While the research into CBD and cannabis, in general, is still relatively new and ongoing. In recent years, there have been studies supporting CBD for stress and anxiety-related symptoms.
A literature review into CBD’s effects on anxiety, stress, dementia, and depression conducted in 2020 showed CBD had promising effects on stress and anxiety. However, more research is needed to understand how CBD manages anxiety and stress-related symptoms.
An additional experiment showed that CBD positively affected those with social anxiety in a public speaking environment by helping to reduce nervousness and debilitating cognitive impairment or “blanking.” Though the experiment was small, it shows promise for future research.
With limited research, it’s difficult to point to a specific type, dosage, or treatment plan for CBD in stress management. While like many other treatments, it can take time and experimentation to find the right type and dosage to help with your individual needs. In some cases, CBD may not work.
If you’re interested in CBD for stress, make sure you start at a low dosage and monitor your response before slowly increasing. This will help you find the sweet spot for your individual needs. As with any other treatment, ensure you’re getting the professional advice and support of your medical professional with any new medications and supplements, including CBD.
Pros and Cons to Using CBD for Stress
Like with any treatment, CBD has many benefits and some disadvantages that need to be considered when deciding to try CBD for stress. These pros and cons include:
It’s natural and non-addictive.
Not readily available everywhere.
There are no psychoactive effects.
Can be expensive.
Well tolerated and safe for most people (always check with your doctor first).
Quality varies, sometimes drastically, between brands and types of CBD.
Can be smoked or vaped, taken as edibles or oils, capsules, topical, etc.
Some people may experience side effects, or it may not work for them.
It can promote feelings of relaxation and aid in sleep.
In some small studies, it’s been shown to aid in the reduction of nervousness and cognitive impairment associated with stress and anxiety.
Potential Side Effects of Using CBD for Stress
One of the significant benefits of a natural supplement like CBD is that it is generally safe. However, you should definitely check with your doctor before starting a new medication or supplement.
Despite being safe and well-tolerated in most people, some people experience side effects with the use of CBD; these include:
Diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset.
Side effects typically occur at higher doses or when CBD is taken orally alongside a high-fat meal. A high-fat meal can aid in absorption and thus the likelihood of side effects.
CBD may also interact with certain medications and supplements. You should always consult your doctor or pharmacist before starting CBD if you take other medications and supplements.
Tips for Using CBD for Stress
With CBD still being researched for use in various conditions like stress, there are no real regulated treatment plans to help guide you through trying CBD. There are, however, some essential tips to help ensure you’re using CBD safely.
How Much Should You Take?
When to Use.
Choosing a CBD Product.
When trying CBD for stress, or when CBD is new to you for any reason, it’s important always to go slow. First, start with a low dose and see how you react before increasing your dosage. Then, pay attention to what effects you gain from what dosage and stop as soon as the desired result is achieved.
Similar to my previous point about increasing your dosage slowly, it’s essential to monitor your response as you do. I recommend keeping a journal or notes in your phone app that tracks how much you took and what, if anything, you felt, in addition to any potential side effects. This will help you determine your “sweet spot” – the dosage you need to get the desired outcomes.
If you’re using CBD for stress, it can be hard to determine when to take it. Many struggle most with the effects of stress at the end of the day in the form of sleep disturbances, tension, and inability to relax. In this case, taking CBD a few hours before bed or when you’re ready to “unwind” for the day will be most beneficial.
Try to limit your use to once a day when you experience the most detrimental symptoms of stress. If you find that over time the effects of the CBD dosage don’t last as long or work as well. You can slowly increase in a controlled manner until you achieve the desired effects again.
When choosing the best CBD for stress, make sure you pay attention to the amount of THC/CBD in the product you select. While technically, CBD is not psychoactive, there are still very minimal amounts of THC in the product after extraction, especially when using different strains of cannabis. In most cases, if you’re looking for strictly CBD, you want to ensure your product has >1% THC.
What is Full-Spectrum CBD?
Full-spectrum CBD refers to CBD products that contain all the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant it’s being extracted from. This includes both CBD and THC; however, in most cases, THC levels remain well below 1% – typically .05% or lower.
This type of CBD allows you to get the full therapeutic benefits of all the flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. There’s some evidence to support that all of these combined compounds positively impact the effects of the product and how our body responds to it.
What is Broad Spectrum CBD?
Broad Spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. Still, THC is removed completely, leaving only trace amounts of the compound.
This is great for those interested in the full health benefits of cannabinoids but are sensitive to or are worried about the consumption of THC.
What is CBD Isolate?
CBD Isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol. With CBD Isolate, all the other cannabinoids have been removed, leaving just the CBD compounds.
This is the perfect choice for those that are only interested in the benefits of CBD and those that cannot consume any amount of THC. This allows them to benefit from the effects of CBD without interference from THC or other cannabis-derived compounds.
Different Forms of CBD
Like other products derived from the cannabis plant, CBD comes in many forms.
Edibles are consumables infused with CBD that are eaten to gain the desired effects. The most common edibles are gummies and other candy, including baked goods, teas, and other beverages.
Edibles have precise dosages of CBD, so it helps take the guesswork out of it. Still, even in places where cannabis products are legal – edibles are not strictly regulated, meaning the dosage may vary slightly from product to product.
Edibles are extremely popular as they often deliver the least amount of cannabis flavor. They are discrete and portable and tend to be more affordable than tinctures and oils.
Flower or bud is more popular for those that prefer cannabis containing both THC and CBD. However, certain strains have minimal amounts of THC and are predominately CBD that can be smoked.
In these cases, the flower or bud is crushed and rolled into a joint or used in a pipe or bong and smoked as you would any other cannabis. The biggest issue with this method of taking CBD is that controlling the dosage.
This is a less popular choice for those who don’t already smoke cannabis due to having less control over the dosage. It is not legal and accessible in many places and a general aversion to smoking substances.
Pre-rolls are just pre-made joints containing the CBD-dominant bud or flower of your choice. This means you don’t need to worry about rolling your own joint, having papers, etc. They typically come in small packs, similar to how you buy cigarettes.
Oils & Tinctures
To create oils and tinctures, CBD is infused in any number of carrier oils or liquids, such as MCT oil or coconut oil. These oils are then commonly placed under the tongue using a dropper, held there to allow absorption into the mucosa for several minutes before swallowing the rest.
Tinctures sometimes refer to liquid CBD products that use alcohol-based extracts as the carrier liquid instead of oils. Occasionally these tinctures will contain other natural herbs or flavorings such as peppermint.
Oils and tinctures allow you to control dosage easily and have a slightly quicker absorption due to the interaction with the mucosa, which contains thousands of tiny capillaries. However, oils can be off-putting to some, and they typically have a strong cannabis flavor and unpleasant mouth-feel.
CBD-infused topicals are less common when treating stress; however, they are common in pain management.
Various lotions, creams, and balms are infused with CBD and applied as you would any other cream or lotion. The CBD then soaks into the skin and provides relief from pain symptoms.
How to Choose the Best CBD for Stress
As CBD increases in popularity and cannabis products become legal in many places, the range of available products can get overwhelming. Before choosing the best CBD for stress, consider these tips:
Pick a Form That Works for You
One of the simplest ways to narrow your search for the best CBD product for you is to decide what form works best or appeals most to you and your lifestyle.
Some people don’t want to worry about measuring out doses, need something they can easily transport, or don’t like the taste of cannabis. In this case, an edible may be the best form of CBD for stress.
Similarly, some people like to control their own dosage and want a slightly faster absorption to better monitor their effects. If they don’t mind the taste of cannabis or find an effective way to mask the flavor, then oil or tincture may be ideal for them.
Decide what you prefer when consuming the product and go from there.
Know What You’re Looking to Gain From CBD
Go into your search knowing what you expect to gain from CBD. This means that if you’re looking for CBD to help with stress, then chances are you shouldn’t be reaching for a CBD lotion or cream that’s targeted for pain.
When it comes to stress specifically, you’ll likely be looking for something that helps you relax, relieves tension, and potentially enables you to sleep. In that case, you should be looking for something to easily monitor and control the dose, as an oil, edible, or capsule.
Choose a Type of CBD
Decide whether you’re interested in a broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, or isolate version CBD. For some, this will depend entirely on what is legal and available where they live. For those with a choice, you need to consider:
If you have a known sensitivity to THC.
Are you interested in the overall benefits of all the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant?
Would you prefer just the benefits of CBD without any interference from other compounds?
For those with a sensitivity to THC, you may want to reach for a CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD depending on the level of intolerance. For those interested in the overall benefits of cannabinoids, a full-spectrum CBD may be what you reach for.
Pay Attention to Concentration and Dosage
Regardless of what you choose – oils, edibles, flower, etc. – every product will have its own unique concentration of CBD. Typically, this ranges from 5mg to 100mg.
If you’re just starting, it’s best to look for a product that has a low concentration of CBD that is easy to increase as you find what works for you. Something along the lines of 5-10mg, ideally.
Once you’ve found the dosage that works for you, you have more room to play around with the products available within that dosage. So, for example, if you find that 30mg is the sweet spot to gain the effects you’re looking for, you can buy that gummy that has 30mg of CBD or take two 14mg droppers of CBD oil, etc.
Check for THC
This is especially important for those sensitive to or worried about consuming THC and those living in places where cannabis products are legal.
If you’re looking for a CBD-dominant product with no THC, you want to ensure you’re getting a CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD that shows THC levels of >0.5mg.
THC levels will typically be listed as >1-2% for those less concerned about CBD and want a full-spectrum product. But, if you live in a place where cannabis is legal, you will need to watch for higher concentrations of THC if that’s not something you’re interested in.
For example, a product or strain can be high CBD but still have a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC, like 20mg:20mg. On the other hand, some products may be CBD dominant but still contain THC over the usual limit of CBD products, such as 5-10% instead of the usual >1%.
Be mindful of the packaging of the product you’re interested in buying, especially when THC is a concern for you.
Best CBD for Stress
Okay, so you’ve got most of the information you need to make an informed decision about the best CBD for stress for you. I’ve rounded up some of the best CBD products available for stress to make things even easier. Let’s take a look.
These products there chosen based on their effectiveness, accessibility, and overall reputation by actual users.
This CBD oil comes in a convenient starter size for those looking to experiment with CBD for the first time. The 10mL bottle will be just enough to help you find what dose works for you, with a reasonably low CBD concentration of 17mg per 1mL that is easy to titrate up.
Type (Oil/Flower/Edible): Oil
Price Range: $24 – 30
THC/CBD Levels: 17mg per 1mL of CBD.
Best For: CBD Newbies
Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil is mint chocolate flavored to help mask the sometimes off-putting cannabis flavor that can deter some people from CBD use. The hemp used is USA grown and extracted using CO2 extraction, an environmentally friendly process.
100% CO2 extracted is an environmentally friendly process.
USA grown hemp.
Small size is perfect for those starting.
17mg/1mL is the perfect low dose to help with discovering the perfect amount for you.
Labs Cannabis CBD Isolate is a flavorless and colorless powder, making it easy to incorporate into recipes, drinks, and more. It’s 98+% pure CBD that’s great for introducing new CBD users to the benefits of CBD.
Type (Oil/Flower/Edible): Powder
Price Range: $20 – 35
THC/CBD Levels: 98-100% CBD, 0% THC
Best: Overall for New Users.
The powder makes it easy to find the correct dosage for your needs. The lack of flavor makes it easy for new users who may be put off by traditional cannabis flavors.
Flavorless and Colourless.
Easy to add to recipes, foods, and beverages.
Easy to control dosage.
98+% Pure CBD.
Suitable for those intolerant to THC.
No other beneficial compounds are found in the cannabis plant.
Question: Does CBD Work to Relieve Stress?
Answer: Yes, CBD can relieve stress by creating a feeling of calm, reducing tension, and aiding in sleep. However, CBD does not work for everyone, and you need to find the correct dose and form of CBD for you to be effective.
Question: How Old Do You Have to be to Use CBD for Stress?
Answer: The laws around age restrictions of CBD products will vary depending on where you’re located.
CBD is approved by the FDA as a treatment for epilepsy and may be given to children for this condition; however, it’s always best to talk to your pediatrician to determine if CBD is safe for your child.
Question: How Much CBD Should I Take to Relieve Stress?
Answer: The amount of CBD you need to relieve stress varies for each individual. I’d suggest that you start with a low dose of 5-10mg and monitor your response. From there, you can slowly titrate up the dosage until you find what works for you.
Some individuals find stress relief from as little as 10mg, whereas others may require higher amounts such as 150mg or more. Also, the form of CBD can impact absorption and overall effects.
CBD can be a beneficial tool for helping to manage stress. Still, it can be a daunting process with all the options available out there. Consider narrowing down the best CBD for stress by deciding what form of CBD you would prefer, considering your tolerance to THC, and assessing the benefits you’re looking for.
From there, you can find a product that suits your needs and slowly work to discover the dosage that will give you optimal stress-relieving benefits of CBD. If you’re looking for the best overall option for new users, I recommend the Labs Cannabis CBD isolate. If you liked this article, let me know in the comments below. Want more stellar tips? Check out our website.