The Best CBD For Anxiety
Forget the meditation cushions and the mindfulness apps — if you’re feeling anxious these days, it may be time to consider adding some CBD to your self-care routine.
Even as waves of Covid-19 variants have ebbed and flowed, so cases of anxiety rose during the pandemic. New data from the American Psychiatric Association last week found that nearly half of all Americans (48%) are anxious about the possibility of getting sick, with more than one-third saying that coronavirus is still having a “serious impact on their mental health.“
People are looking to things like supplements and natural remedies to help soothe and self-medicate. One way they’re coping with the craziness: cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD. CBD works by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoids system (ECS), which regulates a range of functions and processes in the body that include sleep, appetite, memory, and mood. Experts say proper dosages can go a long way toward relieving things like OCD and anxious behaviors by restoring balance in your ECS.
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“This system has an important role in attempting to support and maintain a sense of homeostasis (balance) in the body,” explains Jason Mitchell, a naturopathic doctor and the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of wellness brand, HempFusion. “CBD interacts in such a way that can lead to a relaxing effect in the body, and it does this in a manner that is not drug-like or as a sedative.” Put simply: CBD could help you calm down, without getting you high.
According to a study by consumer insights firm Brightfield Group, 48% of cannabis users have stocked up or plan to stock up on CBD in the near future. The numbers correlate to a spike in e-commerce sales of CBD, confirms Brightfield Group’s Managing Director, Bethany Gomez. “More than 39% of consumers plan to use CBD more frequently during the crisis,” Gomez adds, “particularly to alleviate anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress.”
It’s important to note that while CBD may help curb some of your anxiety, it’s not a catch-all cure (the FDA says it’s continuing to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of CBD products in the marketplace). “CBD supplements can help support a healthy response to specific conditions, including maintaining normal levels of stress and anxiousness,” says Dr. Jeremy Stewart, the Chief Scientist and VP of Scientific Affairs at Gaia Herbs, whose line of products include supplements using hemp extracts containing CBD. “However,” Stewart cautions, “[CBD] supplements should not be looked at as an alternative to a medication that someone’s doctor has prescribed for them.”
Another thing to keep in mind: not all products labelled as “hemp” or “CBD” on the market are the same. To get the full effects of cannabidiol, look for products using hemp-derived CBD (or cannabis-derived, in legal states) which extracts the CBD compound from the leaves, stems and stalks of the hemp plant, harnessing its full therapeutic benefits. If a product doesn’t have the CBD label (say, these “hemp oils” on Amazon), it’s because their ingredients are extracts of the hemp seed, and not the actual plant. They’ll still provide some benefits, but they won’t contain any cannabinoids, including CBD.
If you’re experiencing serious flare-ups of anxiety, it’s best to contact your doctor or medical provider. For everyone else, here are some of our favorite CBD products to try, to help you manage your mood, quell your anxiety and stay calm during this unprecedented time.
1. Caliper CBD
Caliper CBD’s perfectly precise packets contain 20mg of odorless, flavorless, dissolvable CBD powder that can be easily added to any food or beverage for temporary relief from stress, occasional aches, or restless nights. Caliper was founded by CBD skeptics who recognized a need for a quality, science-backed CBD in an industry rife with misinformation and unfounded claims.
Caliper says its clinical studies have shown its CBD powder is 6.5 times more bioavailable in the first 15 minutes and 4.5 times more bioavailable overall than oil-based CBD. Why we like Caliper: it offers you the flexibility of CBD on your terms, wherever and whenever you need it most. Sprinkle this into a glass of water, your morning coffee or a cup of tea before bed.
2. Lord Jones Royal Oil
Lord Jones’ “Royal Oil” has won over fans in the beauty community as a nourishing oil for the face and body, but the broad-spectrum CBD formula can be taken as a tincture too, to help soothe anxiety and promote a sense of calm. Each full dropper contains approximately 40mg of CBD; each half dropper contains approximately 20mg of CBD. Note: Because there are no additives or extra ingredients, expect a stronger aroma of the cannabis plant.
3. Papa & Barkley “Releaf” Capsules
One serving a day of Papa & Barkley’s popular “releaf” capsule go could a long way toward easing aches and pains associated with physical activity, stress and anxiety. Each capsule contains 30mg of CBD in a precisely-measured dose. The capsule works great to help manage stress and to enhance your mood; if you have more acute physical pains — and live in California — Papa & Barkley offer a 1:3 THC-rich capsule as well, which has worked great in my household of three active (read: constantly sore) roommates.
4. Prismatic Plants “Good Day” Tincture
Prismatic Plants’ “Good Day” tincture combines all the benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil and adaptogenic herbs in an easy-to-take tincture that includes 10mg of CBD (for anxiety) and 3mg of CBDa (a naturally-occurring cannabidiolic acid that is said to help with inflammation). Bay Area-based Prismatic Plants combines cannabis with traditional herbalism, and the adaptogens in this formula (basically plants said to contain healing properties) help increase focus and calm, while decreasing feelings of anxiousness. If you need something to help you sleep, the company also makes a “Good Night” version that adds things like mood-bossting (but non-hallucinogenic) reishi mushrooms, and ashwagandha, an Indian root known for its pacifying properties.
5. Kin Slips “Park Life” Sublingual Strips
Like a breath mint strip laced with CBD, these “Park Life” strips dissolve under the tongue for faster, more direct relief than traditional edibles, which have to be digested before taking effect. In our experience, the strips have a near-immediacy of smoking or vaping, and the 10:1 ratio of CBD to THC works well to help take the edge off. Worth noting: these Kin Slips used to have an “earthy” flavor, but this new batch has an improved flavor with hints of fruit, mint and turmeric.
6. Life Elements CBD Bath Bomb
Life Elements says its “Mercury in Retrograde Bath Bomb” helps to “thwart cosmic chaos” with 250mg of hemp-derived CBD and essential oils like frankincense, myrrh, and a touch of palo santo. Hokey language aside, this CBD bath bomb does wonders for sore muscles and mild cramps, in addition to helping with stress and tension. Drop it in a bath of warm water, let it fizz and dissipate, then sit and soak. Prefer a lower dosage? Get the same bath bomb in 50mg, 100mg or 200mg versions starting at $14 on The Grommet.
7. SMILE “Balance” CBD Gummies
One of the easiest ways to add CBD into your daily routine is through these multivitamins, which contain 10mg of CBD per serving. The mix of essential vitamins and minerals (think magnesium, vitamin B12, and zinc) helps to better support your immune system and prevent adrenal fatigue, while the CBD helps to regulate your body’s response to stress. Bonus: the gummies taste like passion fruit.
8. Her Highness CBD Pre-Roll
Prefer to smoke? This CBD pre-roll from female-fronted brand, Her Highness, delivers 0.5g of Connecticut-sourced CBD per joint. The brand says a couple puffs could help to combat anxiety, insomnia, depression, pain and cramps. What we like: the smooth-settling formula eases you into a more mellow state, rather than hitting you all at once. This set includes a pre-rolled joint and gold lighter, which you’ll need to fill with your own butane before you light up.
9. B GREAT Relax Shots
There are a ton of CBD-infused drinks on the market right now, from Sweet Reason (a sort of CBD-meets-La Croix beverage) to the party-ready G and Juice (based out of California, naturally). But to really settle your most anxious moments, try taking these “Relax” shots from B GREAT. Each shot contains 20mg of full-spectrum hemp CBD, along with melatonin, gingko biloba (a Chinese plant known for its therapeutic properties), and lavender water. Half a shot helps take the edge off; a full shot lulls you into a balmy, blissful state to ease your thoughts and fears — at least for a little while.
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