Cannabidiol (CBD) for treating anxiety

I have recently begun experimenting with cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for anxiety. I have been treated with conventional pharmaceuticals and therapy off and for 40 years, without any positive results, so I decided to try something outside the box. CBD seems to be getting a lot of press lately, so I figured what the hell.

I did my research and found a supplier online that has good reviews and third party lab tests. I started with a full spectrum tincture, 2500mg of CBD from hemp oil in 30mL of coconut oil. The bottle says one serving is one dropper full, or about 83mg of CBD. Based on my research, many people start with much less, maybe 30-40mg per day. I tried two drops under the tongue, twice a day. At about 10mg per drop, that is 40mg.

The first day I thought I detected a mild relaxation quality. Nothing miraculous, just moved the needle enough to say, “hmmm…”

The second day I tried 4 drops (about half a dropper full), three times a day, or about 120mg. This time I didn’t note any change in my anxiety level.

The third day, I tried a full dropper, three times a day. Not only did I not experience any reduction in anxiety level, I felt like it had increased somewhat.

I decided to back off to 2 drops, three times a day. In the mean time, I ordered a vaping pen and CBD cartridge, to see if a different delivery system made a difference.

I am a former smoker and long time marijuana user up until 20 years ago, when i quit both. So vaping should not be completely foreign to me. I chose a strawberry lemonade flavor cartridge with 200mg of CBD in .5mL of triethyl citrate, terpenes and natural flavors.

I found the vaping to be kind of nasty, to be honest. It didn’t taste like strawberry lemonade. It tasted like a bad cigarette, or a joint rolled out of old roaches. It also tasted kind of hot.

I have been using the CBD for five days, with varying results. Hopefully, there will be a cumulative effect as I use it daily over the next few weeks.

I would be interested in anyone else’s experience in using CBD products for the treatment of anxiety.

Different delivery mechanisms change how you perceive the effects. Vaping (lungs) gets a more immediate spike, while edibles like gummies take a while to take effect and produce a lower level but perhaps longer lasting. Hard to overdo a vape; I could see sublingual drops being easier to mis-dose.

Assuming you’re in the U.S. then currently, and very sadly, the ingredients & even listed CBD dosage aren’t independently monitored or verified. I’ve noticed a big difference between brands. Some are quite harsh, like you experienced - the added terpenes seem to cause this, IME. A few types I’ve tried don’t have added terpenes, and are so “light” feeling, it almost seems like nothing was vaped. One giveaway is color, I feel the cartridges with darker contents give a harsher vape.

So a scattershot approach may be best at first. Try a couple different types. You’d be surprised at the deals on Groupon, of all places. There’s one disposable mini CBD pen constantly listed for, like, ten bucks. Not much investment for a trial, there.

Just know that whatever info you get will be completely anecdotal. There is virtually zero credible scientific evidence on the effects of CBD (and the various forms of THC) for medical purposes out there.

That will change now that it’s legal, but it will take some time to get useful studies completed.

I dunno, a search on “peer reviewed studies cannabidiol” in Google Scholar returns over 2000 results going back over a decade–the info is out there, it’s just not widely disseminated. The prohibition of studies of cannabis have always been much more stringent in the US than in the rest of the world and while we were being refused any meaningful scientific research the rest of the world was doing it for us.

My best friend, who has never been one to smoke anything, decided to give it a try a few months back because her only option had been medications that brought side effects she could not live with. Her anxiety is mostly social. She has a high stress job and she’s a bit of a ‘high strung’ person. She didn’t expect much and for about three weeks didn’t notice any difference. Then she did. She said it felt like she was less on edge in general. This is the kind you can get legally in TN, not anything that will give you a buzz so I don’t know. My anecdote is not evidence I know. I also go to a support group with a parent who gives his 20 year old autistic son the oil and he swears it’s changed his son’s behavior as well. In fact a lot of my autistic friends think it’s really helpful. If it ever gets cheap enough that I can give it a shot I might. I’d much rather have the real thing, to be honest. To me cannabis is like a miracle drug. It helps me ten different ways. Sadly it’s illegal and I have no way to get it anymore.
Here’s something my FB support group has linked. I don’t know how to read all this but maybe there’s some hint of evidence somewhere in here. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938896/

Fear Itself, you posted this about a month ago. I’m giving it a bump to ask you if you’re still using the CBD oil, and if so, what are you experiencing with it?

I am still using it. I have settled on about 100mg a day. I use a half an eye dropper (about 40mg) of CBD oil under my tongue in the morning, and again at night. Mid day, I vape about 3 healthy drags, I would estimate 20mg.

It isn’t a miracle drug. But it does take the edge off. I notice a dropoff that lasts for several hours. It’s not like my anxiety vanishes, but it is more tolerable. Anything that moves the needle is good.

I am currently buying hemp derived CBD oil from an online supplier that has been tested by third party labs and gets a good score for strength and purity. But I still wonder if cannabis derived CBD oil from a dispensary would be more effective. My doctor said he would certify me for a medical marijuana card (required in my state) so I can buy it locally from a dispensary.

So, the results are encouraging, but not stupendous. The search continues.

Thanks so much for that prompt reply. I appreciate it. All the best to you.

I have a friend who has his medical card and he’s discovered through trial and error that he needs to have some THC present to alleviate his anxiety issues.

Did you actually check out those links? They don’t link to what I’d call high quality studies. One of the first 5 links summarized the situation:

Which is basically what I’m saying.

They just opened a CBD store in the mall closest to my house. While I like having the stores occupied, I was not sure how I felt about seeing this sign. Unsure whether CBD is essentially snakeoil or a harmless means of separating gullible people from their money. So is a CBD store any different than one of those vitamin/supplement stores? Or if it is legitimate medicine, couldn’t it be sold in the adjacent Osco drug store. Not quite the equivalent of a dispensary - pot isn’t legal (yet) here in IL. But (snob alert), given the nature of our community, I wouldn’t be thrilled with certain other businesses (tattoo shop? massage parlor?) opening there either.

This seems like a worthwhile experiment. Taking CBD with a very small amount of an Indica might just be the ticket.

That mall? By the Osco? It’s a strip mall, so what do you expect? :wink: But I agree; a CBD store would be more appropriate in a déclassé strip mall, like in Glendale Heights across from Menard’s. (nose in the air because Lombard doesn’t have one that I know about.)

Man, you are behind the times! I’ve moved my snootiness 2 suburbs east of you! :smiley: Talking about the Jewel/Osco at York and Butterfield.

Yeah, I don’t know the real reason for my reaction. I realize that the strip malls I drive past on Roosevelt, St Charles, or North are in SOMEBODY’S neighborhood. And so long as it is a legal business, I guess I’d just as soon my town receive the sales tax!

I’ve been trying it to help me sleep better at night and haven’t noticed anything. It seems there are too many variables to control for (source of CBD, amount, time of day, method of ingestion, blah blah) and it’s a fairly expensive habit to just play around with. I probably won’t buy any more after this bottle is gone but I have MANY, MANY friends who swear by it so, I just dunno.

Study on using cannabidiol to reduce cravings and anxiety while treating opioid addiction.

I have noticed less discomfort from an old shoulder injury since I have been using CBD, though that is not why I started using it.

If you add up enough anecdotes you get data. It’s only observational-study quality data, not double-blind prospective-study quality data. But it’s meaningful information.

My BIL had chronic back pain and was able to substantially cut back the amount if opioid pain killer he used when he started using cannabis. I don’t really care if that’s a placebo or “real”, it seems like a win. Cannabis is much less likely to kill you than opioids.

I disagree. the plural of anecdote is not data, for the vast majority of cases.

Why not? Because of the haphazard way anecdotes are collected, for one reason. It’s not systematically collected, cannot consistently be lumped together for analysis, and when people try, it leads to incorrect conclusions.

I’m all for collecting more data. I am for more research being done on CBD and THC, to find what uses they have in medicine. I favor legalization of pot. I don’t even thing it’s wrong for experienced clinicians to suggest to patients they may want to try CBD or THC or pot in certain circumstances; the history of Medicine is built on using meds before we have a clear understand of what they do or how.

But I shudder to see the way pot and its derivatives are being presented to the public, as proven cures for nearly everything that ails a person. And a lot of folks are making a lot of money by doing that.

My dad was a doctor. He discovered that methotrexate could be used to treat primary biliary cirrhosis. He discovered that base on two anecdotes.

He had one patient who consulted with him who was dying of something else, and also had primary biliary cirrhosis. The other doctor sent him to my dad for a second opinion before giving him a drug that the literature then said was bad for his liver. My dad thought his other problems would kill him first, and okayed the methotrexate. A couple years later the guy showed up to see if it was still okay for him to take it. My father, after getting over his astonishment that the man was still alive, did liver tests and found his liver had improved – something that has never been recorded for someone with that problem. He told the guy that whatever he was doing seemed to be working, and he should keep doing it.

The next time he had a patient with primary biliary cirrhosis, he asked the guy, “are you a gambler?”, and gave him methotrexate. He, too, improved.

Then he got funding for a formal double blind prospective study. That study was ended early on the grounds that it was unethical to withhold the drug from the controls. And he spent much of the rest of his life flying around the world speaking about the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis.

Two anecdotes. I really do think that was data.

Do you need to be careful evaluating unverified stories you find on the internet? Of course. Do people lie to make money? Of course. But I think there’s value in asking people you have some social connection with (like other posters here, some of whom you may know somewhat well) and who aren’t in the business of selling CBD, what their experience has been.