Anxiety is a normal reaction that humans have developed over the course of evolution to protect themselves against other predators. There’s nothing wrong about feeling anxious in certain situations — this means your body has a proper reaction to real dangers.
However, if you regularly experience the “fight or flight response” — even without life-threatening events — there’s a chance that you’ll develop some form of anxiety disorder.
Which isn’t difficult to achieve if you look at modern times and how much pressure they’re putting on your shoulders.
Plants and herbs have been used for their relaxing effects for centuries, but cannabis plants seem outstandingly helpful in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and other issues associated with chronic stress.
That’s why thousands of people are now using CBD oil to manage their symptoms.
But how to find a high-quality CBD oil if you’ve never bought one before? How do you find a trusted supplier when there are so many companies on the market?
5 Best CBD Oil Products for Anxiety & Depression in 2020
In this guide, we share our recommendations for the best CBD on the market today and everything you need to know about the effects of CBD on anxiety disorders.
After meticulous research, we’ve selected the top 5 brands so you don’t have to spend hours reading reviews, comparing prices, and trying out every CBD oil out there.
Check out the list below.
1. Royal CBD (Best Overall)
Royal CBD is a premium brand from California that offers the best value in its price range. The company’s products are top shelf when you consider the wide potency range of its CBD oil, the way the Royal CBD makes its products, and the effort it puts into testing its CBD selection.
Royal CBD oil is available in four potency options: 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg. This makes the company suitable for every type of CBD consumer out there.
This is a full-spectrum CBD oil, so you’re getting the whole range of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%).
Royal CBD uses carbon dioxide in its supercritical form to pull the CBD from its organic hemp plants. This method involves running CO2 through the plant material under different pressure levels and temperatures, changing its state from liquid to gas. From there, it dissipates and leaves behind a cold, viscous liquid extract.
All Royal CBD products are extensively tested in terms of purity and potency in independent laboratories to ensure their quality. The company also has free shipping for all customers and accepts full refunds for those who aren’t satisfied with the product.
2. CBDistillery (Runner Up)
It’s been 6 years since CBDistillery made its debut, so it pleases us to see that the company has managed to uphold its reputation through that time. The company has a broad selection of CBD oils, available as full-spectrum or pure oil (zero THC).
There are five different strengths to choose from – 250 mg to 5000 mg of total CBD. Moreover, each option is highly affordable compared to competitor brands. That’s because CBDistillery’s mission is to provide education and access to CBD products for everyone who needs them. For example, the 250 mg strength costs 0nly $20, which is a great place to start for those who’ve never taken CBD oil before. The maximum potency is priced at $240.
Our only concern about CBDistillery is how the company sources its hemp. The plants aren’t organic (although non-GMO), but considering the prices of its CBD oil, this is just a minor downside.
These are still the best extracts in this price category.
3. NuLeaf Naturals
NuLeaf Naturals is another seasoned manufacturer, but unlike Royal CBD and CBDistillery, it only makes full-spectrum CBD oil drops. And while this isn’t the most impressive product selection out there, the quality of the NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil makes up for the lack of other formats.
The oil comes in different sizes, from 240 mg to 4850. We don’t say “potency” for purpose, as you get the same strength no matter the size, so your choice here boils down to how long you want your CBD oil to stay with you.
Another noteworthy thing about NuLeaf Naturals is that it uses organic hemp for all of its oils. Each batch of product is sent to a certified lab for extensive content analysis to ensure both the potency and purity levels are consistent in every bottle.
4. Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web is the company to which we owe the CBD craze. It was established by Stanley Brothers, whose cannabis oil helped young girl Charlotte Figi come down from multiple seizures a day to a few seizures a month.
Charlotte’s Web products are certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, ensuring they meet the highest quality standards.
You can choose from four strengths: 300 mg, 750 mg, and 2850 mg — a potency range similar to what Royal CBD offers. Each option is available in 30 ml and 100 ml bottles.
Unlike many other brands, Charlotte’s Web uses olive oil extraction instead of CO2, which is why its oils are slightly greener in color and have a more viscous consistency.
It seems you can’t have a list of the best CBD oils on the market without mentioning CBDPure.
CBDPure is known for making premium-quality CBD products as well as unmatched transparency. The company uses supercritical CO2 extraction and thoroughly filters the final extract from the plant material, so it has a nice amber color. Unfortunately, with a surprisingly tart taste.
CBDPure oils are available in three different concentrations: 100 mg, 300 mg, and 600 mg. The lowest strength provides only 3.3 mg of CBD per serving, but considering that these are full-spectrum oils, you can achieve a lower effective dose because you get the synergistic effects from the cannabinoids and terpenes.
We would call CBDPure the best company for beginners.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal human response to stress triggers. Also known as the “fight-or-flight” response, it describes a range of physical reactions, such as sweating, increased heartbeat, sensitivity to environmental triggers, and a rush of adrenaline.
When anxiety gets proportionally high compared to the seriousness of the trigger, it may become an anxiety disorder.
Once there, the anxiety worsens to the point when an individual’s mental health is deeply affected, including daily functioning.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are four common types of anxiety disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: it happens when people get chronically anxious for no specific reason. It’s also the most common anxiety disorder.
- Phobias: phobias refer to the overwhelming fear of a specific object or situation. They often block people from engaging in everyday situations due to that fear.
- Panic Disorder: panic attacks happen randomly and are followed by symptoms like shaking, dizziness, confusion, nausea, tremors, and breathing difficulties. They can last anywhere between several minutes and an hour.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Below we share the full list of symptoms that can help you determine whether you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder:
- Dizziness & migraines
- Dry mouth
- Emotional outbursts
- Feelings of insecurity
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle tension
- Sleep problems
- Somatic complaints
What Can Cause Anxiety?
Anxiety can have different roots. There are usually a few factors involved, namely:
If your family member has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, there’s a risk that you may develop the same condition over time.
Brain Damage and Changes in Brain Structure
Surviving a traumatic event or genetic changes in the brain may cause an overreaction to potentially harmless triggers. Scientists believe that the majority of anxiety disorders stem from impaired communication between nerve cells.
Certain elements of your surroundings can worsen your disorder. This may be constant stress at school, work, or even at home. Sometimes, things like the loss of someone close or a bad financial situation can also elevate anxiety.
When you don’t get enough sleep, it can also contribute to an anxiety disorder.
Just as staying in high altitude areas, where the brain can’t access sufficient oxygen levels.
Sometimes, anxiety can be collateral damage from another health condition, health supplements or prescription meds you’re taking, or any other disease that can either affect the structure of your brain or cause you to experience severe stress.
Can CBD Oil Help With Anxiety?
Proper anxiety management can be a real challenge.
First of all, traditional anxiety treatments are very expensive and their cost is continuously increasing. If you want anti-anxiety meds prescribed to you, you’ll have to pay for them by yourself before the insurance covers some part of it.
Moreover, many prescription drugs used to manage anxiety can cause a range of negative side-effects. If you try to get through the list of adverse reactions on any popular medication, you’ll understand that they may do more harm than good in the long run.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not trying to convince you to ditch your current treatment. If it works for you and you don’t feel like making a change, that’s totally good. But some people either can’t take medications or their anxiety isn’t severe enough to qualify for the conventional treatment.
That’s why some anxiety sufferers are choosing natural solutions for relief.
CBD oil has many health benefits, but can it help with anxiety?
Reports from patients and data from studies suggest that CBD oil may even be a better treatment than pills and shots for anxiety. Compared with conventional treatment, the side effects of CBD oil are nearly nonexistent unless taken in extremely large doses.
How Does CBD Work?
Why are so many people turning to CBD oil as an alternative anxiety treatment?
Because CBD improves the functioning of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS); which is a neurochemical network with cannabinoid receptors in every organ of the body. The ECS controls vital functions, such as sleep, mood, memory, cognition, appetite, pain, immune response, and more.
Put simply, the ECS keeps the body in homeostasis — a fancy word for chemical balance.
However, if your neurochemicals suffer from imbalances, it may trigger anxiety.
This stick has two ends. For example, when you suffer from a traumatic event, your receptors and neurons may fall out of balance, and your body will need something to restore it.
This is where CBD may come in handy.
CBD and 5-HT1A Receptor
CBD is the agonist of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor in the brain, primarily responsible for the way the body absorbs serotonin.
This receptor is also the target of the commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants, which have their own name — Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).
SSRIs can stop the reuptake of serotonin, increasing the brain’s ability to give more signals to the body, bring back emotional stability, and reduce anxiety. CBD affects 5-HT1A in a similar way.
CBD and Hippocampal Neurogenesis
The hippocampus is the area of your brain that regulates a few processes. One of them is the ability to create new neurons — also known as neurogenesis. CBD can help stimulate hippocampus, improving its functioning.
Patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders often show a smaller hippocampus, so by stimulating the regeneration of neurons with CBD oil, there’s a higher chance of minimizing those fearful behaviors.
CBD and GABA
Australian researchers described CBD as a “positive allosteric modulator” of the GABA receptors in the brain.
Being the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human central nervous system, GABA acts as a handbrake for the brain to slow the nervous system down when we get too aroused. The calming and sedating effects of Valium and other benzodiazepines result from their impact on the GABA-A receptor.
By modulating this receptor, CBD can enhance the natural calming effect of GABA and curb anxiety.
CBD and Anandamide
Anandamide is the best-researched endocannabinoid (produced inside the body). It has a chemical structure that’s almost identical to THC, the main psychoactive substance in cannabis.
Researchers refer to anandamide as “the bliss molecule” due to its ability to control feelings of euphoria, happiness, and emotional stability — on top of many other processes. CBD regulates the levels of anandamide in the brain, reducing mood swings and improving reactions to stress triggers.
Studies on CBD Oil and Anxiety
CBD oil has been shown as an effective anti-anxiety compound in both animal and human-based studies.
In a 2010 study on social anxiety, researchers showed that CBD can reduce the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. CBD also improved the way the patients reacted to anxiety.
A 2014 study on rat models showed that CBD has strong anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. Although the results came from animals, they gave a promising insight into the management of anxiety in human subjects.
In 2015, Neurotherapeutics published a report where CBD was highlighted as the next potential solution for anxiety disorders and its symptoms.
All of the above studies were conducted using high-quality CBD oil, which brings us to the next section.
What Affects the Quality of CBD Oil?
The FDA in the United States doesn’t regulate CBD oil. Even though it may be safer and more effective in treating anxiety disorders than conventional treatment methods, it’s still classified as a health supplement, not a medication.
Similar to other health supplements, it may be difficult for new buyers to know if they’re buying pure CBD oil that carries the advertised potency.
You could be taking a product full of synthetic additives and with little to no CBD inside, and you wouldn’t even know it because lab-testing is optional for manufacturers.
If you want to minimize the risk of failed purchases, you’ll need to learn how high-quality CBD oils are made.
Cannabis plants are bioaccumulators, meaning they can absorb anything from their environment. When grown in clean soil and using organic practices, the plants will yield pure and potent extracts.
On the other hand, hemp that was cultivated in polluted soil and with pesticides will give you weak and contaminated oil.
We recommend buying CBD oil from companies that use organic hemp, preferably those grown on American farms in states like Oregon, Colorado, and California.
Brands employ different extraction methods and ways of processing CBD oil. Choose brands that use supercritical CO2 extraction, as it’s considered the most effective way to obtain CBD — with a low-risk profile.
Alternatively, you can buy alcohol-extracted CBD tinctures. Some companies also use olive oil, but if a brand extracting its products with butane or propane, there’s a high risk of contamination with unpurged solvent residue.
Third-Party Lab Tests
Reputable CBD companies make third-party lab results available on their websites or add them to the product’s package. Laboratory testing ensures that the actual content of your oil matches what’s advertised on its bottle. Lab tests analyze the potency of CBD oil and look for potential contaminants in the test sample.
Third-party reports are solid evidence of its quality.
Where to Buy CBD Oil Near Me: In-store vs. Online
CBD oil is widely available both locally and online. If you live anywhere near a cannabis dispensary or head shop, you can see what they have to offer, but most of the time, there will be no fireworks. In-store vendors often don’t have the best products out there, not to mention that they might have been improperly stored before being put on the shelves.
There’s also a chance that when you buy something from a head shop, you’ll probably find it for half the price online.
And this is where we like to buy our CBD products.
Most CBD oil stuff is sold online these days. When buying CBD products online, you have access to every format out there, let alone different potency options, flavors, and bottle sizes. Online vendors also offer loyalty programs for returning customers, as well as seasonal deals and discounts on bulk orders.
On top of that, it’s easier to research a CBD company online. Read the website to learn how the company makes its products — What’s the hemp source? How’s the oil extracted? — check lab reports, and read reviews from other customers.
To wrap it up, leave no stone unturned while verifying your potential supplier.
How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety
What’s the best CBD dosage? How much CBD oil should you take?
Frankly, there are no strict guidelines because everyone reacts differently to CBD oil. Factors such as the person’s age, weight, severity of symptoms, and type of effects can affect your effective dose.
If it’s your first time with CBD, finding the best dosage for your anxiety will require some trial and error.
Here are some tips to minimize the error part:
- Determine your weight and height.
- Assess the severity of your anxiety — use a scale from 1 to 10.
- Start with one drop of CBD oil per day.
- Increase the dosage steadily. You can use 2-drop increments each day for a few weeks and write down how you react to CBD with each dose.
- Be patient. Sometimes, CBD needs to take time to become noticeable. It can take a few days or weeks until you notice the difference.
- Talk to your doctor about taking CBD oil before buying it. This will help you avoid possible drug interactions between CBD and other medications that you may be taking.
- A study on social anxiety suggests 600 mg as an effective dose in relieving this disorder. However, there are also studies where much lower doses have improved the symptoms.
- If you suffer from sleep problems or severe pain, you may need to take higher doses of CBD because it will try to affect these areas of your being while easing anxiety.
For some people, the bitter taste of CBD oil is too much. If you dislike it, too, try other forms of CBD, such as vape oils, capsules, or gummies.
What Are the Side Effects of Using CBD Oil?
According to the World Health Organization, CBD oil is generally safe and poses no threat of addiction.
The side effects of CBD oil include:
- Dry mouth
- Sedation (high doses)
- Diarrhea (from taking too much of oil)
- A temporary drop in blood pressure
Another potential risk of taking CBD oil is the interaction between CBD and prescription drugs. CBD affects them in a similar way to grapefruit juice, so if you’re using any medications, we suggest that you consult your doctor first.
The greatest danger of using CBD oil for anxiety is the fact that the FDA does not regulate it. Without regulation, you’re at risk of buying a product with synthetic cannabinoids or/and toxic additives in your oil without even knowing it.
Final Thoughts on Using CBD Oil for Anxiety
Dealing with anxiety can be easier with high-quality CBD oil. With more studies conducted on the effects of CBD on a person’s mental health, it’s no wonder that people are choosing CBD as their next aid.
If you’re planning to purchase CBD oil to manage anxiety, make sure it comes from a trusted company that can prove the quality of its products with third-party lab reports and plenty of positive reviews.
CBD oil can also help you improve other areas of your well being, such as sleep cycle, glucose levels, and blood pressure.
It’s a great product if you want to keep yourself in optimal health.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and that you’ll find it useful for your next purchase!