Best CBD Oil for Anxiety: How CBD Helps with Stress & Depression
We all experience anxiety at one point or another.
Roughly 40 million Americans are diagnosed with clinical anxiety disorders every year, and countless others experience some form of anxiety on a daily or weekly basis. This anxiety can take a toll on our lives — affecting our relationships, performance at work or school, and our overall health and wellbeing.
One of the most popular alternative support options among anxiety sufferers is cannabidiol (CBD) — a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. This compound works through two main systems to promote a feeling of calmness and relaxation.
In this article, we’ll explain how CBD is suggested to support anxiety, what the research says, and offer some of the best hemp oil options for anxiety.
- Rated #1 for overall anxiety and depression relief
- Highest quality hemp oil on our list
- 100% organic, free of pesticides, and artificial ingredients
- Established brand with 24/7 customer support
- 30-day 100% money-back guarantee
- Good customer support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
10 Best CBD Oils for Anxiety (Top Quality Brands of 2022)
- Best Overall Pick: Royal CBD
- Best Organic Formula: Gold Bee
- Runner Up: CBD Pure
- Good Customer Support: Hemp Bombs
- Veteran Brand: CBDistillery
- Most Socially Responsible: NuLeaf Naturals
The CBD market hasn’t yet matured — which means there are a ton of brands offering inferior quality products. They’re managing to remain in business on hype alone. As the market matures, these companies won’t last — leaving only the best brands in the wake.
At this early stage in the market, it’s important that customers understand how to spot a good CBD manufacturer, and which companies to avoid.
To make things easier for you, I’ve compiled a shortlist of the best CBD oils I’ve come across for anxiety. Let’s cover each one in more detail before we go on to discuss exactly how CBD is reported to help with anxiety.
1. Royal CBD
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
|Total CBD Content||250 – 2500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Berry, Vanilla, Mint, Natural|
|Potency||8.3 – 83.3 mg/mL|
What We Like About Royal CBD Oil:
Royal CBD is a California-based CBD brand with a growing collection of reviews from both regular users and industry experts.
Unlike many of its competitors, Royal CBD doesn’t rely on far-fetched claims in their marketing. The company also doesn’t specialize in gimmicky product types like we’ve seen from numerous other brands recently. The Royal CBD assortment is all about the classics. They keep it simple, focusing on full-spectrum CBD oil, THC-free CBD gummies, capsules, and CBD-infused topicals.
Royal CBD uses organically-grown hemp from the finest farms in California and Colorado. The company makes this CBD oil by first making a full-spectrum hemp extract using supercritical CO2. The extract is then dissolved in high-grade MCT oil and some flavorings to make the oil more enjoyable to use.
This CBD oil comes in 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg – with the option of berry, mint, or other natural flavors.
I personally use Royal CBD’s 1000 mg full-spectrum CBD oil for my general anxiety disorder (GAD) & social anxiety. I should note that I tried 27 other brands before finding the one I liked!
With a 90-day, no-questions money-back guarantee – the only thing you have to lose your anxiety.
- Extremely potent (83mg of CBD per serving for 2500 mg bottle)
- Contains the full spectrum of phytocannabinoids
- Made from 100% natural ingredients
- Third-party tested for potency & purity
- 90-day 100% money-back guarantee
- No CBD vape oils available from the company
- Only comes in a full-spectrum extract
2. Gold Bee – Best Organic Formula
|Total CBD Content||1200 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Kiwi-Honey|
Gold Bee specializes in full-spectrum CBD oil that combines organic hemp with honey sourced from the Brazillian Rainforest. If not for the lack of high-potency oils, we would place this brand on the very top of our ranking due to the quality of ingredients it offers.
The full-spectrum extract is suspended in hemp seed oil to boost its bioavailability and keep everything in the cannabis family. Every product from Gold Bee’s line up is rigorously tested in third-party laboratories for their CBD content and purity. Unlike competitor brands, Gold Bee doesn’t use artificial flavorings and sweeteners in its products. The kiwi version of the oil is flavored with the said honey.
I use CBD oils for my morning anxiety when I can’t get my mind wrapped around my daily duties, and I’ve never been calmer since then. The 1200 mg potency also provides a nice dose of CBD before bed; I take it to unwind after spending most of the day in front of a computer screen, and I noticed a big difference in how rested I wake up the next day.
- Premium Colorado-grown hemp
- CO2 extraction
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- Delicious kiwi flavor
- Sweetened with organic honey
- Lab-tested for potency and purity
3. CBDPure (Runner Up)
|Total CBD Content||100 – 600 mg|
What We Like About CBDPure CBD Oil:
Similar to the other brands in our ranking, CBDPure sells full-spectrum CBD oil that has been sourced from domestically grown hemp and extracted with supercritical CO2.
If you’re looking for the highest potency, though, you might end up a little bit disappointed, as the maximum strength offered by their products is 600 mg of CBD per bottle, which is equal to 20 mg of CBD per mL. Our first choice, Royal CBD, has 30% higher potency than the strongest option available for this brand.
The good news is that these are full-spectrum extracts, so you need less CBD to find relief from anxiety than you would with CBD isolate. Each batch of CBDPure products is tested in a certified laboratory for the entire cannabinoid profile, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as for potential contaminants.
If you’re not satisfied with this CBD oil for your anxiety, CBDPure has a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed program, which allows you to get a full refund if you send the order back within 90 days after the purchase.
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Extensively tested in 3rd-party laboratories
- You can get a full refund within 90 days if you’re not satisfied with the product
- Only available as oil drops or soft gel capsules
- Low potency (20 mg of CBD/mL maximum)
- No flavored options
- They don’t ship to Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, and Kansas
4. Hemp Bombs
|Total CBD Content||300 – 4000 mg|
|Available Flavors||Peppermint & watermelon|
|Potency||10 – 133.3 mg/mL|
What We Like About Hemp Bombs CBD Oil:
Hemp Bombs is an American company specializing in the production of 99% pure CBD isolates. These products are available as standard tinctures, vape oils, capsules, or gummies.
Hemp Bombs CBD oil comes in five different potency options ranging from 300 mg to as much as 4000 mg of CBD per bottle. The CBD has been sourced from certified organic hemp plants from Europe and extracted with supercritical CO2 for the highest purity level.
This CBD oil option is made from CBD isolate — which means there’s nothing but pure CBD inside this oil. No THC or other cannabinoids, terpenes, or any other phytochemicals from the hemp plant. This offers a big advantage in that there’s guaranteed to be no THC in the bottle.
Isolate-based CBD oils are very versatile — you use them on their own, make DIY CBD infusions (e.g. creams and balms), add it to E-liquid for an extra punch, or use it in cooking delicious food. They’re also preferred for people who are using CBD alongside other supplements because there are fewer compounds that can potentially interact with the other health supplements.
Keep in mind that CBD isolate is purged from any cannabinoids other than CBD — so if you’re looking to take advantage of the entourage effect, you’re better off going for a full-spectrum CBD oil such as Royal CBD.
- Sourced from 100% certified organic hemp from European farmers
- Extracted with CO2
- Lab-tested for purity and potency
- Available in 5 potency options
- Less expensive than full-spectrum extracts
- Not certified organic
- No entourage effect from other cannabinoids
- The ultra-high potency options are overkill for most users
|Total CBD Content||250 – 5000 mg|
|Potency||8.3 – 166 mg/mL|
What We Like About CBDistillery CBD Oil:
CBDistillery is an industry veteran, but make no mistake, the brand hasn’t rested on its laurels. On the contrary, CBDistillery continues to set high standards for its competitors, both in terms of the quality of ingredients and the potency of its products.
CBDistillery’s CBD oil is available in five different potencies, starting from 250 mg up to 5000 mg of full-spectrum CBD. The 2500 mg and 5000 mg options come in 30 mL bottles, which breaks down to 83–166 mg per serving — that’s enough CBD to keep you supplied for weeks or months.
What I love about CBDistillery’s assortment is that its products are sold at very reasonable prices. The 250 mg CBD oil costs around $20, so you don’t have to break the bank to get yourself a high-quality health supplement.
Users can choose between full-spectrum CBD oil and THC-free (broad-spectrum) oil, which is a nice move towards those who want to keep any traces of THC away from their system without losing the benefits offered by the entourage effect.
- Sourced from non-GMO, pesticide-free hemp
- Available as full-spectrum CBD or pure CBD oil (THC-free)
- Lab-tested for the cannabinoid content and purity levels
- Available in 5 different potency options
- Good price/quality ratio
- Not certified organic
- No flavored options
6. NuLeaf Naturals
|Total CBD Content||240 – 4850 mg|
What We Like About NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oil:
NuLeaf Naturals is another veteran brand that’s been selling CBD oil for over 5 years now. While they don’t have the broadest range of CBD products — only oil drops for humans and pets — this company definitely knows how to make an all-natural CBD oil.
All Nuleaf Naturals oils are sourced from domestic hemp and extracted with CO2. NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil has a beautiful amber-gold color, which is a good indicator of its quality. The oil is then filtered to remove any remaining plant matter.
NuLeaf sells its products in five different volumes — all in the same potency of 48 mg.mL CBD:
- 5 mL — 240 mg of CBD total
- 15 mL — 725 mg of CBD total
- 30 mL — 1450 mg of CBD total
- 50 mL — 2425 mg of CBD total
- 100 mL — 4850 mg of CBD total
- Made from 100% organic, Colorado-grown hemp
- Extracted with a combination of subcritical and supercritical CO2
- Lab-tested for potency and over 200 common contaminants
- Full-spectrum extracts
- Available for both humans and pets
- Narrow product range
- More expensive than much of the competition
7. Charlotte’s Web
|Total CBD Content||200 – 1800 mg|
|Available Flavors||Mint Chocolate, Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, Olive Oil|
|Potency||7 – 60 mg/mL|
About Charlotte’s Web:
Charlotte’s Web is one of the oldest CBD companies in the United States. Founded by the Stanley Brothers, the brand has earned its reputation for helping now late Charlotte Figi with her intractable epilepsy. Despite several controversies about the health claims they made in the past, Charlotte’s Web didn’t lower its standards and still produce some of the best hemp extracts on the market.
Charlotte’s Web CBD oil is available in several concentrations: 200 mg, 500 mg, 1500 mg, and 1800 mg of total CBD. The highest potency provides 60 mg of full-spectrum CBD in every milliliter. You can choose between two bottle sizes (30 mL and 100 mL); Charlotte’s Web also offers flavored versions of its CBD oil, such as Mint Chocolate, Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil.
The company uses ethanol for extraction instead of the standard CO2 technology, which may leave a distinct aftertaste upon swallowing.
- One of the most reputable brands on the market
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Delicious flavored versions
- Up to 1800 mg of CBD per bottle
- Available in two sizes: 30 mL and 100 mL
- Third-party tested for potency and purity
- Non-organic hemp
- Ethanol extraction
- Suspension in olive oil (bitter taste)
- The company received a warning letter from the FDA in the past due to inappropriate health claims
|Total CBD Content||300 – 7500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Berry, Orange, Mint|
|Potency||10 – 250 mg/mL|
cbdMD is a North Carolina-based company that offers a wide range of CBD products, including tinctures, gummies, capsules, topicals, bath bombs, sleep aids, and pet products.
The company boasts a broad selection of pure CBD oils. The potency of these extracts ranges between 300 and 7500 mg of CBD per bottle; the highest concentration packs a healthy dose of 200 mg of pure CBD isolate suspended in MCT oil for improved absorption. cbdMD also offers four flavor options: natural, berry, orange, and mint.
On the one hand, it could be challenging to find another company with such concentrated products; but on the other hand, these CBD oils are based on a broad-spectrum extract, which doesn’t evoke the full entourage effect. Therefore, higher potency may not translate into better results.
Transparency-wise, cbdMD provides up-to-date certificates of analysis from a third-party laboratory. They are available on the company’s website; you can find them by entering the product’s batch.
- US-grown, non-GMO hemp
- CO2 extraction
- Up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle
- Batch-specific certificates of analysis
- Limited entourage effect due to the lack of THC
- Most people don’t need such high doses of CBD in their routine
|Total CBD Content||500 – 3000 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Citrus, Mint Chocolate|
|Potency||16 – 100 mg/mL|
Medterra is a small California-based company that offers premium CBD extracts in different spectra: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates. The potency of these oils ranges between 500 mg and 3000 mg of CBD per bottle, which is a standard range. Aside from the unflavored version, there are two flavored options: Citrus and Mint Chocolate.
The full-spectrum CBD oil is also infused with 2 mg of THC per bottle, which the company claims to be the true full spectrum of cannabinoids. However, the problem with this version of Medterra’s CBD oil is that they aren’t legal in all 50 states because they contain more than 0.3% of THC.
So, if you want to buy Medterra’s products in all 50 states, your options are limited to broad-spectrum extracts and isolates. These come in higher potencies, upwards of 1000 mg of CBD per bottle.
All of Medterra’s CBD oils are tested in a third-party laboratory for potency and purity, including the results for pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents.
- Premium-grade CBD oils
- Up to 3000 mg of CBD per bottle
- Available as full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and isolates
- Lab tested for potency and purity
- The “real” full-spectrum CBD oil isn’t available in all states
- Some of the lab reports indicate higher CBD levels than stated on the bottle
- No discounts for returning customers
10. Joy Organics
|Total CBD Content||450 – 900 mg|
|Available Flavors||Tranquil Mint, Fresh Lime, Summer Lemon|
|Potency||15 – 30 mg/mL|
About Joy Organics:
Joy Organics is one of the most reputable CBD vendors in this space. The brand was founded by a woman named Joy Smith, who has been exploring the benefits of CBD oil for her problems with pain and sleep.
Joy Organics offers a range of broad-spectrum CBD extracts sourced from certified organic hemp. The company has plenty of positive reviews all over the internet. They also haven’t received any warning letters from the FDA yet.
The Joy Organics CBD oil is formulated with broad-spectrum CBD in a modest potency range, from 450 to 900 mg of CBD per bottle. These oils are available in three refreshing flavors: Tranquil Mint, Fresh Lime, and Summer Lemon. The highest potency provides 30 mg of CBD in every milliliter, which is a standard dose for most people in terms of daily supplementation.
In 2018, one of the company’s citrus tincture was found to contain a fungicide that is commonly used on citrus fruit during independent testing. Fortunately, Joy Organics recalled the product immediately following this and implemented a new third-party testing system.
- Non-GMO, US-grown hemp
- Supercritical CO2 extraction
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- Delicious flavors
- A bit expensive
- No high-strength oils
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). This includes both industrial hemp plants, and marijuana.
CBD is the modulator to the endocannabinoid system — a complex neurochemical network responsible for controlling various vital functions in the human body and brain. The endocannabinoid system regulates processes such as:
- Cognitive performance
- Body temperature
- Immune function
- Mood and emotion
- Hunger and satiety
CBD helps the endocannabinoid system maintain chemical balance within the body — also known as “homeostasis” or “equilibrium.” If homeostasis isn’t maintained, we become sick. Depending on which aspect of homeostasis is out of balance — the effects on the body will be very different. If our nervous system is affected, it can lead to symptoms of anxiety, stress, and emotional instability.
CBD has other effects on the body as well — the most relevant in the context of this article are its effects on a neurotransmitter called GABA — which is responsible for slowing us down when we become overstimulated. We’ll get into how this works in more detail later.
There are many different ways to use CBD — it’s added to capsules, infused in topical salves and creams, mixed into gummy candies, and added to vape oils. But by far the most popular form of the supplement is in the form of an oil. CBD oils are made by mixing the fat-soluble hemp extracts rich in CBD and other cannabinoids with an oil base — in most cases MCT oil or hemp seed oil.
Using CBD in the form of oil makes it easier to measure doses since you simply have to count the number of drops or measure the oil with the built-in dropper. Compare this to pure hemp extracts which require scales and a lot of experience to accurately measure the right dose.
Additionally, the oil content of CBD oils significantly improves the absorption rate in the digestive tract. This helps make the CBD more efficient — allowing you to use less CBD for the same level of benefits.
What Causes Anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” It’s a natural process developed over the course of human evolution to protect us from environmental threats like changes in our environment, exposure to predators, or other dangers. Feeling anxious helps us identify and avoid dangers that pose a threat to our health and wellbeing.
Anxiety can also become pathological — leading us to feel excessive stress and worry in situations that are not life-threatening. Modern stresses like work deadlines, relationship problems, or social expectations can all cause us to feel anxious. If this happens too often or in excessive amounts, it can cause us more harm than good.
There are many forms and levels of intensity of anxiety symptoms — including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, insomnia, and many different phobias.
It’s wise to speak with your doctor if you experience severe anxiety attacks, or if your anxiety begins affecting your ability to live your life. There are many underlying causes for anxiety, so it’s best if a medical professional can explore some of these options to help you find the best form of treatment.
Why Are Pharmaceutical Anxiety Medications Dangerous To Our Health?
The most common form of drug treatment for anxiety is a class known as benzodiazepines. These medications bind to the GABA receptors in the brain to force electrical activity to slow down — thus alleviating the most common signs of anxiety. This works in a similar way to CBD, but is significantly stronger and more specific.
The main problem with conventional anti-anxiety medications is that they can become highly addictive — often leading to a worsening of symptoms over time as tolerance to the medications begins to form.
Here’s the problem…
You take benzodiazepines to fight anxiety and for a time it works. However, the body quickly forms a tolerance to the medication to resist its effects by removing some of the GABA receptors. Once these receptors are gone, we need more of the medication to produce the same effect. This process continues until we’ve reached the maximum dose for the drug. If the drug starts to wear off, we no longer have enough GABA receptor activity to keep our nervous system from going into hyperdrive — forcing us into a state of extreme anxiety.
The body will eventually reach a point where we require the drug just to not have an anxiety attack.
Benzodiazepines aren’t the only option, but they’re the most common. Other classes of medications used for treating anxiety have similar effects long-term.
Some examples of anti-anxiety medications include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Side-effects to these medications are common and can range in severity. Most of the drug classes on the list will cause tolerance in the body, as described above.
Here are some of the most severe side effects of prescription anti-anxiety medications:
- Cardiac disease
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
With all these negatives, it’s no wonder why CBD has become such a popular alternative treatment option for anxiety and related conditions. You can check our post to know more about the risk of taking CBD with Xanax — a prescription drug that belongs to benzodiazepines medications.
Potential Benefits of CBD Oil For Anxiety
At the very beginning of the article, we mentioned that the endocannabinoid system regulates our response to fear, among many other functions.
Unlike conventional anti-anxiety treatments, CBD oil doesn’t just mitigate the symptoms of anxiety — it gets down to the root of the problem by regulating endocrine disruptions as well as the amount of anandamide in our brains — a compound aptly named the “bliss molecule.”
CBD has been shown to help with anxiety in a few different ways. While the majority of research describing how CBD works for this disorder is either preclinical or based on animal studies, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of testimonies from people who have found relief in CBD oil after failing with the conventional treatment. There are also a handful of randomized, double-blind, clinical trials conducted on the interaction as well. These are considered to be the highest form of clinical research available.
Let’s cover the mechanisms of action CBD oil uses to support anxiety levels and what the research says about this incredibly useful molecule.
1. Serotonin Receptors & Brain Activity
CBD has been shown to stimulate the 5HT1 serotonin receptors. In simple terms, this cannabinoid increases serotonin activity in the brain — which affects the transmission of electrical activity as well as mood, concentration, and sleep.
Studies have shown a direct link between the activity of serotonin as the 5HT1 and 5HT2 serotonin receptors in the central nervous system and anxiety disorders.
2. Anandamide Production — The Bliss Molecule
The next anti-anxiety effect of CBD is linked to its ability to increase the amount of the body’s natural endocannabinoids — anandamide and 2-AG. This effect is particularly prominent for anandamide in particular.
Anandamide has almost the same chemical structure as THC, the cannabinoid responsible for triggering euphoric and psychoactive effects in cannabis users.
Anandamide doesn’t cause psychoactive effects like THC, but it is closely correlated with feelings of bliss, joy, and euphoria. In contrast, lower anandamide levels are thought to result in a low mood or “overreaction” to stress and anxiety triggers.
CBD has been shown to enhance the activity of anandamide by preventing its breakdown and metabolism — ultimately leading to elevated levels of the bliss molecule in the brain.
3. Hippocampal Neurogenesis — Homeostasis & Anxiety
The hippocampus is a critical brain region tasked with controlling homeostasis in both the brain and body.
Brains scans of patients struggling with anxiety and depression often exhibit changes in the hippocampus, and successful anxiety treatment is associated with the production of new neurons (neurogenesis) in this area. Some research has shown.
It appears that CBD may stimulate the hippocampus to regenerate neurons, which could be groundbreaking for anxiety patients (5).
Current evidence suggests that severely damaged neuronal plasticity may influence suicidal behavior — so, regenerating neurons in the hippocampus is thought to reduce the chances of depressive behavior.
4. GABA Receptors — The Brake Pedals for the Brain
Earlier, we spoke about the interaction CBD has with our GABA receptors. Let’s dig into this a little more and discuss exactly how this works and how it relates to anxiety.
GABA essentially acts as the brake pedal for the nervous system. It’s used to keep our speed in check when we become agitated. If GABA isn’t doing its job effectively, we can quickly begin to speed out of control — resulting in symptoms commonly referred to as anxiety.
CBD binds to the GABA receptors in the nerve cells and makes them more sensitive to GABA. This would be like changing the brake pads on your car, so you don’t have to hit the pedal as hard to begin slowing down.
Research has shown that insufficient GABA activity is closely involved in the development of anxiety disorders. CBD has been shown to interact with the GABAa receptors in the neurons, offering a precise mechanism for its anti-anxiety benefits. Other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant have also been shown to support this process through GABA and other chemical pathways in the brain.
The Best CBD Oil For Anxiety: What to Look For
The hemp industry has proven to be a lucrative market for many companies. Still, as with so many emerging businesses, it’s a tantalizing sector for sketchy companies trying to cash in on unaware customers.
You want to steer clear of inferior CBD supplements as much as possible. Such products are often made from low-quality hemp, extracted with toxic solvents, and promise a lot more than CBD oil is capable of.
When searching for the best CBD products for anxiety online or in local stores near you, keep an eye out for the following details:
1. Hemp Source — Opt For Domestic
Hemp is an effective bio-accumulator, meaning it absorbs everything from the soil it grows in. When grown in polluted soil, the plant may accumulate heavy metals and other harmful toxins, resulting in a poor end product. Hemp grown in places like China or India is especially high in these toxic elements because of high soil contamination in the region.
If you want a high-quality CBD oil to help you deal with anxiety, look for products that have been sourced from domestically grown hemp. US farmers are subject to strict quality control standards, and the growing competition prevents them from cutting corners in their cultivation practices.
Plus, many US growers use organic growing methods even if their CBD oil is not certified organic, mainly due to the high cost of these certifications. Always ask your potential vendor how they source their plants to ensure you’re not throwing your money down the drain.
2. Extraction Method — Look For CO2 Extraction
The majority of high-quality CBD oils are extracted with supercritical carbon dioxide. This method produces a pure and highly potent product, leaving you with pure extracts free of any toxic solvent residue.
CBD tinctures, which are a bit different than CBD oil, are extracted with high-proof alcohol. Some less common extraction methods call for using olive oil, but when a company isn’t open about how it obtains its CBD extracts, that should raise a red flag because that means they probably applied some toxic solvents in the process. And what’s worse, there’s a risk these solvents weren’t completely removed after extraction.
3. Full-Spectrum Hemp vs. CBD Isolate
What do you want to achieve with your CBD oil aside from anxiety relief?
Are you aiming at maximizing your CBD dose per serving?
Or is the whole-plant synergy more important than the potency of cannabidiol?
If you want a versatile product and high doses of CBD — isolate-based CBD oil will be your best bet. On the other hand, full-spectrum extracts offer one perk that isolates users cannot achieve with their products — the entourage effect.
The entourage effect refers to the synergistic effect achieved by all active compounds in cannabis plants. Researchers suggest each of these compounds work in unison to amplify the benefits of one another, resulting in a greater therapeutic potential.
The cannabis community appears to support this concept; the Internet is full of testimonies from people who switched from isolates to full-spectrum CBD oil for anxiety because they needed lower doses to get relief.
4. Additional Ingredients
High-quality CBD oil contains two main ingredients — CBD extract and carrier oil in which the CBD is dissolved.
Additionally, CBD oil can have some natural flavorings added to mask the hemp aftertaste. Some products are infused with supplementary herbs and organic compounds to amplify the stress-relieving properties of cannabidiol — such as chamomile or melatonin.
In general, a complex formula involving hemp extract and other herbs and nutrients formulated for a specific application is going to be better overall.
5. Laboratory Testing Results
3rd-party lab testing is the ultimate way to verify the credibility of your CBD vendor.
Not only do such tests check for the potency of CBD in the final product, but they also list the entire cannabinoid profile and can detect any impurities that could compromise its quality.
If the brand actually uses premium ingredients in its CBD oil (as they claim), they should be open about their lab testing reports and list the results publicly on the company website. If these tests aren’t available, we suggest you move on to look elsewhere for a company that does this.
CBD Oil For Anxiety: Key Takeaways
As scientists conduct more research on the health benefits of CBD, we’re beginning to unlock new applications of this incredible plant-extract. One of the hottest areas in research at the moment is for the use of CBD with anxiety.
CBD oil works by interacting with the endocannabinoid to support homeostasis (balance), modulate GABA activity, and support serotonin and anandamide levels — all of which play a key role in the process of stress and anxiety.
The greatest challenge lies in finding the best CBD oil for anxiety out of the sea of fly-by-night CBD brands. As long as you know what characteristics make for an excellent CBD brand and what the red flags are for scam or poor-quality products — you should be able to find a product that suits your individual needs.
If you’re not sure where to start, I highly recommend you go with Royal CBD as your CBD oil of choice. The 1000 mg option offers the best value for money, and high-grade full-spectrum extract has served me well with my anxiety in the past.
Have you tried using CBD for anxiety? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments!
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- Wenzel, A., Haugen, E. N., Jackson, L. C., & Brendle, J. R. (2005). Anxiety symptoms and disorders at eight weeks postpartum. Journal of anxiety disorders, 19(3), 295-311.
- Bakas, T., Van Nieuwenhuijzen, P. S., Devenish, S. O., McGregor, I. S., Arnold, J. C., & Chebib, M. (2017). The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors. Pharmacological research, 119, 358-370.
- A World Health Organizadon Demonstration Project. (1994). A phase II study of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for appetite stimulation in cancer-associated anorexia. Journal of palliative care, 10(1), 14-18.
- Charney, D. S., Woods, S. W., Goodman, W. K., & Heninger, G. R. (1987). Serotonin function in anxiety. Psychopharmacology, 92(1), 14-24.
- Bannerman, D. M., Rawlins, J. N. P., McHugh, S. B., Deacon, R. M. J., Yee, B. K., Bast, T., … & Feldon, J. (2004). Regional dissociations within the hippocampus—memory and anxiety. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 28(3), 273-283.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
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CBD Dosage: How Much Should You Take?
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Table of Contents
- Determining the Best CBD Dosage for You
- How to Calculate CBD Dosage
- How to Take CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is growing increasingly popular, thanks to its many purported health benefits and non-intoxicating properties (most CBD products contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). In fact, 60% of U.S. adults have tried CBD at some point and believe it has medicinal benefits, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll. As research evolves and sheds light on CBD’s efficacy, especially for pain relief, more and more people are adding it to their daily wellness regimens.
Consumers can choose from a variety of CBD products, from oils to gummies to vapes to capsules. But figuring out the safe and effective CBD dose for an individual is a complex decision.
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Here’s how to find the right CBD dosage for you and how to consume it safely.
Determining the Best CBD Dosage for You
With the exception of one CBD product, a prescription drug used to treat seizures associated with particular syndromes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate the use of CBD. (In fact, it’s illegal to market CBD as a supplement or add it to food.) Therefore, it’s best to consult a doctor with experience in CBD administration to determine your ideal dosage.
Expressed in milligrams (mg), CBD dosage largely depends on the conditions and symptoms you’re trying to treat and your unique endocannabinoid system, which is associated with motor control, behavior, emotions, the nervous system and homeostasis. CBD dosage remains an area of active research—more large, high-quality studies are needed in different populations to determine appropriate dosing, efficacy and safety guidelines.
“It’s best to start small and gradually increase your dose up to a level that gives you the desired effect,” says Cheryl Bugailiskis, M.D., a cannabis specialist at Heally, a telehealth platform for alternative medicine. Your starting point might look like half a CBD gummy or a drop of oil. Ideally, navigate this process under the guidance of a qualified physician.
If you’re still not sure where to start, mydosage.com offers a questionnaire and CBD calculator to help you based on your specific symptoms and usage goals.
How to Calculate CBD Dosage
When you consume CBD gummies, capsules or softgels, dosage is typically expressed per unit. For example, there may be 50 milligrams of CBD in each individual gummy. These products don’t offer much dosage flexibility since you can’t split up capsules easily. For instance, if one softgel capsule didn’t provide your desired result, you would have to take another full capsule, doubling the total dose.
CBD oil, on the other hand, makes it easier, to begin with a small dose. But calculating CBD oil dosage can be less straightforward. Oils and tinctures tend to come in a dropper bottle and, typically, only the total liquid volume and CBD contents are listed on the label. For example, the label might simply state there’s 1,500 milligrams of CBD in the 30-milliliter bottle.
But what does 1 milliliter look like? Due to the current lack of regulation of CBD, this calculation can be tricky. Start by figuring out the volume of a single drop in your dropper, which is usually 0.05 milliliters, according to Dr. Bugailiskis. If you’re unsure, ask the company.
Here’s where math comes in. Let’s continue with the 30-milliliter bottle with 1,500 milligrams of CBD and 0.05 milliliters in a single drop as our example.
1500mg÷30mL = 50 mg/mL
This bottle contains 50 milligrams of CBD per milliliter. Let’s see how many milligrams are in a drop:
50mg/mL ×0.05mL/drop = 2.5mg/drop
Each drop contains 2.5 milligrams of CBD.
Next, you can calculate how many drops you need to reach your goal dosage. Let’s say you want to consume 25 milligrams each day.
25mg÷2.5mg/drop = 10 drops
10 drops ×2.5mg = 0.5mL
With this CBD oil dosage calculator as your guide, you would find that you needed to consume 10 drops, or 0.5 milliliters, to reach 25 milligrams. And if you intend to consume 25 milligrams daily, you can expect this particular bottle to serve as a 60-day supply.
Some CBD products do some of this math for you and illustrate how many milligrams are in a milliliter, some even marking these points on the dropper so you know exactly what you’re taking.
CBD Dosage for Different Ailments
Without FDA approval, there is little guidance in the U.S. on how much CBD a person should consume for various conditions.
In many medical studies on CBD, you see administered doses reach hundreds of milligrams a day, which sounds severe compared to our starting dosage example of 25 milligrams. However, Steven Phan, founder of Come Back Daily, a CBD dispensary in New York, points out that patients in these studies are often dealing with serious flare-ups and pain-inducing conditions compared to everyday dispensary customers.
Below are clinically-studied CBD dosages based on different ailments and conditions. Note: Some of the formulations studied contained THC as well—not all available dosage research sticks strictly to CBD.
*Dosages are based solely on small, short-term clinical study results where CBD proved significantly successful over placebo. Much larger studies are needed to further strengthen the evidence.
FDA-approved Epidiolex administers CBD orally as a liquid to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex. The dosage of Epidiolex is determined by taking the patient’s weight in kilograms (kg) into account.
Several countries, including Canada and those in the U.K., have approved the use of Sativex, an oral spray with equal amounts of CBD and THC, to treat pain stemming from multiple sclerosis. Canada has also approved it for treatment of cancer pain.
The medical and research community still has a long way to go before figuring out what dose works best for each condition. At an individual level, consumers can experiment with caution until they find what works best for them.
Partner Offers feature brands who paid Forbes Health to appear at the top of our list. While this may influence where their products or services appear on our site, it in no way affects our ratings, which are based on thorough research, solid methodologies and expert advice. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services
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How to Take CBD
Popular ways to take CBD include:
- Oils and tinctures (extracts of plant material dissolved in ethanol): A liquid that comes in a bottle with a dropper
- Gummies: A soft, chewable candy that’s often fruit-flavored
- Sprays: A liquid that comes in a bottle with a nozzle for spraying into the mouth
- Capsules: Tablets or softgels that are ingested by mouth
- Vapes: CBD oil that’s heated without ignition, resulting in an inhalable vapor
- Flower: Dried hemp plant that’s often ignited and smoked
- Edibles: Any food that CBD oil has been added to, such as brownies or chips
- Drinks: Any beverage that’s infused with CBD, often in the form of hemp extract
Your CBD product of choice will largely depend on your personal preferences, as well as your budget since prices vary depending on the potency of ingredients and manufacturing processes. Different mediums also offer varying levels of bioavailability—or how much of what you take is actually absorbed into your bloodstream to have an effect. For example, if you ingest 10 milligrams of CBD via 1 milliliter of liquid, your body might absorb about 60% of it, or about 6 milligrams.
Cannabinoids generally have a low bioavailability compared to other substances, according to Jordan Tishler, M.D., a physician specializing in cannabis treatment in Massachusetts. However, “products that contain emulsifiers like egg yolk (brownies) or lecithin (some gummies) do better,” he says.
With that said, ingesting CBD via gummies or other edibles may take longer to take effect since the CBD has to travel to your digestive system to be broken down and absorbed.
Can You Take Too Much CBD?
Like with any substance, you can take more CBD than your body can handle. Studies show doses up to 1,500 milligrams a day have been well-tolerated, but every person is different  Bergamaschi MM, Costa Queiroz RH, Zuardi AW, Crippa JAS. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current Drug Safety. 2011;6(4):237-49. . Ingesting too much CBD can cause unpleasant side effects, such as dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, drowsiness, lightheadedness and general disorientation. While rare, liver damage can also occur.
What’s more, CBD can have serious interactions with certain medications. In evaluating available information on five prescription CBD-based medications, researchers found 139 medications could have a potential drug-drug interaction with CBD  Kocis PT, Vrana KE. Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Drug-Drug Interactions. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids. 2020;3:61–73. . People who take certain blood thinners, heart rhythm medications, thyroid medications and seizure medications need to be particularly careful.
At the end of the day, not all supplements are created equal, which is why it’s important to work alongside a health care provider when adding CBD to your wellness regimen and research reliable brands. And while emerging research and anecdotal evidence is promising, more large, randomized-controlled trials are needed to further understand the benefits of CBD and its dosing.
The Best CBD Oil Brands for Anxiety & Depression
In the past several years, CBD has become a popular and natural way for people to help manage their anxiety. What is the best CBD for anxiety? And how does CBD help with anxiety? In this article, we highlight our favorite brands of CBD for anxiety and provide important background information on how to use CBD oils to help manage anxiety and depression.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is one of the active ingredients found in cannabis. Though CBD is a critical component in medical marijuana, most commercially available CBD products are derived from the hemp plant. These products are said to offer a range of personal health benefits, and one of the most significant of those benefits is relief from anxiety.
A Harvard report notes that CBD is commonly used as a way to manage anxiety symptoms, and that those who struggle with various mental health concerns may use CBD to help them combat sleeplessness.
But what does the science really say about using CBD oil for anxiety and depression? And for those who wish to use CBD products to help with anxiety, what are the best CBD for anxiety brands out there?
Does CBD Help for Anxiety?
Studies show that, while CBD doesn’t necessarily alter a person’s baseline anxiety level, it may be useful for reducing experiential anxiety. Indeed, research points to CBD as a potentially effective way to address the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additional research indicates that CBD “has a promising role as alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders,” though more clinical testing is needed to verify safe dosage levels.
Based on the available evidence, CBD may potentially help manage the symptoms of anxiety, though it is not a cure. Be sure to consult with your primary care physician or mental health care provider before taking CBD for anxiety and depression if you have any questions or concerns.
Best CBD Oil for Anxiety in 2022
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall – CBDistillery Strongest Full Spectrum – Spruce
- Best Full Spectrum – NuLeaf Naturals
- Best Organic – Cornbread Hemp
How We Chose CBD Product for Calming
When creating our list of the best CBD oils for anxiety and depression, we compared brands and products ib six specific categories.
- Type of CBD — Does the brand use full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate?
- Strength — How many milligrams of CBD does the oil contain per recommended dose?
- Source — Where does the get the hemp used in their hemp extract? Is it grown in the U.S.?
- Flavor — Do they offer multiple flavors, and if so, do they use natural flavoring instead of artificial flavors?
- Transparency — Is the product tested by an independent third-party lab and do they make the results easy to access?
- Customer Experience — What are customers saying about the product and if it has helped them manage stress and anxiety?
Learn more about each of the CBD oils on our list below.
Our Complete Reviews & Opinions
Best Overall: CBDistillery
CBDistillery is known for high-quality, pure CBD products, and their full spectrum oil is a great choice to help you relax. All of their products are third-party lab tested and confirmed to be safe and effective. We like their Relief + Relax CBD oil because it is a full spectrum oil that provides plenty of additional active cannabinoids and plant compounds like CBG, CBC, and terpenes to give you the full benefits of the entourage effect.
- CBD: Full Spectrum
- Strength: 33 mg CBD per serving (1000 mg per bottle)
- Hemp source: Colorado
Why buy: We love this strong full spectrum CBD oil for anxiety because it is sourced from non-GMO, U.S. Hemp Authority Certified hemp grown in Colorado. Taking CBD Relief + Relax in the morning may be a great way to support a sense of calm throughout the day.
Strongest Full Spectrum: Spruce
Spruce CBD oil checks all of the right boxes: it’s all-natural, made from USA-grown hemp, and is backed by rigorous third-party lab testing. You can get this lab-grade CBD oil tincture in a range of potencies, ranging from 750 mg to 2,400 mg per bottle. We like that Spruce CBD oil is all-natural, organic, vegan, gluten-free, and contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners. Note that Spruce products may be too strong for entry-level customers.
- CBD: Full Spectrum
- Strength: 25 mg to 80 mg of CBD per serving
- Hemp source: Kentucky and North Carolina
Why buy: We love that Spruce offers some of the strongest full spectrum CBD products, including their extra strength formula with 80 mg of CBD per serving. We recommend it for experienced CBD users looking for powerful relief from feelings of anxiety and stress.
Best Full Spectrum: NuLeaf Naturals
NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil is about as natural as a CBD tincture can get. It’s made from organic hemp, it’s additive- and pesticide-free, and it’s carefully lab-tested by independent third-party labs. This Colorado-grown, full spectrum CBD offers the full benefits of hemp extract in a natural, organic product. It may be taken daily to help you manage stress and feelings of anxiety by promoting a sense of calm and wellness.
- CBD: Full Spectrum
- Strength: 30 mg of CBD per serving (1800 mg per bottle)
- Hemp source: Colorado
Why buy: We love this strong full spectrum CBD oil because of its simplicity. It contains organic full spectrum hemp extract and organic virgin hemp seed oil. NuLeaf Naturals also provides a consistent concentration of CBD across all bottle sizes to make dosing easier.
Best Organic: Cornbread Hemp
To make their Distilled CBD Oil, Cornbread Hemp extracts CBD only from hemp flowers. This distillation allows the oil to maintain a full spectrum of cannabinoids, with a CBD-to-THC ratio of 27:1. Lower in THC than their Whole Flower oil, this product is better for finding comfort during the day while staying focused and alert. Cornbread Hemp CBD is USDA organic and offers a cleaner tasting oil than some whole plant extracts.
- CBD: Full Spectrum
- Strength: 50mg per 1mL serving
- Hemp source: Kentucky
Why buy: We love this Cornbread Hemp Distilled CBD Oil because it uses whole flower CBD extract for a cleaner product and milder taste. It may be a great way to help ease anxiety during the day without drowsiness or loss of focus. Plus, it’s USDA-certified organic with third-party, ISO certified lab tests on every batch.
Using CBD to Help With Anxiety & Depression: What the Research Says
As cited above, initial research has found that CBD has the potential to help manage the symptoms of anxiety in a variety of cases.
There is also clinical evidence to suggest that CBD can be a tool for managing panic attacks. Panic disorder (PD) impacts about five percent of the total global population, making the anxiolytic effects of CBD products potentially impactful on a widespread level.
There is even clinical evidence that CBD may help minimize the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a nervous condition that can be debilitating. Currently, OCD is treated primarily through cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants, but the recovery rate is exceedingly low. The prospect of CBD as an alternative intervention is potentially game-changing.
But how exactly does CBD impact those with anxiety conditions? The short answer is that products from the cannabis plant tend to have a strong, reactive effect with the endocannabinoid system, a molecular system that regulates many core functions of the body, including emotions. Cannabinoids can bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system and modify the way they function, yielding a range of possible health benefits.
In fact, one study notes that “modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few.”
While CBD may potentially help to manage stress and anxiety, it is not intended as a cure for anxiety or depression.
How to Choose CBD Oil for You
When you’re looking for the best CBD for depression and anxiety, it’s important to choose a product that is safe, effective, and natural. Here are some important things to keep in mind when shopping for CBD.
What to Look For
Always look for the following pieces of information when comparing CBD oils for anxiety: type of CBD, hemp source, strength, and lab testing. Below are more details on what each of these mean and why they matter.
Type of CBD
There are actually three different types of CBD extract, including full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. We typically recommend full spectrum products as the most effective, as they allow you to benefit from the full entourage effect of the hemp extract. However, if you undergo drug testing for work or are sensitive to THC, broad spectrum products offer many of the same benefits without the THC. This can also be important for those who find that THC negatively impacts their anxiety.
The quality of the CBD is directly related to the source of the hemp used in a product. Always look for brands that use hemp grown in the U.S.A. We also recommend brands that use either USDA organic hemp or hemp grown using organic farming practices. This ensures that the plants do not contain any pesticides and or artificial fertilizers.
It’s important to know the concentration of CBD in a product so that you can take the appropriate dosage level. For those new to CBD, it’s generally recommended to start with a lower dose, 10 mg or less, and slowly increase the amount as you are comfortable to find the right level of relief. Extra strength products, with 30 mg or more per serving, are recommended for those who know how CBD will affect them. You can read more about the strongest CBD oils here.
Only purchase CBD oils for anxiety that undergo independent third-party lab testing for quality and safety. This is critical to ensure that the product contains the correct levels of CBD and cannabinoids, and that it is free from toxins, heavy metals, or other harmful substances. The brands we recommend all make their lab test results available through QR codes on the product label or on their site.
How to Read Labels
When you check the label of any CBD product, look for information on the four key factors listed above. Labels should clearly state the type of CBD and if it was made with U.S. grown hemp. To evaluate the strength of the product, look for both the amount of CBD per bottle, usually in milligrams per 30 mL, as well as the amount of CBD per serving, usually in milligrams per 1 mL dropper.
Quality products should also include lab-testing certification and a way for you to verify the results for yourself. You can also look for industry certifications and seals from the USDA, Leaping Bunny, the GMO Project, and the U.S. Hemp Authority. Finally, take time to check the list of ingredients to make sure that you are not allergic to any of them. Most CBD oils use a carrier oil like hemp seed oil, olive oil, or MCT coconut oil.
How to Use
For most CBD oils, take a dose once or twice per day, depending on the amount. Some oils work better for daytime use and can be taken in the morning, while others are better suited for nighttime use to help you fall asleep. Again, if you are new to CBD, start with a low amount and slowly increase it to find the correct level to provide relief.
The amount of CBD needed may vary from person to person based on their level of anxiety and other health concerns. One thing that holds true across the board is that using CBD consistently is best for improving stress levels, as the compound builds up within the body, amplifying its effect. In other words, CBD may help you manage anxiety symptoms, but don’t expect it to take effect immediately.
Safety & Side Effects
According to the Mayo Clinic, CBD is generally well-tolerated. There are, however, some mild side effects that can occur. These often result from taking too much CBD, and can include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
Additionally, CBD can potentially interact with certain prescription medications, like blood thinners and certain forms of statins. Always check with your doctor if you plan to start using CBD alongside any prescription medications. No CBD product has been approved by the FDA to treat anxiety or depression, so be sure to do your own research on any product you choose to purchase.
While CBD may be a great option to help supplement your anxiety management, it is not meant to cure or treat anxiety. If you are suffering from severe anxiety and depression, the best thing to do is speak with your primary care physician or a mental health professional. They may recommend things like cognitive behavioral therapy, journaling, exercise, yoga, or prescription medications to help.
If approved by your doctor, CBD for depression and anxiety may work with these other approaches to help you find relief and better manage stress.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, copywriter, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. As a writer and independent reviewer of CBD products, Josh covers the relationship between cannabis-based products and the human body. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
Medically Reviewed By:
PharmD Scientific Advisor, Medical Reviewer, and Clinical Pharmacist
Adjunct Faculty, UMKC School of Pharmacy