Best CBD Oil for Anxiety, Depression and Stress – Top 5 Brands in 2021
For many Americans, anxiety, depression, and stress can derail a normal, healthy lifestyle. Thanks to countless research studies, scientists are finding that CBD oil can be an added benefit in boosting mental health.
Anxiety, depression, and stress can be downright crippling. And with the added stress of today’s current health crisis, more Americans are looking for a safe, natural way to help boost their mental state.
CBD oil can be a fantastic way to help calm anxiety, stress, and depression . However, it seems the biggest issue here is finding the best brand. Over the years, CBD oil has skyrocketed in popularity, and because of that, a wealth of new brands have flooded the market. Sadly, not all brands are created equal. Many of today’s brands are not the best quality, and therefore, will not be effective against anxiety, depression, and stress.
But which brands rise to the top in today’s competitive CBD oil market? Read below to discover our top five picks.
Our Top 5 CBD Oils for Anxiety & Depression
- FAB CBD Oil: Best Quality and Most Potent
- CBDistillery: Known Product Diversity
- NuLeaf Naturals: High Product Potency
- cbdMD: Broad Spectrum Products
- Green Roads: Different Variety Products
How We Created Our CBD Oil for Anxiety List
The CBD oil industry is enjoying a steady rise in popularity. Sadly, with that popularity came an insurgence of inferior brands. While there are many reputable brands out on today’s market, there are also quite a few who are only interested in turning a quick profit.
Many of those inferior brands use a low-quality CBD extract that’s not only ineffective, but that’s also laden with dangerous chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and solvents. Therefore, it’s highly important to put some time into researching every brand that you’re interested in.
We spent countless hours researching some of the top CBD oil brands on today’s market in order to help take some of the guesswork out of the process for our readers. We also spent quite a bit of time pouring over scientific studies so that we could best inform you exactly how CBD oil works to help with anxiety, depression, and stress.
When it came to putting our findings forth to our readers, we simply wanted to present them with solid facts and information that was free of sensationalism, embellishment, and hype.
In choosing our top CBD oils for anxiety, depression, and stress, we looked closely at:
- Quality and Source of Hemp: As you might expect, organic hemp sources are the best way to go. And while many places around the world grow hemp, not all hemp is grown according to the same standards. Therefore, brands that locally source their hemp have more control over its quality.
- Extraction Process: CBD can be extracted in a great number of different ways. Currently, the cleanest and best method is the Co2 extraction process. Other methods can and do leave dangerous chemicals in the extract. Co2 extraction results in extracts that are safe and pure.
- Full-Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, or CBD Isolate: Some brands offer full-spectrum products while others offer broad spectrum or CBD isolates. Full-spectrum and broad spectrum options contain beneficial terpenes, cannabinoids, vitamins, and nutrients, while isolates solely contain pure CBD. Unlike full-spectrum products, broad spectrum products and CBD isolates do not contain any THC. According to law, full-spectrum CBD products can only have less than 0.3% THC.
- Independent Third-Party Lab Tests: The best brands will always take on an independent third-party laboratory to test its products. These labs test and certify CBD oils for potency, purity, and quality. Third-party lab results show customers that a brand is committed to creating top quality products.
- Oil Potency: CBD oils come in different strengths and potencies. Some oils are stronger and more potent than others. These types of CBD oils are typically used by people who have difficult health issues that they are trying to tackle.
- Brand Reputation: In looking at brand reputation, we zeroed in on how transparent the brand was with its customers as well as the brand’s overall reputation among its customers. In looking at brand reputation, we also took into account the quality of the brand’s customer service.
- Price: In looking for a top-quality CBD oil, many customers also want to get the best value available. Therefore, we spent quite a bit of time focusing on the amount of CBD customers receive based on the amount of money they’re spending on a product.
In looking at all of our criteria, you can clearly see that our list is quite extensive. We spent a great deal of time and effort coming up with our top five CBD oil brands for anxiety, depression, and stress, and in the end, it was well worth it if we are able to help our readers choose a top-quality, reputable CBD oil brand that best suits their needs.
5 Best CBD Oils for Anxiety, Depression
#1 FAB CBD Oil: Best Quality and Most Potent
FAB CBD has been crafting top-quality, potent CBD oil since 2017. Even though the brand is still a relative newcomer, it has steadily grown to be one of the top brands in today’s CBD market.
FAB CBD has grown to have a loyal following that currently bests the followings of many of its long-standing competitors that have been in the market for quite some time. Along with crafting the best high-quality CBD products in the industry, FAB CBD also seeks to give its customers a fun and unique experience. In doing so, the brand has a diverse line of CBD products as well as a high-quality, potent line of full-spectrum CBD oils.
The team at FAB CBD holds high standards for their products and refuse to sacrifice quality for price. FAB CBD’s full-spectrum oils consist of a whole-plant extract that’s packed with beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are found within the hemp plant.
- Pure, organic hemp sourced from Colorado is used in all of FAB CBD’s products. In locally sourcing its hemp, the team at FAB CBD is able to have full control over its source of CBD.
- FAB CBD uses ProVerde Laboratories to test all of its products. The lab tests the brand’s extracts for potency, consistency, and purity. FAB CBD then makes those test results available for customers to find on its website. This not only signals to customers that the brand is committed to transparency, it also assures them that the products are clean and of high quality.
- All of FAB CBD’s full-spectrum oils have less than 0.3% THC in them. According to the law, full-spectrum CBD products must have less than 0.3% THC. In adhering to this law, FAB CBD is assuring to its customers that there are no mind-altering effects in its products that stem from an abundance of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the mind-altering compound found within the hemp and marijuana plants.
- FAB CBD’s oils come in a variety of different natural flavors. Along with a natural flavor, FAB CBD’s full-spectrum oils also come in vanilla, mint, citrus, and berry. Many customers find that it helps to use a flavored oil because the flavoring helps to mask the sometimes off-putting taste of hemp.
- Four Strength Options: FAB CBD’s oils come in a variety of different potencies including 300mg, 600mg, 1200mg, and its newest 2400mg.
FAB CBD is a well-known and popular brand among CBD users, and is also extremely highly respected within the CBD industry. The brand’s products are definitely more affordable than most while still being top-quality and a wonderful value for your hard-earned dollar.
- All of FAB CBD’s organic hemp is grown and harvested in Colorado
- All products are tested by an independent third-party lab
- Four different oil strengths are available to customers
- The oils come in a variety of natural flavors
- Products are affordable
- FAB CBD offers free shipping within the United States
- International shipping is also available
- FAB CBD has a wonderful 30-day, money-back guarantee policy
- Expedited shipping may cost extra and free shipping can sometimes run slow
- The lowest potency oil may not be effective enough to impact tough health or medical conditions
FAB CBD regularly receives a host of verified positive customer reviews from customers all throughout the United States and other countries over the world. Customers appear to love FAB CBD’s commitment to being fun and easy going in its product approach while also being committed to educating its customers on the many benefits that CBD has to offer.
Many long-standing customers all agreed that because FAB CBD’s products are affordable, they are most certainly a great value for their price. Customers also love the fact that FAB CBD’s offers its full-spectrum oils in many different potencies and natural flavors.
Finally, many customers have attested that they were able to feel relief from their anxiety, stress, and depression through regular use of FAB CBD’s full-spectrum CBD oils. They did, however, have to use higher potency oils in 1200mg or 2400mg potencies in order to achieve the best results possible.
#2 CBDistillery: Known Product Diversity
CBDistillery was started by a group of Colorado natives who are passionate about CBD and the health benefits that it offers. The brand’s mission is to craft top-quality, reasonably-priced CBD products from hemp that is grown in America.
The brand’s founders believe that everyone has a right to fairly priced, high-quality CBD products. On top of its full-spectrum CBD oils, the brand also retails other interesting CBD products as well as CBD isolates.
CBDistillery has a goal of bringing CBD into the mainstream population by using its very own Twitter hashtag to educate people on CBD’s many benefits.The brand’s full-spectrum CBD oils come in 250mg, 500mg, and 1000mg in 15ml bottles and 2500mg and 5000mg in 30ml bottles.
- Diverse product line: CBDistillery offers customers a wide array of full-spectrum oils, vapes, creams, capsules, and isolates.
- Pure, clean, potent products. Every one of CBDistillery’s products are non-GMO and full-spectrum.
- Third-party lab tested products. CBDistillery uses a third-party lab to test its products. Customers can easily find those results on the brand’s website.
- Locally sourced hemp. CBDistillery grows its own hemp in the most natural environment possible. What results is hemp that is GMO and pesticide-free that is completely safe for human consumption.
All of CBDistillery’s products contain less than 0.3% THC, so customers can have zero worries about getting high from using the full-spectrum oils. The brand’s oils come in 30ml bottles, which means that it is almost double that of other brands while still being effective.
- CBDistillery uses an independent lab to test its products. These results can be found by scanning the QR code that is printed on whatever product is purchased.
- The brand primarily offers full-spectrum products, but does, however, also offer some isolates.
- Products can be purchased both online and in specified retail locations.
- CBDistillery has a large range of products that include oils, gummies, soft-gels, creams, vapes, and capsules.
- Customers have reported shipping delays.
- The brand’s contact information is not easy to find on its website.
- Reddit reviews have not been very favorable towards the brand.
- The oil droppers that CBDistillery uses seem flimsy, which means that there is a potential for oil to be wasted.
Overall, customers are quite pleased with the variety and strengths of CBDistillery’s oils. They find them to be pure, effective, and fast-acting. The oils also do not contain any artificial flavors. The brand is highly transparent, and as such, allows both good and bad reviews to remain on its website. This lets customers know that CBDistillery values transparency with its customers.
Customers also value the fact that CBDistillery offers veterans a chance to experience its products by offering them a 10% discount. Moreover, the brand provides free shipping on orders.
#3 NuLeaf Naturals: High Product Potency
NuLeaf Naturals first came onto the market back in 2014. All of the brand’s CBD tinctures are created using pure, 100% organic Colorado hemp. The founders of NuLeaf Naturals are true plant medicine experts who set the brand’s mission to provide quality, easily accessible CBD to everyone so that they could improve their overall health and wellness.
This brand is a long-standing fixture within the CBD community that has supplied thousands of consumers with high-quality CBD oil products. The brand’s CBD oil, which uses organic hemp oil as a carrier, is 100% pure.
The team at NuLeaf Naturals are strict about their quality control policies, and always apply the best manufacturing processes possible. All of the brand’s organic hemp is grown and cultivated in Colorado. NuLeaf Naturals controls the creation process of its products from seed to sale.
- Locally grown organic hemp that hails from Colorado is one way that the brand tells its customers that they can trust in the quality and purity of its products. As stated earlier, NuLeaf is involved in the entire manufacturing process from seed to sale.
- A third-party lab is used to test all of the brand’s products. This not only ensures that all of the products are clean and potent, it also signals to customers that NuLeaf cares about what it’s selling its customers.
- There’s nothing extra in NuLeaf Naturals’ oils. Since the brand uses whole-plant extracts, it is able to craft a broad spectrum oil that contains both CBD as well as other beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
- The brand’s products are clean and free from dangerous chemicals and additives. NuLeaf Naturals’ products contain only CBD and organic hemp oil.
- NuLeaf Naturals’ oils come in a wide variety of strengths. The brand’s CBD oils come in 300mg, 900mg, 1800mg, 3000mg, and 6000mg. The 6000mg is one of the strongest and most potent oils on today’s market.
NuLeaf Naturals is trusted by many customers because the brand never fails to be consistent while delivering quality products. In fact, the brand has held its strong reputation since 2015.
- The brand uses organic hemp that is grown in Colorado
- All products are regularly tested by a third-party lab for both quality and consistency
- The products are broad spectrum, which means that customers still receive all of the benefits of CBD, terpenes, cannabinoids, and other nutrients without any worry about THC
- There are a great number of oil strengths available based on your health needs
- Free shipping in the United States
- International shipping is available to well over 40 different countries
- There are no flavor options available in the CBD oils
- Product prices run a bit high
- The brand’s return and refund policy needs work
Most of the verified customer reviews on NuLeaf Naturals ’ website are glowingly positive. The most common statement made by customers in those reviews is that even though the products come with a somewhat steep price tag, the overall quality of the products is worth the price.
Many customers also documented that their anxiety, stress, and depression were cut way down after using the brand’s 6000mg CBD oil. However, customers also found that even the 300mg oils were effective enough to produce positive results.
#4 cbdMD: Broad Spectrum Products
The founders of cbdMD believe in innovation and quality when it comes to CBD oil. While the exact start date of the brand is not widely known, what is known is that the brand has been around for quite a while.
cbdMD offers a wide variety of products that are 100% organic and pure. The brand uses Co2 extraction to ensure the purity of its extracts. Everyone at cbdMD believes strongly in transparency, and therefore, uses a third-party lab to test all of its products. The brand then posts both a certificate of analysis and the lab results on its website where customers can easily see them.
cbdMD creates broad spectrum products from organic hemp grown in Colorado. Because of this, no solvents are left behind in the final process. Instead, what’s left is a clean and pure extract that is full of terpenes, cannabinoids, vitamins, and minerals.
- cbdMD uses 100% pure organic hemp from Colorado to create its extracts.
- Independent third-party lab testing regularly happens. cbdMD uses ProVerde Laboratories to test all of its products for purity, potency, cleanliness, and quality.
- cbdMD supports the military as well as special needs customers. As part of its commitment to making CBD available to a wide population, cbdMD offers discounts to active and retired military as well as customers who are legally disabled.
Since cbdMD’s products are broad spectrum, they do not contain any THC in them. Therefore, they are a great option for those who are worried about THC levels in their body because of employment drug tests. The brand’s line of products are also ideal for anyone who desires pure CBD along with other beneficial cannabinoids.
- Broad spectrum products crafted from organic, locally grown hemp
- An independent lab is used to test all products
- cbdMD offers free shipping
- A 30% discount is offered for active and retired military, and a 40% discount is offered to legally disabled customers
- Customers are given limited third-party lab results
- Most all of the brand’s products tend to be a bit expensive
- The brand mainly sells broad spectrum products
- Customer service hours are not posted on the cbdMd’s website
- No international shipping
Customers really like the wide variety of products offered by cbdMD. It’s also important to customers that the brand is transparent in how it crafts its broad spectrum products. Therefore, many customers made a special mention of how they were pleased that cbdMD made the lab test results easy to find on its website.
Most customers were not pleased, however, that the price of the products were on the high side. Verified customer reviews also documented that they were extremely happy with cbdMD’s customer service department. The brand provides customers with a phone number that is free to use on its website.
Finally, many customers like that cbdMD has a 30-day, money-back guarantee as well as discounts for both active and retired military personnel and legally disabled individuals.
#5 Green Roads: Award-Winning Products
Green Roads came about back in 2013 after Laura Baldwin, a compound pharmacist, and her friend, Arby Barroso, a regular CBD user, wanted to create their own clean, effective, high-quality CBD products. Barrosso regularly took CBD to help him fight an opiate addiction that stemmed from a surgical procedure.
Green Roads offers a wide-array of products that include CBD oils, edibles, syrups, pet products, capsules, and topical creams. This large variety stems from the fact that Baldwin and Barroso realized that CBD had a huge potential to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals struggling with tough medical and health issues. To that end, Green Roads continues to be widely praised in many publications. The brand was also awarded the “Best CBD Product” award at the 2018 Cannabis Business Awards.
- Green Roads boasts award-winning products. As stated earlier, the brand received the “Best CBD Product” award at the 2018 Cannabis Business Awards.
- The brand offers a great number of discounts and awards. Green Roads offers a discount to veterans while also having a rewards program that enables customers to collect points every time they purchase products.
- Products are specially formulated. All of Green Road’s products are formulated by a pharmacist because the brand was founded by a pharmacist. Therefore, the products are high-quality, potent, and effective.
- Green Roads’ products are extremely diverse. Green Roads offers a wide variety of products including CBD oils, vapes, creams, syrups, edibles, pet products, and capsules.
Green Roads uses superior methods to obtain all of its hemp extracts. Moreover, the brand has an extremely friendly and helpful customer service department. The brand uses high standards and clean sourcing for all of its products.
- Great product diversity
- Strong line of CBD oils that go up to 3500mg
- Third-party lab testing on all of its products
- Competitive pricing
- Syringes allow for easy dosing
- The brand keeps strong customer contact by having a social media presence as well as by offering customers a phone number for customers to call should they have questions or concerns
- Products are not organic
- Some unfavorable reviews were left by customers about the company on Reddit
- Potency could be better
- Overall oil taste could be better
Green Roads’ CBD oils are highly concentrated, effective, and supported by a company that’s extremely transparent and that stands behind its products. To that end, the brand has hundreds of positive verified customer reviews on its website.
Customers like the fact that the brand has lots of options when it comes to CBD product offerings. Likewise, the brand’s founders were extremely careful when it came to the creation and formulation of its products.
The brand’s broad spectrum products are both affordable and effective, and customers have made many reviews attesting to that. Many customers also enjoy the fact that not only are the brand’s products available online, they’re also available in over 10,000 retail stores nationwide.
Finally, customers like the fact that the brand uses the very clean industry preferred Co2 extraction process. Moreover, many customers who are new to CBD love the fact that the brand offers a “Beginner’s Bundle” package that combines an assortment of different products for customers to try.
CBD Oil for Anxiety, Depression
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , anxiety is one of the most common types of mental illnesses in the United States. To date, over 40 million adults aged 18 and older struggle with anxiety disorders. The good news is that anxiety, depression, and stress are extremely treatable.
Some of the more common symptoms associated with anxiety disorder are shortness of breath, panic, feelings of helplessness, excessive sweating, and a racing heart. And while there are many options of treatment available that include regular exercise, eating a nutritionally sound and balanced diet, getting adequate amounts of sleep every night, and using methods such as meditation and yoga to help alleviate stress, many people still have a difficult time managing.
Since some of the prescription medications prescribed for anxiety, depression, and stress can be harsh or dangerous, more people are looking for safe, alternative methods to help treat the symptoms associated with anxiety and depressive disorders. The good news is that many studies have shown that CBD may be effective in the fight against these disorders.
In fact, full-spectrum oils help to calm anxiety by quieting a racing mind as well as reducing chronic pain. Likewise, CBD oil helps combat depression though its anti-stress properties. Encouraging research studies have found that while it can take antidepressants weeks to take effect, the calming effects of CBD are felt almost immediately. On top of that, CBD’s effects last longer and have fewer side effects than prescription antidepressants.
Stress is another dangerous condition because if left unchecked, it can cause many unwanted and deadly health issues including:
- Weight Gain
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Muscle Tension
- A Weakened Immune System
- Digestive Issues and Ulcers
While living through an occasional stressful situation is to be expected, chronic stress can take a serious toll on the body. Moreover, elevated levels of cortisol, (the stress hormone) in the brain can severely affect learning, memory, and cognition.
Much like anxiety and depression, multiple studies have shown that CBD can also help to quell many of the symptoms listed above.
How CBD Works to Help Alleviate Issues Related To Anxiety Disorders
The biggest impact that CBD has on depression and anxiety disorders is that it helps to promote relaxation. When endocannabinoid receptors in the body respond to CBD, a natural relaxation of the mind and body takes place.
There are specific receptors within the body that help to control serotonin levels . As healthy levels of serotonin levels are maintained, mood, energy, and overall stress levels will be greatly improved. Therefore, it’s important to maintain steady levels of serotonin in the body so that you can feel happier and more relaxed overall.
What is the Best Dosing for CBD for Anxiety?
Just like with any supplement or prescription medication, proper dosing of CBD is important as well. Before we begin discussing how to find your best dose, please remember that everyone’s body is different. So, a dose that might work well for you might not work as well for someone else. Also, mid-range doses have more benefits than higher or lower doses.
In beginning a CBD health regimen, you should begin low and increase slowly. A great place to begin is by taking a ½ a dropper full of CBD oil (roughly 5mg) once a day for a week. After a week, check in with yourself to see how you are feeling. If you feel that you are good where you’re at, then stay where you are. However, if you feel that more CBD is needed, then it’s time to increase the dose.
When you increase your dose, the next step is to go to 5mg of CBD twice a day for a week. After another week, go ahead and reassess. Then, if you feel so inclined, increase the amount of CBD as needed.
It’s important to know that you cannot overdose on CBD. Having said that, the body still needs an ample amount of time to get used to both the CBD as well as the dosing. So be patient and enjoy the journey!
Can CBD Oil for Anxiety Be Legally Purchased?
The quick answer to this question is, yes. The longer explanation is that it is legal to purchase CBD online as long as it was made from hemp and has less than 0.3% THC in it.
Closing Thoughts: Should You Use CBD Oil for Anxiety?
If you’ve been grappling with depression or anxiety disorders or chronic stress, then CBD oil might be a great way to introduce a safe, natural, effective remedy into your life. Moreover, CBD is a fantastic alternative to dangerous and sometimes addictive prescription medications.
Regardless of whether you suffer from anxiety, depression, or stress, you should put some serious thought into making CBD oil a regular part of your natural healthcare regimen. If you are confused as to where to begin, why not start by selecting some products from the top five brands profiled in this article. FAB CBD is an amazing brand to go with because in our research, we found that the FAB CBD is involved from seed to sale in the creation of all of its products. Additionally, FAB CBD’s full-spectrum oils are clean, potent, pure, and highly effective. Not to be outdone, but cbdMD came in as a solid second place.
While prescription medications for anxiety, depression, and stress can take weeks before the full effects can be felt, the calming effects of CBD can be felt almost immediately. If you have any questions or concerns about starting a CBD regimen, never hesitate to talk with your primary care physician or specialist.
CBD has a host of calming benefits associated with it. And, regularly incorporating it into your lifestyle will allow you to reap all of those many benefits. If you’ve been struggling with anxiety, depression, or stress, now’s the time to take advantage of the healing power of CBD.
A number of studies have shown that CBD oil is highly effective in treating anxiety, depression and stress in a host of beneficial ways.
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.