CBD For Anxiety
Last week Pendulum covered the discouraging evidence that topical CBD works for pain management such as sore muscles, tension, and arthritis. CBD taken orally to help relax or reduce anxiety is a completely different situation. While there are still some of the same problems with inconsistent testing (such as tests that don’t separate CBD from THC) the evidence that CBD is useful for anxiety is a lot higher than using it as a lotion or added into Epson salts. CBD for anxiety has undergone a lot more testing with larger test groups creating a much bigger pile of positive evidence that those CBD gummies can be effective.
Studies found a reduction in anxiety and better sleep for both generalized anxiety and anxiety disorders. One study conducted used a simulated public speaking event as the stressor – subjects who used CBD had notably less stress than those who did not. CBD is thought to suppress the CB1 and CB2 receptors and affect serotonin levels. There is enough research to know that CBD does something to the central nervous system, but CBD interacts with so many molecules and receptors it’s more challenging to pin down exactly what CBD does and why. CBD has been approved in the form of an FDA drug for epilepsy. Dosage is also an elusive problem with CBD. The bulk of studies used high doses of CBD like 300 milligrams when a typical serving is 20 milligrams. The public speaking study used 150mg, 300mg, and 600mg respectively, and found that the best results were with the group using 300mg of CBD. Notably, the public speaking study only included 57 men, so it was small and didn’t include women. Another study found positive results from using 25-75 milligrams for sleep and generalized anxiety. This leads to some similar problems with CBD as a topical solution; there’s a lot of research but not a lot of consistency in findings. While CBD taken orally can have an effect, it’s not determined how much CBD counts as a dose and if the product has enough CBD in it to produce a result. It seems like there is less fraud in CBD gummies and tinctures but a baseline dosage of how much should be in a product for effects hasn’t been established. While CBD is a relatively low risk to try, it is buyer beware of choosing a trustworthy brand.