Graphic of some of the most common ways to take CBD

Oils, Tinctures, Edibles or Vapes: How to take CBD for Anxiety?

I’ve been a CBD user and advocate since 2016 and can attest how helpful it has been to reduce my anxiety. Back then, CBD wasn’t as popular, only tinctures were available and just a few websites were providing useful information. But today, you can find CBD all over the Internet, touted as a cure-all miraculous medication.

Let’s be blunt, we’re having a CBD invasion. There are new products and trends ubiquitously popping up every week, from fancy lattes to CBD lubes for your lady bits—yeah, the bedroom didn’t escape the invasion—and even sophisticated robots that help you pick the right product fast and easy, watch out budtenders! … And we thought we’ve seen it all.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think is fantastic to have so many options and easy online access to them, but if you’re starting your CBD journey, it might be overwhelming.

With so many and different products flooding the market, how do you know which is the best one to cope with anxiety?

Stay with me, in this article I’ll show you the most popular options and their cons and pros, so you can pick the best CBD for your needs.

Table of Contents

icon to illustrate anxiety

Is CBD Good for Anxiety?

Managing anxiety isn’t a simple task. It may take time and a lot of patience to find the right regimen for you. Many rely on self-treatment which involves lifestyle modifications, but sometimes, these methods aren’t enough, so professional therapy and even medication may be needed.

If your regimen is falling short and you’re not finding the relief you’re looking for, considering alternatives like CBD could be a great takeaway.

No doubt, science is way behind all the marketing and hype around CBD. Although some preliminary research has proven its effectiveness in lowering stress and helping with anxiety disorders, most of the health claims are anecdotal.

But lack of data has not stopped patients—insert me here—from guinea-pigging with the massive potential benefits of CBD. Overwhelming testimonials from people around the world are vouching for these benefits.

RELATED POST

CBD is everywhere, but do you know…..

What is CBd infographic

Some studies suggest that CBD wards off anxiety by stimulating neural regeneration and encouraging neurotransmitter systems:

Let me elaborate.

NEURAL REGENERATION

Aging, chronic stress, and distress can damage and shrink your brain. For most of the 20th century, scientists believed human brain development only happened during childhood.

So, if your brain couldn’t produce new neurons and you were constantly in distress, eventually it would lead to complete brain breakdown.

But it turns out—that’s NOT true. Your brain CAN generate brand new neurons well into your 60s, 70s, 80s—and beyond. This amazing process is known as neurogenesis.

Emerging research shows that CBD may boost this regenerative process and stimulate the growth of new neurons, which makes CBD a neuroprotective.

NEUROTRANSMITTER SYSTEMS

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send messages throughout the body, to affect a wide variety of physical and psychological functions, including mood, fear, sleep, heart rate and appetite.

CBD can enhance the production of feel-good neurotransmitters like anandamide, GABA and serotonin in your brain. These neurotransmitters can switch your nerves ON and OFF.

CBD may enhance serotonin's action by interacting with three serotonin receptors
RELATED POST

Now, let’s move to the most frequently asked question—because I know that’s why you’re here.

What Is the Best Way to Take CBD for Anxiety?

I’ll answer you with another question, how severe is your anxiety?

There are different ways to use CBD for mental health. From oils to lotions to vapes, capsules or candies, there’s no one type that works best, their efficacy depends on the condition and the person using it and how severe this condition is.

So, it’s not only important to know what the best consumption method is but also the bioavailability of the method in question.

In a nutshell, bioavailability refers to the amount of CBD that goes into your bloodstream and how much of it is actually absorbed to provide an effect.

Keeping that in mind, the bioavailability of CBD varies based on the way it’s delivered and the CBD concentration in the product you’re taking.

This way, the more CBD per serving, the more bang for your buck.

For anxiety, these are the three most popular methods to take CBD : vaporizers, tinctures, and edibles.

CBD Vaporizers

Vaping rapidly became the in-vogue way to take CBD among millennials. It’s trending for several reasons: both portability & convenience, and its perception as a healthy alternative to smoking.

Undoubtedly vaping is safer than smoking, but in general it has not been proved that vaping is 100% safe.

Reports of lung illness and even loss of lives have been attributed to vaping in recent months. In a perfect world the only thing your lungs should be inhaling is fresh air, but if you choose to vape, be especially careful of what’s in the product your inhaling.

Vaping involves inhaling CBD directly into the lungs, and this is the fastest way to feel the effects of CBD. You will need a vaporizer or a vape pen, and a CBD juice especially crafted to be inhaled. You can find 2 types of CBD for vaping:

  • E-liquids
  • Concentrates.

Although vaping isn’t the safest way to take CBD for anxiety it still offers benefits, let’s dive into the pros and cons.

PROS

  • A few puffs of CBD e-liquid will send your mind to relaxation zone in just minutes. When you inhale it, CBD passes through your lungs and it's quickly absorbed into your bloodstream, rather than going through the digestive system.
  • Compared to other methods, vaping CBD comes with a greater rate of bioavailability, up to 50% in some cases and also with decreased breakdown rates, meaning that more of the compound is absorbed into your body.
  • Vape pens are cool, discreet and portable.

CONS

  • The effects of vaping might last just a few hours. They're both fast and effective but not long-lasting.
  • Vaping can come with health risks. You should be careful of the amount of juice you're taking and at what temperature you’re heating it. Inhaling too much can cause coughing and nausea. It's not recommended for people with pre-existing lung conditions.
  • Besides CBD extract, terpenes, and cannabinoids, e-liquids usually contain additives like propenyl glycol and polyethylene glycol, which can be harmful at high temperatures. Remember you shouldn’t vape oils or tinctures, only e-liquids are suitable for inhalation.
  • VAPI, a strange lung disease has been linked to people who reported the regular use of e-cigarettes or vape pens.
  • Vape oil dosing can be tricky. It depends on how much you inhale and what's your e-liquid concentration.
  • Their high potency might be too much for some people, especially for beginners.
RELATED POST

WHEN TO VAPE?

If you're having anxiety attacks or panic attacks

Sometimes, you can experience anxiety in a sudden episode or have an out of the blue panic attack. Vaping is especially useful for these cases.

When you have a panic attack, you want medicine that provides fast relief. Vaping hits home quickly and it’s the best option.

If you're trying to quit smoking

If you’re trying to quit smoking, an e-cigar can be a healthier way to do it, especially if you’re inhaling a high-quality CBD juice.

HEADS UP:

VAPE AT YOUR OWN RISK

There are serious health concerns associated with vaping. Until more studies into the long-term effects of vaping are conducted, it’s better for non-smokers to entirely skip vaping. It’s still up to you though.

VAPI—Vaping-Associated Pulmonary Injury—appears to be caused by cheap vape pens from the black market, I can’t stress enough the importance of buying good stuff.

In my case, I vape on rare occasions, I believe that vaping should be used as a booster for extreme circumstances, when you need immediate relief.

For daily wellness and balance, tinctures and oils are the go-to.

CBD Tinctures & Oils

Sublingual oils and tinctures are the second most bioavailable form of CBD and my favorite one. It’s also the most highly recommended way of ingestion, all you need to do is to drop a bit of oil under your tongue, let it stay for 60 seconds and swallow.

You will feel relief between the next 30-60 minutes.

The main difference between oils and tinctures is the base. For oils, the base might be coconut or olive oil, while tinctures are alcohol-based.

We can classify both oils and tinctures as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolates.

CBD tinctures often contain additional ingredients such as herbs, essential oils and also a variety of flavors like mint, chocolate or peach, which make them tasty.

Here are the pros and cons…

PROS

  • Dosing with oils and tinctures is a breeze, they usually come with a dropper. If you're a beginner, you need to micro-dose: start with one drop, and increase your dosage slowly depending on how you feel.
  • The market offers a wide range of strengths and consumer options.
  • Easy absorption with a bioavailability of up to 35%.
  • They can be added to food or beverages, as well as used sublingually and topically, opening up endless variety for application.
  • Better cost-benefit than other products.
  • The effects last between 4 to 6 hours after taking it.
  • Tinctures come in tasty flavors.

CONS

  • Some hemp-averse can’t stand oil’s taste.
  • Results may vary for each person.
  • Oils may contain saturated fats.
  • Enzymes in the saliva can degrade it.
RELATED POST

WHEN TO USE OILS?

If you suffer from any type of anxiety

Oils and tinctures are the most popular and widespread way to use CBD for any type of anxiety, you can basically take them on any occasion.

I particularly like to spread micro-doses across the day, one in the morning to give me a boost of energy, the second one after my workouts to fight inflammation and the last one at night, right before bed to fight insomnia.

If you have insomnia

Anxiety can contribute to disrupted sleep, and insomnia can make the symptoms of anxiety disorders worse, thus preventing recovery.

If your condition makes it difficult to sleep, sublingual CBD oil or tincture before bed will relax you and help you sleep tight.

CBD Edibles

In the CBD world, edibles cover any foods that are infused with it. You can find all sorts of products in the market, from beverages to gummies, marshmallows, candies, infused chocolates and much more.

You can even make your own edibles at home. This can be done by adding a few drops of a high-quality tincture to your post-workout smoothie or infusing oil in your favorite ice cream.

PROS

  • Edibles are a tasty treat, especially the sweet ones.
  • They are discreet, nobody will suspect a bag of gummies, so they're the most convenient for trips.
  • Long-lasting effects, up to 8 hours.
  • Simple dosage process.
  • You can make your own.
  • Edibles are less potent, which may be more suitable for some people.

CONS

  • Low bioavailability, they must be digested first, which makes their absorption less than 10%.
  • It may take up to 4 hours for them to kick in, not the best option when you need relief the soonest.
  • If you have a sweet tooth, you may end up eating a whole bag of gummies and candies during a bout of anxiety.
  • They're costly; you could pay more per milligram of CBD.
  • CBD-infused food and drinks are prohibited in some states because they have not approval from the FDA.
RELATED POST

WHEN TO PICK EDIBLES?

There’s still stigma and some lingering trouble surrounding CBD, so you better be careful. It made headlines when a grandma was arrested in Disney for carrying CBD oil…. I can’t even!

If you need to cope with General Anxiety Disorder and Unease

If you have GAD, you experience general feelings of dread or apprehension. Slow-release medications like edibles offer prolonged relief that helps you handle the rigors and burdens of daily life much better through the day.

If you travel frequently or want to take CBD while you’re at work

Do you want something that is easy to take with you everywhere? Edibles may be the answer for you. They’re fun and discreet, and your best bet to get the benefits of CBD without drawing attention.

Although TSA is now cool with CBD, agents at the security checkpoint always have the final say whether any item makes it through or not.

Is It Safe to Combine Different Types of CBD?

CBD has been ruled as safe and non-toxic. The World Health Organization confirmed that. There’s no way you could fatally overdose, but there are still side effects, like headaches, dizziness, lethargy, nausea, dry mouth, diarrhea, and low blood pressure.

These effects will disappear in just a few hours, but you don’t want a crappy day, right? So, always start slow with one product until you find your sweet spot, then you can combine products.

Once you find the right dose and depending on your needs, it’s a good idea to undergo a bit of self-experimentation. Combining CBD products gives you a good opportunity to find out if a fast-acting solution or a slow-burner suit you better.

On the whole, combining different CBD products is safe as long as you pay attention to your body, watch out for side-effects and control your dosage. 

How Much CBD Should You Take?

Taking CBD for easing your anxiety may be a great choice if you want a natural way of allaying your mind. And now that you know the methods to take CBD, you need the dosage information.

Unfortunately, there’s not a magic number for dosing CBD. It’s too soon for science to determine standard dosages. Indeed, this lack of guidelines is one of the reasons cannabidiol is swimming in muddy waters, all this confusion have us here wondering if CBD is a drug, a supplement or a superhero.

Heads up: It’s important to note that I’m not a licensed professional, and this article was not intended to give you any medical advice. Statements made in this article have also not been evaluated by the FDA and aren’t intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

RELATED POST

Even without the FDA review, there are some general recommendations to consider:

  • Everybody has their own personal CBD protocol. Some people need a certain “threshold” for activation, while others don’t. It’s about experimenting with different things in different amounts to find out what works for you. Expect a bit of testing and tweaking.
  • Be sure to read product labels closely to ensure you identify the amount of CBD your product contains. Also, check the CBD to THC ratio if you are taking a full-spectrum formula.
  • Don’t take CBD in combination with other drugs without professional guidance, experts believe that CBD interferes with medications like antidepressants, benzodiazepines, blood thinners, and pain killers.
  • The age-old adage “start slow and go slow” is your best bet if you’re new to CBD. Try micro-dosing to personalize your dose, start off by taking a single drop of CBD oil each day for a week. Take careful note of how you feel. And add more accordingly.
  • Stick with it, CBD works in subtle ways to make you feel better. Some people experience instant results but for others, it may take time. So, don’t expect epiphanies on week one.
  • Daily use of CBD at consistent, regular times can increase its effectiveness.
  • Less is more, the premise is to find the minimum amount of CBD that provides the maximum results.
  • There’s a catch when consuming edibles if they contain a full-spectrum formula with traces of THC. You better be careful about how many gummies you eat during the day. It’s easy to eat too much especially if you have a sweet tooth. Remember that edibles effects are long-lasting and each gummy you eat adds to the level of THC in your bloodstream.
  • Vaping the right dose of CBD is a bit tricky, it doesn’t only depend on the concentration of the juice but also on your inhaling technique.

Final Thoughts

The approach to calm anxiety must include looking for those pieces that are out of balance, identify what triggers your fear, and learn safe ways to cope with it. This is where therapy is so beneficial.

As a CBD advocate and long-term user, I praise for its benefits in mental and physical health, but it may not be the same for some people. Truth is, cannabidiol doesn’t work in the same way for everyone. We all have different body chemistry and lifestyle needs.

Everyone has a unique experience with anxiety, and your doctor will help you adjust your treatment. As same with medication, you may have to try more than one CBD product before finding something that works for your symptoms.

It’s undeniable that CBD is here to stay, and we as consumers need further research studies proving its true benefits and regulations to guarantee safety, efficacy, and quality.

For now, it’s up to us to be cautious and put in the work to learn and research before purchasing. It’s no secret that the market is flooded with snake oils and crappy products that could do more harm than good.

Stay away from cheap garbage and be savvy finding high-quality CBD. Your health is your greatest wealth.

What’s your favorite delivery method to take CBD? You know I love to hear from other people’s experiences, drop some lines below and make my day. If you know someone who may find this helpful, please share.