We looked at every corner on our CBD for Anxiety benefits article here.
It's a glorious 4000+ words dedicated to what causes anxiety and how CBD works to address it.
It's personal with anxiety for us and that's why we went the full distance.
If one less person suffers from anxiety until we finish it off for good (which we will with Crspr), then we've made reparations for getting out of it.
There's a section in that article about THC and for good reason.
We wish the other 95% of the CBD market would get up to speed.
It's all over NIH research so there's no real excuse.
Especially for million dollar brands that are selling full spectrum (with THC) CBD to people for anxiety.
It's like giving sugar to a diabetic.
Don't worry...we'll explain exactly why with research to back it up.
The effect of THC on anxiety is actually two-fold.
If you've already learned the hard way why you want CBD without THC, you can quickly compare CBD Isolate here with the best cost mg of CBD and 3rd party testing.
Otherwise, we'll cover these topics:
- Why CBD without THC is best for anxiety
- What research says about THC and anxiety
- The whole histamine and THC connection for anxiety
- Other concerns with THC in CBD products
- The interesting relationship with THC and CBD
- The best CBD without THC on the market
Let's get to it.
You're about to be more knowledgeable than 90% of the market.
Why CBD without THC is best for anxiety
Again, when you're done here, go check our CBD's benefits for anxiety page.
It will give you a great overview of current research on the matter and a better understanding of what's actually going on.
The key take-away is that CBD (by itself) has a powerful anti-anxiety effect.
They're only testing CBD Isolate (not full spectrum) in all those studies referenced.
Most of what's sold on the market is so called "full spectrum" CBD.
Full spectrum CBD can have THC up .3% and the rest of the plant material from hemp.
.3% may not sound like much but it's enough to make you fail a drug test (just check out the reddit boards).
There's even full spectrum CBD without THC but that only gets rid of half the problem in terms of anxiety.
Here are two main issues with THC in CBD:
- Research is showing that THC actually causes or increases anxiety
- It's estimated that 73% of people with allergy or histamine issues are allergic to THC
Read those both over especially the first one.
This is why so many people try CBD for anxiety and have a bad reaction!
They are responding to the THC and/or the plant material of full spectrum CBD.
Let's look at both with more detail (and more research).
What research says about THC and anxiety
It's very clear in NIH studies.
THC administration produces a wide range of psychoactive effects, including feeling ‘high’, anxiety, paranoia, perceptual alterations, and cognitive deficits, particularly deficits in verbal recall (D'Souza et al, 2004) in healthy individuals and exacerbates psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia
These effects are generally short-term.
Then why do people use cannabis for stress (or at all) with the above effects.
The answer is two-fold.
THC also affects the dopamine system (our reward center) which feels good (and can cause addiction).
THC is usually offset directly by CBD's effects
Read that last part.
THC can cause anxiety but CBD has been shown to directly offset these effects.
Check out our Do you need THC to activate CBD article.
Studies examining the protective effects of CBD have shown that CBD can counteract the negative effects of THC.
It's estimated that 80% of the health benefits that people get from cannabis actually comes from the CBD in the plant.
The problem is that there's more THC and less CBD in cannabis these days.
The point is this...research is showing that THC can cause anxiety while CBD reduces it.
In fact, CBD works to counter THC's effects with anxiety.
Check out CBD for Greening Out here.
Greening out just means when someone has a negative reaction to too much THC.
If we're taking CBD for anxiety, THC is a no go.
THC alone increased subjective anxiety as well as the skin conductance response to the fearful faces while CBD alone trended toward a reduction in anxiety.
This is only half of the equation when it comes to anxiety.
The whole histamine and THC connection for anxiety
Let's lay out the ground work first.
Roughly 40-60% of the population has allergy or histamine issues.
The number is growing over time (which is another article in itself).
The risk goes higher for women and even higher as we get older.
Here's the interesting part for anxiety.
Roughly 73% of people with allergy issues may be allergic to THC!
This could explain a big part of the bad reactions some people have to cannabis with THC in it.
It also speaks to negative reactions such as anxiety that people may experience from full spectrum CBD.
They could be having a histamine response to either the small amount of THC or all that plant material in full spectrum.
It's like getting your CBD with a shot of pollen!
Many people who find that their first experiences (unfortunately...first few tries) result in CBD increasing or causing anxiety.
This generally goes away when they try CBD Isolate without THC or all that plant material.
That's also a good sign to look at histamine diets and changes in how they view allergies!
They may feel a whole lot better separately from just the CBD question.
Keep in mind that Histamine is excitatory in the brain.
Heck...it's in charge of focus, wakefulness, and alertness.
A histamine flood in the brain is going to feel like….anxiety!
Learn all about the the excitatory (gas pedal) and inhibitory (break pedal) in the brain based on Anxiety research here.
The "allergic" response to THC in CBD is not the only issue.
Other concerns with THC in CBD products
To be clear...we're not anti-pot.
We just have issues with aspects of it and want people to be informed so they can make their own decisions.
That decision should reside with the individual in our books!
Here are things to keep in mind:
- You may fail a drug test with even minimal amounts of THC in CBD products
- THC can be habit forming over time depending on your make-up
- THC is normalizing which means you need more of it to feel the same effect
- Because of normalization, it can create anxiety and other withdrawal symptoms when not present
- THC has been shown to increase anxiety in research in a dose dependent manner
- THC is psychoactive and can impair function (such as driving a car)
- THC can make people more prone to future anxiety/depression
Granted, the amount of THC in the CBD products (.3% by law) that are sold legally (not in dispensaries where legal) is a small amount.
Small amounts add up over time.
They just showed that tiny amounts of a chemical used in specific brands of dental floss end up being absorbed by the body and can cause cancer.
The company said…"Well those are tiny amounts in the product...no way it ever ends up in the body".
The FDA agreed.
They were both wrong.
THC will be the recreational side of cannabis use and although there may be some health benefits, there are also health issues.
That's one more reason to have CBD with no THC for anxiety.
Remember...brain inflammation (body's response to foreign entities or injury) IS anxiety.
What about the relationship between CBD and THC?
Very interesting what mother nature cooked up!
The interesting relationship with THC and CBD.
You can learn all about how THC and CBD interact here but the net net is this.
CBD helps to mitigate many of the negative effects of THC.
In fact, it also blocks metabolism of THC by the liver.
THC has to be processed by the liver in order to become pyschoactive (activated).
That's why you'll see ratios between CBD and THC in products sold legally in dispensaries where available (such as California).
- The more CBD, the less effect from the THC.
- The more THC, the stronger the "high" effect.
They're almost inversely effective for most attributes.
In terms of anxiety, CBD has been shown to have powerful anti-anxiety effects in the body and brain.
THC has been shown (by itself) to increase anxiety.
Many people will use CBD to offset the THC effect (more here).
Alright...we get it...we want CBD without THC for anxiety.
What's the best there?
The best CBD without THC on the market
Here's an entire article on picking the best CBD for anxiety.
Some basics here:
- CBD must come from US organically grown hemp
- CBD must be CO2 extracted
- CBD must be 3rd party tested for the following items
- CBD must not have THC (explained above)
- CBD must not have pesticides (histamine response)
- CBD must not have solvents (inflammatory response)
- CBD must not have bacteria or mold (histamine and inflammatory response)
Histamine or inflammation is going to make anxiety worse.
There's a school of thought that inflammation in the brain is intimately tied to a host of mental health issues (anxiety being the most pressing).
We want CBD Isolate added to MCT oil.
The three main oils are olive, hemp, or MCT (an extract from coconut oil).
Olive and hemp oil can cause the same histamine response we described above.
MCT are simple chains of fat which help the CBD get past the liver and be absorbed better.
It's also the cleanest of the three in terms of histamine response since it's not the full plant profile.
This may all sound like what we do at IndigoNaturals for a reason.
We literally built this product out of frustration with 90% of what was on the market.
Read our partner's story here to see why we designed CBD without THC for anxiety.
We had to go through 4 different brands (big brands) to find the right fit that didn't actually increase anxiety!
You could say that we designed IndigoNaturals for anxiety across the 40-60% of the population with allergy/histamine issues and THC sensitivity.
Because we did!