Guide on How to Use CBD for Anxiety
Based on hours of research, we're going to layout a practical approach to how to use CBD for anxiety.
We'll consider both the short-term and longer-term pathways.
The beauty of CBD is that it doesn't build tolerance, cause addiction, or affect cognitive/motor skills.
The roadmap to using CBD for anxiety:
- How much CBD for anxiety
- How often to take CBD for anxiety
- When to take CBD for anxiety
- What type of CBD for anxiety
Let's get started!
How much CBD for anxiety
Research varies on this question but we definitely have a range.
Low levels of CBD generally start at 50mg daily. Again, that's low considering that research goes up to 600-800mg (such as a study on public speaking anxiety).
Peak neurogenesis (brain repair) which is the most important aspect of anxiety long-term peaks around 300mg daily.
So that gives us a range from 50mg - 300mg daily. The safety at these levels has been well established (see CBD safety or can I take CBD long term).
Adjust according to how you feel since everyone's chemistry is different.
So…how do we break up that daily amount?
How often to take CBD for anxiety
CBD levels peak around 4-6 hours so you can break up the daily amount into threes if you like.
Taking it after meals is ideal since the liver is busy breaking down food and more CBD can get through.
Hold under your tongue for up to 60 seconds to boost (and speed up) bioavailability.
If sleep is an issue (very common with anxiety), you can take one before bed or even in the middle of the night.
Some people break up the CBD while others take it as needed (feel anxiety coming on).
Play with the options to see what works best…there's no perfect strategy.
We can take into account the 4-6 hour peak levels as a good benchmark.
Take CBD at least 2-4 hours away from any meds and work with your naturopath/doctor with any supplement.
When to take CBD for anxiety
You can take CBD as needed (anxiety is kicking up) or regimented based on the 4-6 hour peak levels.
CBD during the day should not make you drowsy (if it's CBD isolate) and at night, it should help with sleep (see CBD and sleep).
Some people take the full amount all at one time as they're more tuned into the longer-term pathway (serotonin and neurogenesis).
Personally, we like to spread it out across the day to get the immediate effect as well.
The point is that CBD doesn't interfere with daytime function (like benzos, antihistamines, etc) and doesn't mess with sleep architecture (like THC, etc).
Finally…the type of CBD matters for anxiety.
What type of CBD for anxiety
We have a full review of CBD isolate versus full-spectrum and this may be the biggest issue in the market right now…especially for anxiety.
Histamine is a huge player in anxiety since histamine (the allergy response player) is actually excitatory in the brain.
It directly pushes against GABA, our key anti-anxiety agent (target for benzos - see CBD versus benzos).
Too much histamine and GABA are eaten up. We have a whole review on whether histamine is the key to insomnia (same GABA pathway).
CBD isolate actually calms histamine response while full spectrum can trigger this response.
That's why some people complain of CBD actually making anxiety worse!
Just look at the reviews (here) to see people's actual responses between CBD isolate and full spectrum.
So…a quick recap on how to use CBD for anxiety.
For anxiety, try 50-300mg of CBD daily and break it up after 3 meals (for peak 4-6 hour CBD), take as needed day or night, and focus on CBD isolate to keep histamine response under wraps.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.