Heading Back to the Office? How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety
Now that you’re back at the office, you can have lunch with your colleagues and compare COVID-19 masks with the sales department. Who makes a better mask, anyway? Local artists or fashion designers?
After many weeks of lounging in pajamas, your office clothes feel strange. You might even be disappointed you couldn’t finish the last season of “Orange Is the New Black” before leaving the ‘homebody life’ you’ve come to know and love.
When returning to work, you might be excited to see your co-workers, even the ones you don’t like, after a pandemic that hasn’t quite left yet.
Elevator rides? Takeout lines at lunch? How often does your employer sanitize the office, anyway? The virus could be anywhere. Perhaps the co-worker next to you, who swears they only have allergies, has COVID?
As the world returns to a new normal, going back to work isn’t so easy. The threat of a possible resurgence in COVID-19 cases is a worrisome, anxiety-inducing reality. Luckily, there is a way to manage the stress and pain of returning to work as the virus continues to spread.
Of course, we’re talking about CBD oil. It’s a natural wellness product that many people claim can reduce anxiety and many other mental health conditions or physical ailments such as depression or arthritis.
Keep reading to learn more about the latest $11 billion health-craze that’s sweeping the nation and get some tips on how to choose the best CBD oil for anxiety.
First, it’s essential to know what CBD is, how it affects the body and how it can help you reduce ruminating thoughts and other symptoms of a stressed, anxious mind.
What is CBD? (… And What It’s Not)
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a natural, popular chemical compound in hemp. Hemp and cannabis are very closely related. Genetically, they are the same species, and both produce CBD in varying levels, but there are some significant differences between hemp and marijuana:
- Hemp contains less than .3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by law. The cannabis plant contains more than .3 percent THC.
- Hemp is legal at the federal level throughout the United States, but marijuana, depending on state laws, is not.
- Hemp does not produce a “high” or intoxication like cannabis does when ingested.
CBD, and the intoxicating chemical compound THC, is one of the hundreds of compounds with the label “cannabinoid”. CBD and CBD oil should not be confused with hemp oil, which is a product sourced from hemp seeds.
Although closely related, hemp and CBD are not addictive or intoxicating; CBD is the contrary, helping people and improving lives every day.
CBD has garnered a lot of attention from celebrities like Mike Tyson and Kourtney Kardashian, and most importantly, CBD helps average Americans who deal with medical conditions like anxiety, chronic pain, sleep problems, PTSD, panic attacks and many other issues.
The health and wellness benefits of CBD are possible because of a complex system within the human body.
What are Endocannabinoids and Cannabinoids?
Discovered in the early 1990s, endocannabinoids are naturally found in our bodies and are part of our biological system. They help us maintain homeostasis. In other words, endocannabinoids help us regulate our body temperature, fluid balance, blood pressure, stress and much more by attaching themselves to cellular receptors.
There are two primary receptors in our bodies where endocannabinoids latch. They are CB1, the most abundant type in the brain and nervous system, and CB2, the most common type found outside the nervous system. The receptors are on the surface of cells, waiting for endocannabinoids to attach themselves to the site.
Cannabinoids are naturally found in nature and at high-levels in the hemp and marijuana plant. Cannabinoids are numerous, but how do they interact with our bodies?
The CB1 and CB2 receptors cannot differentiate the difference between the human body’s endocannabinoids or hemp cannabinoids. The CBD cannabinoid attaches itself to these receptors, thereby influencing the body’s homeostasis.
When someone ingests CBD, either by vaping, eating or absorbing through the skin, the cannabinoid travels through the bloodstream. Scientific research suggests that when CBD attaches to CB2 receptors , the cannabinoid raises levels of the anandamide, an endocannabinoid that a 2015 study indicates could enhance mood and reduce fear.
Now that you know how the endocannabinoid system works let’s see what science says about how the best CBD oil for anxiety can help you bring calm into your life.
CBD and Anxiety Relief
In the United States, anxiety is not uncommon; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.
Anxiety affects up to 40 million adults age 18 or older or 18.1 percent of the population every year. Still, only 36.9 percent of people affected by anxiety seek help. Causes of anxiety issues vary and usually develop from factors like genetics, personality, brain chemistry and life events.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders. Here are some of the most common conditions:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you have any of these anxiety disorders or experience panic attacks, conventional treatments include psychotherapy and the use of medications like antidepressants, benzodiazepines and buspirone, but there is an all-natural alternative — CBD oil.
As CBD becomes more popular, research scrambles to catch up. What research there is, appears to support the idea that CBD can help reduce symptoms associated with the many types of anxiety disorders, fears, and stress that surround the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scientific Research from the study ‘Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series’ published in The Permanente Journal stated, “CBD appears to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications,” and that “CBD displays promise as a tool for reducing anxiety in clinical populations.”
The team conducted a retrospective case series at a psychiatric clinic to study the effects of CBD on people who suffered from anxiety and sleep. The team found that out of 72 adult patients, 79.2 percent of people reported an anxiety decrease within the first month. What is even more astonishing is the fact that the patients’ anxiety levels remained low for the duration of the study.
Your Guide for Choosing the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety
Deciding where to buy CBD oil as a new or even regular CBD user can be a daunting, confusing task because there is a lot to consider. For example:
What method does the company use to extract CBD from hemp?
Does the company where you buy CBD from make full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or isolate CBD products? Which is best?
Does it contain healthful phytochemicals?
These are some things you need to consider when buying the best CBD oil for anxiety.
How is CBD extracted?
While searching for CBD brands, it’s important to consider how manufacturers extract CBD from hemp. Some companies use solvents that deplete some of hemp’s beneficial organic compounds. Here are the four primary methods of extraction you need to know:
Solvent Extraction is a simple process that uses alcohol, ethanol or butane to remove cannabinoids and terpenes from hemp. This method also removes chlorophyll and possibly other harmful contaminants from the plant that could end up in the final product.
CO2 Extraction uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull CBD and other phytochemicals from hemp. This technique has four different categories for extraction: supercritical, subcritical and mid-critical. Each type uses different amounts of pressure to extract the oil. When CO2 is pressurized, it acts as a safe and effective solvent without the safety risk associated with alcohol extraction.
Olive Oil Extraction is a safe, effective way CBD oil producers extract hemp’s phytochemicals. This involves decarboxylating hemp, meaning heating the plant material to activate CBD, and adding it to olive oil where cannabinoids dissolve. The hemp is then removed and all that remains is oil infused with CBD.
Pressurized Extraction is a process where CBD oil companies, like MONTKUSH, take whole, organic hemp flowers and place them into a rosin press to make a whole-plant extract. The press heats and adds 200 tons of pressure to the hemp. As the flower is squeezed and pulverized, high-quality rosin liquid exudes from the plant that later turns into some of the best CBD oil for anxiety on the market today.
Each method works to extract CBD from hemp, but not all processes produce as high-quality CBD oil as pressurized extraction does.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum or Isolate?
You want to spend your money on CBD from a company that sells high-quality products, and to do that, you need to know the three primary types of tinctures available. Here are the three extract types you need to know about:
Full-Spectrum CBD oil is the most superior type of CBD oil. It comprises of all hemp’s wellness and medicinal properties and contains phytochemicals like terpenes, essential oils and other cannabinoids. Full-spectrum CBD oil also has .3 percent THC or less.
Broad-Spectrum CBD oil is similar to full-spectrum CBD, but it’s missing just one thing. Producers remove THC from the final product.
CBD Isolate is just what you might think. It is a crystalline form of pure CBD but without any of hemp’s healthful phytochemicals like terpenes or essential oils. CBD isolates are also THC-free.
Each of the above CBD forms has its advantages, but only one has the Entourage Effect.
The Entourage Effect is a theory that suggests all compounds in the hemp plant — CBD, THC and all phytochemicals included — provide better mental and physical relief for users when taken together as full-spectrum CBD, like MONTKUSH, opposed to broad-spectrum or CBD isolates.
Your CBD Needs Phytochemicals
If CBD oil does not contain fine, bodacious organic chemicals like terpenes or other robust cannabinoids, you are losing out on the full-wellness effect hemp offers. High-quality CBD will have many different types of terpenes and cannabinoids.
Terpenes are aromatic oils within hemp that emit flavors like pine, citrus, berry or mint. Over 100 terpenes have been identified and are unique to each plant like personalities are to people. Some terpenes include limonene, pinene and linalool. Each terpene has benefits, and if you want to calm anxiety, use CBD oil containing high amounts of linalool because it contains anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties.
Cannabinoids, mentioned earlier, include more than just CBD — there are hundreds more! There’s also cannabichromene and cannabinol (CBN). While lesser known than CBD, CBN can potentially be a neuroprotectant, which means for anyone struggling with anxiety, CBN can possibly protect neurons from damage caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Further CBN research is needed to confirm this, but one study shows the cannabinoid’s potential.
Choose the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety
As COVID-19 continues to spread and the country reopens, returning to a cramped office might have you worried about catching a highly contagious disease. Luckily, CBD oil can help reduce anxiety and bring you some much needed relief.
CBD can help make those claustrophobic elevator rides and corporate lunches seem like 2019 again — but with cute, colorful masks that add flair to your office wardrobe.
Now that you know more about hemp, cannabidiol, the methods used to extract CBD and the types of oils companies offer, you can choose the best CBD oil for anxiety to relieve you of your worries without getting high and forgetting them altogether.
Choosing CBD oil created using methods like pressurized extraction, help preserve the most beneficial phytochemicals like cannabinoids and terpenes from becoming lost in the extraction process. Phytochemicals, when taken together, produce the entourage effect that provides more health benefits than when taken alone.
Return to the office with a clear and focused mind. Add CBD oil to your wellness plan to improve your overall health.
I Took CBD Oil Every Day for My Anxiety—Here’s What Went Down
Dana Myers, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and life coach based in Philadelphia. She has a special interest in how race, sex, gender, ethnicity, social status and competencies impact those in marginalized communities and aims to help her clients find purpose and peace in life.
Michelle Regalado is a seasoned editor, fact-checker, and content strategist with expertise in women’s lifestyle news.
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.
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: A large case series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041