I Took CBD Oil Every Day for My Anxiety—Here’s What Went Down
When I first learned about CBD oil, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I’d had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who’s already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: Paranoia. But, let’s back up a bit. What even is CBD?
What is CBD?
A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I’d been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD (when derived from the hemp plant) does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel “high”; instead, emerging science has hinted that CBD may actually ease anxiety, and therefore, makes you less likely to freak out.
For example, one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration. In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.
While the science behind CBD’s effectiveness for treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia is still in its infancy, Charlotte Figi’s inspiring story sounds promising. Figi, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, was placed on hospice care and given a “do not resuscitate” order when her parents, desperate and frustrated with pharmaceutical medication, considered medical marijuana; specifically, a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Charlotte is now nearly seizure-free since she began supplementing with Charlotte Web’s CBD oil, which the brand named after Figi.
Legal and Safety Things To Know About CBD
The current CBD industry is like the internet’s early years. the Wild West. Legally, speaking, a Harvard Medical School blog post reads, “All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.” With heightened interest around CBD, it’s important to note that because CBD is currently unregulated, it’s difficult to know what you’re getting (whether that’s a tincture—commonly referred to as CBD oil, which is often combined with a carrier oil like coconut oil—topical products like creams and balms, sprays, or capsules), despite product labels and brand promises, the blog post further reads. It’s also important to note that people experience CBD differently. For the most part, the National Institute of Medicine says that while most people can tolerate CBD, side effects do exist. They might include dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced appetite, among others.
That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.
With that, I threw caution to the wind and asked for a sample. Here’s what happened—including what it feels like—when I took one full dropper of Charlotte’s Web’s Everyday Plus Hemp Oil in the mint chocolate flavor every morning for seven days.
My First Impression
It was actually a bad bout of jet lag after a trip to California that inspired me to finally test out the CBD oil (I’ll admit that my weed-based reservations kept me from trying it for the first few months). Knowing that the oil had also helped people with sleep issues, I squeezed one full dropper of the Everyday Plus oil onto my tongue, per the instructions, and waited.
Thirty minutes later, I was surprised by how subtle the effect was. While I expected a hazy nodding-off effect similar to melatonin’s, the oil simply relaxed my body ever so slightly—my heart stopped pounding against my chest, my legs stopped kicking beneath my sheets, my mind stopped racing. I wasn’t sure if it was the oil or the late hour, but eventually, physical relaxation gave way to mental relaxation, and I drifted off to sleep.
Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt “high” in any way—there was never a moment of It’s kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here’s what went down.
It Made Me Less Anxious and Edgy
Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go.
While normally I’d be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit. Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself. With that said, I’ve still experienced some social anxiety when meeting new groups of people—I’d be interested to see what taking the full recommended dose would do.
I’m More Focused At Work
I work well under pressure, but being extremely busy at work has almost made me less productive—I’m constantly distracted by email, Slack, and the people around me, to the point where getting my work done becomes difficult. This week, however, I’ve found it easier to put my blinders on, block out all distractions (especially social distractions), and focus on one task at a time. I think this is partly related to the lessened anxiety—I feel more frazzled and off task when my anxiety is running high. It almost feels like a newfound sense of clarity and calm that enables me to focus.
I’m Falling Asleep Faster
I assume this is also a side effect of feeling less anxious, but I seem to fall asleep faster; within the 20-30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping or at least shortening the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I’m able to snap out of the overthinking that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it’s helped on a day-to-day basis.
My Experience With CBD
Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte’s Web website, this is the typical first experience. “Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—’it depends.’ For many newcomers, they’re not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time.”
With that said, I’m definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and to possibly up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it’s an all-natural product that’s responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that’s safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I’m definitely on board.
Explore the World of CBD
Looking to learn more about CBD? These are some of my favorite products to help get you started.
For those new to CBD, Charlotte’s Web recommends this hemp oil. Containing 17mg of CBD per 1mL serving, this CBD oil is also U.S. Hemp Authority Certified. Choose from four different flavors including Lemon Twist, Mint Chocolate, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil.
Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.
Charlotte’s Web inaugural CBD oil product comes in two flavors; Olive Oil and Mint Chocolate. It’s also its most potent. According to its website, its Original Formula Hemp Extract Oil comes with 50mg CBD per mL.
Gretchen Lidicker puts a lifestyle spin on the world of CBD as the author draws on the “knowledge of leaders in the health and wellness world” to explain why CBD has become a top beauty and wellness trend for top athletes and celebrities. The book also includes recipes and recommendations for how to choose a top-quality CBD product.
This travel-friendly roll-on is packed with CBD and fragrant essential oils, including lavender, bergamot, and chamomile, for an easy de-stress quick fix. The result? “That elusive feeling of wakeful calm,” reads the Sagely Naturals website.
With this book, CBD is explained from A to Z and breaks down the good, bad, and ugly of a fledgling industry that is poised for rapid growth. CBD: 101 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil covers what it is, why people take it, who it’s for (and who it isn’t for), its myriad forms, and more.
Lord Jones’ High CBD Formula Body Oil combines CBD with organic avocado, jojoba and safflower oils for smooth, hydrated skin. Each bottle has 100mg of CBD.
Charlotte’s Web’s Extra Strength Capsules feature 25 mg of CBD per capsule. The website offers capsules as a convenient and precise way to take CBD—on the go, stash them in your gym bag, pocket, etc.
One editor explains how she took CBD oil every day for a week to help her anxiety, plus the difference between CBD and weed. Learn more here.
does cbd oil cause rebound anxiety?
our culture is becoming more open-minded and accepting towards cannabis, and we think that is a really good thing. research on cannabis, especially cannabidiol (cbd), is expanding with it, as people continue to ask new questions and set out in search of answers. we recently had a specific question come to mind and went looking for as much information as we could find on the matter: does cbd oil cause rebound anxiety?
because of the way cbd interacts with the human body, it does not cause rebound anxiety. rebound anxiety occurs as a bodily response to the withdrawal of a substance or medication. cbd does not affect the pathways of the brain that are related to dependence, and thus cannot create this response.
that’s not to say the relationship between cbd and rebound anxiety is black and white, however. predisposed conditions to anxiety, dependence to substances, and interactions with other medications also matter. now is also a good time to share some good news with you: cbd may be helpful in mitigating rebound anxiety from other medications.
what causes rebound anxiety?
in order to find out what causes rebound anxiety, let’s start with a working definition. according to anxieties.com, “rebound is the temporary return of greater anxiety symptoms after withdrawal from medication than you experienced before [taking] the medication.”
rebounds can happen when the effects of any substance wears off. one common example of this occurs when feeling the “crash” in the afternoon from your morning cup of coffee. but that does you no good if you’re feeling the debilitating effects of anxiety, so let’s keep on track: in order for rebound anxiety to occur, there must be some element of dependence that is present in the first place.
benzodiazepines (xanax, klonopin, valium, ativan, etc) are frequently used to treat anxiety, but they can be habit-forming and long-term use can lead to physical dependence while benzos have been proven effective at alleviating symptoms of anxiety, they are not a sustainable solution due to their long-term side effects. they also do not solve the underlying root of the problem.
taking benzodiazepines result in a physical level of dependence developing as the substance is consumed. as such, withdrawal effects to varying degrees are inevitable, especially within prolonged users. when withdrawal effects are experienced, there is potential for a rebound to occur, bringing with it even further-heightened feelings of anxiety that one is now stuck battling.
cbd and rebound anxiety
cbd is another increasingly-popular way to address the symptoms of anxiety as a whole, and much research has been done to back its efficacy. it is believed that cbd can help inhibit the brain’s receptors that are linked to anxiety, which results in the anxiety response either not occurring or happening at ea much lower level of intensity. as such, cbd can help with rebound anxiety, and can furthermore be helpful for many other forms of anxiety such as generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder.
nobody wants to deal with anxiety, and rebound anxiety can only compound the situation: the lack of the previous solution (anti-anxiety medication) has now contributed to an even higher state of anxiety. enter cannabidiol: not only can cbd help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, but it is also effective at helping with physical addiction to various substances.
cbd has been shown to help with withdrawal symptoms of alcohol, opiates, and more. even further, studies now believe the endocannabinoid system (ecs) as a whole may help subdue addictive urges . cbd helps regulate the ecs, and even at large doses is both safe and non habit-forming.
for these reasons, cbd may attack rebound anxiety on both the mental and physical battle fronts. you may need to experiment to find an effective dosage for your own personal body chemistry, but a sublingually-applied tincture, especially one formulated with other calming adaptogenic herbs will quickly arm you with more ammunition to get through the attack.
do note, though, that the conditions for rebound anxiety must include withdrawal. cbd can be effective at treating rebound anxiety when one is not actively consuming anti-anxiety medication, but it is important to realize that it should not necessarily be taken in conjunction with medications.
cbd and anti-anxiety medications
taking cbd and benzodiazepines such as xanax (alprazolam) at the same time can put one at risk of experiencing heightened, out-of-proportion effects from either substance. cbd inhibits the same system of enzymes that the liver uses to metabolize benzodiazepines, meaning effects are likely to be prolonged. this puts one at a higher risk for side effects such as overdose, sedation, or suicidal thoughts.
the same goes for other benzodiazepines like ativan (lorazepam) and klonopin (clonazepam): combining cbd with these medications can increase risk especially of sedation and impaired thinking/judgment/motor coordination. antidepressants such as tca’s and maoi’s should also not be taken with cbd, as they are also affected by the same processes in the liver as benzodiazepines.
on the other hand, ssri’s such as zoloft (sertraline) are likely to exhibit no adverse reactions when taken with cbd. however, the presence of both results in more competitive effects, leading to decreased effects on both the pharmaceutical and natural sides. therefore, using both ssri’s and cbd together is likely to result in a less effective outcome than taking either individually.
are there any other adverse effects when taking cbd for rebound anxiety?
cbd does have known side effects, though they are extremely mild compared to many other available medications that are used to treat anxiety. common side effects associated with cbd include reduced appetite, drowsiness, fatigue, and dry mouth (though a few of these could also be desired effects for some cbd users). diarrhea is also a rare side effect, though that may also be due to impurities in other components of a given cbd product.
prescription blood thinners and over-the-counter medications such as advil (ibuprofen) and aleve (naproxen), both of which slow blood clotting, are also affected by the same liver enzyme processes as benzodiazepines. this can result in higher levels of medications remaining in the bloodstream, which can further lead to issues such as excess bleeding.
lastly, prospective and/or new mothers should consult with their doctors about any potential issues with using cbd to treat anxiety, or anything else for that matter. although cbd is nontoxic and safe to consume even in large doses, there is no conclusive information on how cbd may affect breastfeeding or a developing fetus.
comparing the side effects
if looking into possible solutions for rebound anxiety, cbd provides one obvious benefit over switching to another pharmaceutical medication: it is all-natural and non-habit forming. exploring cbd as an option can prevent relapse from the chemical that is causing the rebound, and it also makes it possible to not need to replace one pharmaceutical substance with another, thereby potentially reducing further risk toward future rebounds.
as already mentioned, cbd’s side effects are relatively mild compared to other pharmaceutical options. for example, xanax has a list of side effects that is over 20 symptoms long, including, but not limited to drowsiness, sleep and memory problems, irritability, diarrhea, vomiting, and dry mouth. many of cbd’s side effects are also present with xanax, though the list of side effects for xanax far exceeds anything that cannabis comes close to matching.
grogginess, headaches, and depression are other side effects of benzodiazepines. regarding depression, antidepressants often exhibit many of these same side effects. additionally, further side effects from various antidepressants include irritability, anxiety, and sexual problems such as decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction.
we are not here to denounce the role of modern medicine in our world: however, there is also an undeniable chance that a never-ending cycle of pharmaceuticals may not ever solve the problem. as we just saw, anti-anxiety medications can cause depression, and antidepressants can cause anxiety. cbd, on the other hand, has been shown to potentially help with both anxiety and depression and a whole lot more.
there is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution to rebound anxiety, or to any other form of anxiety, either. regular cbd usage may be able to help, though. if you have any further questions, drop us a line and we will be happy to see how we may be of further assistance.
from the bottom of our hearts, we support your journey and hope we can help, whether it be through providing knowledge and information, or via our 100% organic, third-party lab tested cbd products.
does cbd oil cause rebound anxiety? our culture is becoming more open-minded and accepting towards cannabis, and we think that is a really good thing. research on cannabis, especially cannabidiol