer and more effective than solvent-based extraction. CBD Essence also avoids CBD isolates, preferring the richness of full-spectrum phytochemicals.
It doesn’t offer any special flavors, but you can buy CBD Essence’s oils in the following concentrations:
The 2100mg version contains 70mg of CBD per ml, more than the 2400mg bottle, containing 240ml of liquid.
Want to learn more about CBD Essence? Visit www.cbdessence.net
Feel free also to use our 10% coupon code: TOPQUALITY10
How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety?
Before you try any CBD product, please note that it isn’t designed to treat anxiety. Indeed, it is illegal for brands to claim it treats, cures, diagnoses, or prevents ANY medical condition. Even so, the scientific evidence we’ve included above is already compelling, and there are many more studies on the way.
There is no ‘standard’ CBD dose, so the amount you use depends on various factors, including your anxiety levels. Go online, and you’ll find recommended doses of anywhere from 5mg to 600mg of CBD a day! The majority of studies on humans involved using between 20mg and 1500mg daily.
CBD impacts everyone differently due to factors like metabolism, body weight, and even gender.
The reality is that CBD impacts everyone differently due to factors like metabolism, body weight, and even gender. We’ve heard all kinds of baseline dosages relating to a person’s body weight. One of the most popular suggests using 0.25mg per pound of bodyweight daily. Therefore, a 160-pound person would consume 40mg a day (160 x 0.25).
However, if you’ve never used CBD before, it is best to begin with a small amount to see how it affects you. Continue increasing your intake gradually until you’re satisfied with the effects. At this stage, you’ve reached the minimum effective dose, and there’s no need to consume more.
Most people use CBD oil sublingually. This means placing the drops beneath the tongue and holding them there for 30-60 seconds. The suggestion is that users benefit from faster effects and a greater level of bioavailability. However, only a relatively small level of CBD gets into the system via the capillaries beneath the tongue. The rest is orally consumed as a user swallows the oil. This means a longer time to take effect and perhaps a lower absorption rate than anticipated.
Can CBD Oil Potentially Reduce Symptoms of Different Forms of Anxiety?
As you discovered earlier, just under 20% of people in the United States will experience an anxiety disorder during any given calendar year. Apart from general anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, and panic disorder, you could also have a phobia, PTSD, or OCD. Here are a few things potentially experienced by individuals with one of the above:
- Panic attack: May result in nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.
- PTSD: This happens to individuals who have experienced severe trauma, and they could become violent or erratic when reminded of it.
- Phobias: Exposure to the thing that causes the phobia, or even a reminder, could lead to an anxiety attack.
- GAD: Individuals with a general anxiety disorder could spend their days worrying about various things in a spell that could last for months.
- Social anxiety: In this instance, the patient becomes fearful when forced to enter social situations.
- OCD: People with obsessive-compulsive disorder feel they have to do a specific thing and become anxious and fearful if they don’t get to do it.
Many people who try CBD for anxiety claim it helps them create a calmer mood. The cannabinoid could ensure they feel relaxed in stressful situations and even sleep better and for longer. Whether someone is briefly exposed to a phobia or has to participate in an unwanted social situation, CBD could help them stay calm and avoid anxiety attacks.
It is non-intoxicating, so there’s little risk of addiction or an increase in anxiety, two possible issues attached to THC consumption.
Final Thoughts About CBD Oil for Anxiety
CBD has shown promise in reducing the symptoms of anxiety disorder. However, we recommend consulting with your primary care doctor before using CBD for anxiety. Also, please note that the FDA has not approved the cannabinoid, which is one of the reasons for the lack of industry regulation.
Regarding the best CBD brands, we feel that PureKana and Premium Jane lead the league, ahead of a handful of other excellent companies. Both brands have received rave reviews for the quality of their products, not to mention the value for money and customer service. Their range of products has helped countless individuals to manage everyday stress symptoms.
If you want to test the products for yourself and see how they work for you, visit the official online stores of PureKana and Premium Jane.
A Word on Using CBD Oil for Anxiety: By Daniel J. Isaacman, M.D.
“The use of CBD Oil for anxiety has received a lot of attention over recent years, and data is now accumulating to suggest efficacy in that regard. While, as the authors note, CBD oil has not received FDA indication for this use, “off label” use of the product is becoming widespread.
Regarding the use of CBD, one must be careful to choose a product that has little to no quantity of THC, especially if one lives in a state where it is illegal. Still, many high-quality products meet this criterion and are thus legal for usage. Please also note, there are not many studies on the use of each of these individual products, and therefore, users should start at lower doses and increase slowly. The idea is to arrive at the lowest dose that appears to exert a therapeutic benefit.
Evidence exists that CBD oil can be a useful adjunct for those suffering from anxiety.
Dr. Daniel J. Isaacman
Additionally, as external stressors often trigger anxiety states, one must weigh the therapeutic effect relative to the unique stress the individual is going through. For specific stressors (like losing a loved one), no medication will be sufficient to ease the anxiety. For steady-state situations, however, it is reasonable to expect an impact. Still, the evidence exists that CBD oil can be a useful adjunct for those suffering from anxiety, and those numbers are currently not a small segment of our population.”
Can CBD oil make your anxiety worse?
Studies suggest CBD has a positive effect on anxiety. However, that presupposes that the CBD being taken is a CBD product with little to no THC in it and not the CBD in a THC-dominant strain of cannabis, for example. THC could cause anxiety (often referred to as ‘paranoia’ in the setting of cannabis). However, CBD in its isolate and low-THC forms is not likely to cause anxiety.
In rare cases, a CBD user may experience increased anxiety. However, this could be due to an allergic reaction. Therefore, if you have a history of histamine reactions or allergies, it’s best to take a form of CBD with the fewest added ingredients and a carrier oil that will not trigger your allergies.
The importance of milligram intake
Also, research suggests that CBD is less effective for anxiety at very low and significantly higher doses. Therefore, if the CBD you’ve taken has not affected your anxiety (as opposed to increasing it), it may be that you haven’t yet taken enough or that the dose is too high.
One commonly-cited study found CBD to increase anxiety in rats who had not previously been exposed to stress. Yet, at the same time, it decreased anxiety in stressed rats. Another study showed that chronic CBD administration also had anxiety-producing effects in rats, as opposed to the findings of most studies that had examined acute administration.
No equivalent findings in humans have been reported.
Does CBD help with anxiety attacks?
Research has shown that CBD could help reduce the impact of panic disorder in both human and animal models. Anxiety attacks may refer to an attack of regular anxiety in a patient with generalized anxiety disorder instead of panic attacks. Panic attacks are acute episodes where a person experiences physical symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain.
Does CBD help with one or the other?
CBD could help with both. Various studies on CBD have shown decreased subjective anxiety, decreased anxiety-like behaviors, and decreased social anxiety.
How soon does CBD oil work for anxiety?
The time it takes for CBD oil to take effect depends on how you take it. Oils take longer to work than inhaled CBD and topicals, though some users claim they feel an effect in 15-30 minutes. This is potentially the case with a certain percentage of the oil, but not all of it. CBD edibles take even longer, potentially up to two hours.
How long should you hold CBD oil under your tongue?
When consuming a CBD oil, many advise putting it under your tongue for 30-90 seconds to help absorption. However, only a small fraction of the product in a traditional oil gets absorbed sublingually even when using this method. Therefore, while the amount absorbed sublingually may be noticeable sooner (15+ minutes), most effects are felt in the same timeframe as edibles.
Does CBD help with social anxiety?
CBD could improve social anxiety in those who suffer from SAD (social anxiety disorder). Also, neuroimaging studies supported the findings by noting that cerebral blood flow after administration of CBD was decreased in the brain regions associated with anxiety symptoms.
Are there any side effects from using CBD?
Side effects with CBD are rare but possible. The most common side effect is dry mouth. Significantly less common is diarrhea. It can cause some drowsiness at high doses, as those levels of CBD are often used to help people sleep.
Even if one doesn’t experience side effects, CBD could interact with any other medications they’re taking, leading to altered levels of those substances. This is because CBD uses many of the same enzymatic pathways in its metabolism as many other medications. Therefore, check with your physician before trying CBD, especially when using OTC or prescription medications.
The Best CBD Oil Brands for Anxiety & Depression
In the past several years, CBD has become a popular and natural way for people to help manage their anxiety. What is the best CBD for anxiety? And how does CBD help with anxiety? In this article, we highlight our favorite brands of CBD for anxiety and provide important background information on how to use CBD oils to help manage anxiety and depression.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is one of the active ingredients found in cannabis. Though CBD is a critical component in medical marijuana, most commercially available CBD products are derived from the hemp plant. These products are said to offer a range of personal health benefits, and one of the most significant of those benefits is relief from anxiety.
A Harvard report notes that CBD is commonly used as a way to manage anxiety symptoms, and that those who struggle with various mental health concerns may use CBD to help them combat sleeplessness.
But what does the science really say about using CBD oil for anxiety and depression? And for those who wish to use CBD products to help with anxiety, what are the best CBD for anxiety brands out there?
Does CBD Help for Anxiety?
Studies show that, while CBD doesn’t necessarily alter a person’s baseline anxiety level, it may be useful for reducing experiential anxiety. Indeed, research points to CBD as a potentially effective way to address the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additional research indicates that CBD “has a promising role as alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders,” though more clinical testing is needed to verify safe dosage levels.
Based on the available evidence, CBD may potentially help manage the symptoms of anxiety, though it is not a cure. Be sure to consult with your primary care physician or mental health care provider before taking CBD for anxiety and depression if you have any questions or concerns.
Best CBD Oil for Anxiety in 2022
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall – CBDistillery Strongest Full Spectrum – Spruce
- Best Full Spectrum – NuLeaf Naturals
- Best Organic – Cornbread Hemp
How We Chose CBD Product for Calming
When creating our list of the best CBD oils for anxiety and depression, we compared brands and products ib six specific categories.
- Type of CBD — Does the brand use full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate?
- Strength — How many milligrams of CBD does the oil contain per recommended dose?
- Source — Where does the get the hemp used in their hemp extract? Is it grown in the U.S.?
- Flavor — Do they offer multiple flavors, and if so, do they use natural flavoring instead of artificial flavors?
- Transparency — Is the product tested by an independent third-party lab and do they make the results easy to access?
- Customer Experience — What are customers saying about the product and if it has helped them manage stress and anxiety?
Learn more about each of the CBD oils on our list below.
Our Complete Reviews & Opinions
Best Overall: CBDistillery
CBDistillery is known for high-quality, pure CBD products, and their full spectrum oil is a great choice to help you relax. All of their products are third-party lab tested and confirmed to be safe and effective. We like their Relief + Relax CBD oil because it is a full spectrum oil that provides plenty of additional active cannabinoids and plant compounds like CBG, CBC, and terpenes to give you the full benefits of the entourage effect.
- CBD: Full Spectrum
- Strength: 33 mg CBD per serving (1000 mg per bottle)
- Hemp source: Colorado
Why buy: We love this strong full spectrum CBD oil for anxiety because it is sourced from non-GMO, U.S. Hemp Authority Certified hemp grown in Colorado. Taking CBD Relief + Relax in the morning may be a great way to support a sense of calm throughout the day.
Strongest Full Spectrum: Spruce
Spruce CBD oil checks all of the right boxes: it’s all-natural, made from USA-grown hemp, and is backed by rigorous third-party lab testing. You can get this lab-grade CBD oil tincture in a range of potencies, ranging from 750 mg to 2,400 mg per bottle. We like that Spruce CBD oil is all-natural, organic, vegan, gluten-free, and contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners. Note that Spruce products may be too strong for entry-level customers.
- CBD: Full Spectrum
- Strength: 25 mg to 80 mg of CBD per serving
- Hemp source: Kentucky and North Carolina
Why buy: We love that Spruce offers some of the strongest full spectrum CBD products, including their extra strength formula with 80 mg of CBD per serving. We recommend it for experienced CBD users looking for powerful relief from feelings of anxiety and stress.
Best Full Spectrum: NuLeaf Naturals
NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil is about as natural as a CBD tincture can get. It’s made from organic hemp, it’s additive- and pesticide-free, and it’s carefully lab-tested by independent third-party labs. This Colorado-grown, full spectrum CBD offers the full benefits of hemp extract in a natural, organic product. It may be taken daily to help you manage stress and feelings of anxiety by promoting a sense of calm and wellness.
- CBD: Full Spectrum
- Strength: 30 mg of CBD per serving (1800 mg per bottle)
- Hemp source: Colorado
Why buy: We love this strong full spectrum CBD oil because of its simplicity. It contains organic full spectrum hemp extract and organic virgin hemp seed oil. NuLeaf Naturals also provides a consistent concentration of CBD across all bottle sizes to make dosing easier.
Best Organic: Cornbread Hemp
To make their Distilled CBD Oil, Cornbread Hemp extracts CBD only from hemp flowers. This distillation allows the oil to maintain a full spectrum of cannabinoids, with a CBD-to-THC ratio of 27:1. Lower in THC than their Whole Flower oil, this product is better for finding comfort during the day while staying focused and alert. Cornbread Hemp CBD is USDA organic and offers a cleaner tasting oil than some whole plant extracts.
- CBD: Full Spectrum
- Strength: 50mg per 1mL serving
- Hemp source: Kentucky
Why buy: We love this Cornbread Hemp Distilled CBD Oil because it uses whole flower CBD extract for a cleaner product and milder taste. It may be a great way to help ease anxiety during the day without drowsiness or loss of focus. Plus, it’s USDA-certified organic with third-party, ISO certified lab tests on every batch.
Using CBD to Help With Anxiety & Depression: What the Research Says
As cited above, initial research has found that CBD has the potential to help manage the symptoms of anxiety in a variety of cases.
There is also clinical evidence to suggest that CBD can be a tool for managing panic attacks. Panic disorder (PD) impacts about five percent of the total global population, making the anxiolytic effects of CBD products potentially impactful on a widespread level.
There is even clinical evidence that CBD may help minimize the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a nervous condition that can be debilitating. Currently, OCD is treated primarily through cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants, but the recovery rate is exceedingly low. The prospect of CBD as an alternative intervention is potentially game-changing.
But how exactly does CBD impact those with anxiety conditions? The short answer is that products from the cannabis plant tend to have a strong, reactive effect with the endocannabinoid system, a molecular system that regulates many core functions of the body, including emotions. Cannabinoids can bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system and modify the way they function, yielding a range of possible health benefits.
In fact, one study notes that “modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few.”
While CBD may potentially help to manage stress and anxiety, it is not intended as a cure for anxiety or depression.
How to Choose CBD Oil for You
When you’re looking for the best CBD for depression and anxiety, it’s important to choose a product that is safe, effective, and natural. Here are some important things to keep in mind when shopping for CBD.
What to Look For
Always look for the following pieces of information when comparing CBD oils for anxiety: type of CBD, hemp source, strength, and lab testing. Below are more details on what each of these mean and why they matter.
Type of CBD
There are actually three different types of CBD extract, including full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. We typically recommend full spectrum products as the most effective, as they allow you to benefit from the full entourage effect of the hemp extract. However, if you undergo drug testing for work or are sensitive to THC, broad spectrum products offer many of the same benefits without the THC. This can also be important for those who find that THC negatively impacts their anxiety.
The quality of the CBD is directly related to the source of the hemp used in a product. Always look for brands that use hemp grown in the U.S.A. We also recommend brands that use either USDA organic hemp or hemp grown using organic farming practices. This ensures that the plants do not contain any pesticides and or artificial fertilizers.
It’s important to know the concentration of CBD in a product so that you can take the appropriate dosage level. For those new to CBD, it’s generally recommended to start with a lower dose, 10 mg or less, and slowly increase the amount as you are comfortable to find the right level of relief. Extra strength products, with 30 mg or more per serving, are recommended for those who know how CBD will affect them. You can read more about the strongest CBD oils here.
Only purchase CBD oils for anxiety that undergo independent third-party lab testing for quality and safety. This is critical to ensure that the product contains the correct levels of CBD and cannabinoids, and that it is free from toxins, heavy metals, or other harmful substances. The brands we recommend all make their lab test results available through QR codes on the product label or on their site.
How to Read Labels
When you check the label of any CBD product, look for information on the four key factors listed above. Labels should clearly state the type of CBD and if it was made with U.S. grown hemp. To evaluate the strength of the product, look for both the amount of CBD per bottle, usually in milligrams per 30 mL, as well as the amount of CBD per serving, usually in milligrams per 1 mL dropper.
Quality products should also include lab-testing certification and a way for you to verify the results for yourself. You can also look for industry certifications and seals from the USDA, Leaping Bunny, the GMO Project, and the U.S. Hemp Authority. Finally, take time to check the list of ingredients to make sure that you are not allergic to any of them. Most CBD oils use a carrier oil like hemp seed oil, olive oil, or MCT coconut oil.
How to Use
For most CBD oils, take a dose once or twice per day, depending on the amount. Some oils work better for daytime use and can be taken in the morning, while others are better suited for nighttime use to help you fall asleep. Again, if you are new to CBD, start with a low amount and slowly increase it to find the correct level to provide relief.
The amount of CBD needed may vary from person to person based on their level of anxiety and other health concerns. One thing that holds true across the board is that using CBD consistently is best for improving stress levels, as the compound builds up within the body, amplifying its effect. In other words, CBD may help you manage anxiety symptoms, but don’t expect it to take effect immediately.
Safety & Side Effects
According to the Mayo Clinic, CBD is generally well-tolerated. There are, however, some mild side effects that can occur. These often result from taking too much CBD, and can include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
Additionally, CBD can potentially interact with certain prescription medications, like blood thinners and certain forms of statins. Always check with your doctor if you plan to start using CBD alongside any prescription medications. No CBD product has been approved by the FDA to treat anxiety or depression, so be sure to do your own research on any product you choose to purchase.
While CBD may be a great option to help supplement your anxiety management, it is not meant to cure or treat anxiety. If you are suffering from severe anxiety and depression, the best thing to do is speak with your primary care physician or a mental health professional. They may recommend things like cognitive behavioral therapy, journaling, exercise, yoga, or prescription medications to help.
If approved by your doctor, CBD for depression and anxiety may work with these other approaches to help you find relief and better manage stress.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, copywriter, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. As a writer and independent reviewer of CBD products, Josh covers the relationship between cannabis-based products and the human body. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
Medically Reviewed By:
PharmD Scientific Advisor, Medical Reviewer, and Clinical Pharmacist
Adjunct Faculty, UMKC School of Pharmacy
I Took CBD Oil Every Day for My Anxiety—Here’s What Went Down
Dana Myers, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and life coach based in Philadelphia. She has a special interest in how race, sex, gender, ethnicity, social status and competencies impact those in marginalized communities and aims to help her clients find purpose and peace in life.
Michelle Regalado is a seasoned editor, fact-checker, and content strategist with expertise in women’s lifestyle news.
When I first learned about CBD oil, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I’d had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who’s already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: Paranoia. But, let’s back up a bit. What even is CBD?
What is CBD?
A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I’d been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD (when derived from the hemp plant) does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel “high”; instead, emerging science has hinted that CBD may actually ease anxiety, and therefore, makes you less likely to freak out.
For example, one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration. In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.
While the science behind CBD’s effectiveness for treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia is still in its infancy, Charlotte Figi’s inspiring story sounds promising. Figi, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, was placed on hospice care and given a “do not resuscitate” order when her parents, desperate and frustrated with pharmaceutical medication, considered medical marijuana; specifically, a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Charlotte is now nearly seizure-free since she began supplementing with Charlotte Web’s CBD oil, which the brand named after Figi.
Legal and Safety Things To Know About CBD
The current CBD industry is like the internet’s early years. the Wild West. Legally, speaking, a Harvard Medical School blog post reads, “All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.” With heightened interest around CBD, it’s important to note that because CBD is currently unregulated, it’s difficult to know what you’re getting (whether that’s a tincture—commonly referred to as CBD oil, which is often combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil—topical products like creams and balms, sprays, or capsules), despite product labels and brand promises, the blog post further reads. It’s also important to note that people experience CBD differently. For the most part, the National Institute of Medicine says that while most people can tolerate CBD, side effects do exist. They might include dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced appetite, among others.
That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.
With that, I threw caution to the wind and asked for a sample. Here’s what happened—including what it feels like—when I took one full dropper of Charlotte’s Web’s Everyday Plus Hemp Oil in the mint chocolate flavor every morning for seven days.
My First Impression
It was actually a bad bout of jet lag after a trip to California that inspired me to finally test out the CBD oil (I’ll admit that my weed-based reservations kept me from trying it for the first few months). Knowing that the oil had also helped people with sleep issues, I squeezed one full dropper of the Everyday Plus oil onto my tongue, per the instructions, and waited.
Thirty minutes later, I was surprised by how subtle the effect was. While I expected a hazy nodding-off effect similar to melatonin’s, the oil simply relaxed my body ever so slightly—my heart stopped pounding against my chest, my legs stopped kicking beneath my sheets, my mind stopped racing. I wasn’t sure if it was the oil or the late hour, but eventually, physical relaxation gave way to mental relaxation, and I drifted off to sleep.
Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt “high” in any way—there was never a moment of It’s kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here’s what went down.
It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy
Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go.
While normally I’d be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself. With that said, I’ve still experienced some social anxiety when meeting new groups of people—I’d be interested to see what taking the full recommended dose would do.
I’m More Focused At Work
I work well under pressure, but being extremely busy at work has almost made me less productive—I’m constantly distracted by email, Slack, and the people around me, to the point where getting my work done becomes difficult. This week, however, I’ve found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all distractions (especially social distractions), and focus on one task at a time. I think this is partly related to the lessened anxiety—I feel more frazzled and off task when my anxiety is running high. It almost feels like a newfound sense of clarity and calm that enables me to focus.
I’m Falling Asleep Faster
I assume this is also a side effect of feeling less anxious, but I seem to fall asleep faster; within the 20-30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping or at least shortening the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I’m able to snap out of the overthinking that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it’s helped on a day-to-day basis.
My Experience With CBD
Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte’s Web website, this is the typical first experience. “Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—’it depends.’ For many newcomers, they’re not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time.”
With that said, I’m definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and to possibly up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it’s an all-natural product that’s responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that’s safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I’m definitely on board.
Explore the World of CBD
Looking to learn more about CBD? These are some of my favorite products to help get you started.
For those new to CBD, Charlotte’s Web recommends this hemp oil. Containing 17mg of CBD per 1mL serving, this CBD oil is also U.S. Hemp Authority Certified. Choose from four different flavors including Lemon Twist, Mint Chocolate, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil.
Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.
Charlotte’s Web inaugural CBD oil product comes in two flavors; Olive Oil and Mint Chocolate. It’s also its most potent. According to its website, its Original Formula Hemp Extract Oil comes with 50mg CBD per mL.
Gretchen Lidicker puts a lifestyle spin on the world of CBD as the author draws on the “knowledge of leaders in the health and wellness world” to explain why CBD has become a top beauty and wellness trend for top athletes and celebrities. The book also includes recipes and recommendations for how to choose a top-quality CBD product.
This travel-friendly roll-on is packed with CBD and fragrant essential oils, including lavender, bergamot, and chamomile, for an easy de-stress quick fix. The result? “That elusive feeling of wakeful calm,” reads the Sagely Naturals website.
With this book, CBD is explained from A to Z and breaks down the good, bad, and ugly of a fledgling industry that is poised for rapid growth. CBD: 101 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil covers what it is, why people take it, who it’s for (and who it isn’t for), its myriad forms, and more.
Lord Jones’ High CBD Formula Body Oil combines CBD with organic avocado, jojoba and safflower oils for smooth, hydrated skin. Each bottle has 100mg of CBD.
Charlotte’s Web’s Extra Strength Capsules feature 25 mg of CBD per capsule. The website offers capsules as a convenient and precise way to take CBD—on the go, stash them in your gym bag, pocket, etc.
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Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: A large case series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041