What's the Best Way To Take CBD for Anxiety?
You may have read our exhaustive introduction to the benefits of CBD for anxiety here.
Our apologies for the length but we've been there.
Scrambling online to find how anxiety works and what CBD can do about it.
That's why we researched HOURS for that guide.
The research is pretty impressive on CBD and anxiety.
So...you want to see if it works for you or a loved one.
We've also gone through what the best type of CBD is with the whole histamine mechanism.
The safest approach is CBD Isolate (by itself) due to pro-anxiety effects of THC and allergic responses to all the plant material in full spectrum.
That's strike 2 (for anxiety!)
Now, the final question we get often...what's the best way to take CBD for anxiety?
Great question and there are definitive answers.
Let go through them now.
Then it will be Strike 3...you're OUT, Anxiety.
We're going to cover these topics:
- What's the best way to take CBD for anxiety
- Bioavailability of CBD for anxiety
- What type of CBD delivery is best for anxiety
- Best way to address short and long term effects of anxiety
Let's get to it.
There's a great resource at our Quick Start Guide for CBD with many questions people have.
What's the best way to take CBD for anxiety
Let's break down this question.
People usually mean...how should I take it?
These are the common ways to take CBD:
- Tinctures in a base oil
By far, the most popular is the tincture in oil.
What works best for anxiety?
We're going to arm you with science!
Of the different ways to take CBD above, the tincture (oil) and vape are the best for anxiety.
Here's the deal...for anything we ingest, very little of it is going to make it past our digestive system and liver.
Let's walk through this and we'll discuss how we can improve our odds.
First, a quick stop at bioavailability.
Bioavailability of CBD and Anxiety
Bioavailability is just a fancy word for how much of the initial substance actually gets into the bloodstream where the body can use it
Turns out that the way you take CBD has a big impact on this level.
There are multiple NIH studies across different species and CBD delivery options.
Here's a rough estimate of those studies:
- Vaporizer: average of 50%
- Smoking: average of 40%
- Sublingual: average of 30%
- Oil: average of 20%
- Edibles: average of 10%
Details can be found here:
There are many factors that can impact actual absorption for a given person (weight, liver function, etc).
Let's look at this specifically for anxiety.
The issue with smoking is that we have combustion of various chemicals inhaled into the lungs.
The vaporizer has a higher bioavailability through the lungs but there are some negatives there in terms of the agents used to stabilize the vape oil when heated.
Also, the quality of the vaping device can have a big impact.
A study by John Hopkins showed that some heavy metals can leach out of bad devices:
This is why the oil tincture is the most popular.
We can significantly boost the oil uptake by holding the oil under our tongue for up to 60 seconds.
That's the sublingual approach above.
Check out our How to increase CBD effectiveness by 4x article here for more tips on how to boost the bioavailability.
A quick look at ways to boost bioavailability:
- Take CBD after a meal, preferably a fatty meal
- Hold oil under tongue up to 60 seconds
- Take at least 2 hours away from medication (consult doctor)
- Break up into smaller doses
Why the latter one?
The peak CBD levels in the blood were generally 4-6 hours in studies.
CBD was still found in the blood up to 24+ hours but "peak" CBD was found at the 4-6 hour mark.
Let's look at CBD for anxiety specifically.
There are actually two concerns!
Best way to address short and long term effects of anxiety with CBD
We know this all too well.
There's the onset of anxiety where you start to feel things tightening up.
It can be due to stress (public speaking, date, meeting, etc) or it can be chemical.
Either way, something is going sideways and quickly.
This also includes panic attacks.
For that, we need help NOW!
Obviously the vaping will be faster.
That being said, a good dose of CBD held sublingually (under the tongue) for as long as you can is a very direct route into the bloodstream and bypasses the liver (which slows everything down).
That initial effect under the tongue can start in 5-10 minutes at the longest.
You then swallow the oil for more long term effects.
Let's look at that.
If you read through the article on CBD's benefits for Anxiety, you realize just how multifaceted it can be.
Hormones. Neurotransmitters. Histamines. Heck...even brain mass in certain areas!
These are longer term concerns.
Neuron growth isn't instant!
That's why the oil is good since the slower metabolism by the liver extends the levels in the blood.
Especially if the liver is busy processing your fatty meal!
If peak CBD in the blood stream occurs around 4-6 hours (coincides with meals), it actually lasts an average of 24 hours.
That's the longer-term effect for anxiety that we want.
So we want an initial spike of CBD to calm the first onset of anxiety but we also want the systemic, long term benefits to get to the root of what is causing the anxiety to begin with.
Again, check out the article above...very fascinating research out there.
There is lots of great info on corresponding questions here: