CBD oil has become a popular treatment option for stress and anxiety. It’s more than just a trend! But what’s the hype? Are there dangerous CBD brands sold on the market? Are there risks? Is it actually effective? What are the pros and cons of CBD oil for anxiety?
Keep reading to learn more! Let’s dive into the details.
Note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning In On Around will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps me maintain the site. As always, I value full transparency & only work with brands I love and trust.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound naturally found in the Cannabis Sativa and Hemp plants. It’s the second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana (the first being THC)! For manufacturing, CBD is commonly derived from the hemp plant, which is a “cousin” plant to marijuana. 
It’s been commonly used around the world for the treatment of stress, anxiety, pain, inflammation, and more (… more on this later)!
There are three main types of CBD:
- Full-spectrum CBD – from the cannabis plant with up to 0.3% THC
- Broad-spectrum CBD – from the cannabis place without any THC
- CBD isolate – the pure form of CBD without any THC or plant compounds
About 1/3 of American adults have tried CBD at least once.SingleCare
Unlike selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are used for treating anxiety & depression, CBD is non-addictive with limited side effects. These phytocannabinoids are “plant-based” cannabinoids.
What Is The Endocannabinoid System?
We’re all born with an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is an essential biological system used to balance out our bodies. There are two main receptors in the ECS: CB1 and CB2. Each impact different important functions in the body, such as appetite, blood pressure, energy, immune cells, and more. The full role of the ECS on the body is still not completely known.
CB1 receptors are commonly found in the central nervous system and brain, while CB2 receptors are commonly in peripheral organs and cells for the immune system. Pretty cool!
Who knew we had a whole biological system just for cannabinoids?! We’re not oftentimes taught about this in school!
How Is CBD Different From THC?
CBD is not the same compound as THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. While they are both cannabinoids, THC has psychoactive properties and can make you high. They’re both found in marijuana and hemp, however, the exact levels/dosage are determined by how the compound is extracted. Both CBD and THC bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
Products containing THC have been linked to abuse and addiction, and can actually increase anxiety, paranoia, and panic attacks in some people. It’s best to avoid THC-containing products unless used under extreme caution. Smoking, especially, will always do more harm to your body than good. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
CBD is not THC.
Will CBD Oil Make Me High?
No, CBD oil will not usually make you high, although this can depend on the particular blend. Some CBD blends also contain THC. As long as THC is not present (or present below 0.3%), CBD products will not make you high.
CBD also won’t increase your appetite or give you the “munchies” unlike THC. While THC may increase your anxiety, CBD has been shown to do the opposite.
That’s a win-win in my book!
Hemp Vs. Marijuana – What’s The Difference?
Hemp plants and marijuana plants are two different species of cannabis. While the terms hemp and marijuana are commonly used interchangeably, they are distinctly different plants with different cultivation methods and applications.
The hemp plant is very dynamic and can be used for over 50,000 uses – it’s used to create textiles, seeds, paper, animal feed, compost, and more!
Let’s dive into some of the specific differences between hemp and marijuana:
|Low THC |
|High THC |
(Can make you high)
|20%+ CBD||10%+ CBD|
|CBD from stalks and stems||THC & CBD from flower and buds|
What Is CBG?
Cannabigerol, also known as CBG, is another cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants (usually found in smaller quantities at about 1%). CBG is a different compound with a different molecular structure than CBD.
Therapeutic clinical research on CBG is limited, however, it’s thought to have antifungal, antiparasitic, anticarcinogenic, and antibacterial properties. It may also improve glaucoma, help with neural diseases, and stimulate appetite. [2, 3, 4]
CBG is a different cannabinoid than CBD.
Much like CBD, it does not produce any psychoactive effects or a “high.” You will not feel “intoxicated” in any way.
CBG has been thought to be more effective in pain relief and easing sore muscles, while CBD is great for reducing inflammation. Pure CBG oil is oftentimes more expensive than CBD oil, since it’s usually found in smaller quantities in each plant.
Note: It’s best to avoid mixing CBD and CBG together. Only use them separately, otherwise, it may worsen potential side effects.
Pros & Cons Of CBD
Let’s dive into the many pros and cons of CBD oil for anxiety!
Pros Of CBD
- Stimulates the 5HT1 serotonin receptors in the brain (thus increasing serotonin) 
- As mentioned, CBD will not make you high!
- Very easy to use & portable
- Helps with anxiety, depression, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder [6, 7]
- Anti-inflammatory [8, 9]
- Can improve acne 
- May help with nausea 
- Might help treat pain
- Can help you sleep (help with insomnia)
- May reduce Parkinson’s Disease symptoms 
- It does not impact memory or locomotor activity (which is a good thing!)
- May help gastrointestinal diseases, like Inflammatory Bowel Disease 
- Available in a range of flavors and forms (tinctures, pills, salves, patches, extracts, etc…)
- Can help with epilepsy, such as Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome
- Can help with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome for those wanting to wean off medication (talk to your doctor first)
79% of study participants experienced decreased anxiety levels. About 67% experienced improved sleep.NIH
Cons Of CBD
- When starting CBD, it will likely require some level of trial and error regarding dosing (it doesn’t work for everyone)!
- Requires consistency
- May experience some side effects, such as drowsiness, dry mouth, fatigue, diarrhea, and elevated liver enzymes.
- Listen to your body! If you are not tolerating the supplement or if you have any liver damage, stop and talk to your doctor. Always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement.
- This is especially important when you’re consuming CBD with a large amount of fat. 
- Avoid taking CBD with other compounds that metabolize in the liver, like alcohol
- May interact with some prescription medications – be sure to talk to your doctor before using!
- Many brands on the market are poor quality or mislabeled
- While very rare, it can be dangerous at very high doses 
- Not legal in every country or state – use caution when traveling
- Discuss with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding – it may not be safe for the baby.
40+ million Americans are diagnosed with anxiety disorders every year. CBD may be able to help!CFAH
Topical Vs. Oral CBD – What’s Better?
While clinical research in ongoing, both topical and ingestible forms of CBD can be beneficial. It all depends on your particular need!
CBD topicals oftentimes come in lotion, moisturizer, balm, or salve form to help run on aching joints or muscles. If you’re looking to target a specific area of your body (i.e. knees), topical CBD creams can help. This allows the cannabidiol compounds to attach to those particular skin receptors. They remain topical and do not enter your bloodstream much, if at all. Many consumers report that these are effective!
As with any personal care product, it’s essential to avoid specific ingredients that can do more harm than good (like parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and more). To learn more about what ingredients to avoid in personal care products, check out our Clean Beauty Checklist E-Book or Clean Slate Consulting Program.
What To Look For In CBD
As with any supplement, it’s important to opt for high-quality brands.
When shopping for CBD, look for the following:
- USDA certified organic & outdoor grown
- This is essential to ensure the product is free from synthetic pesticides.
- They should be using a certified organic carrier oil (like MCT or coconut oil).
- USA-grown & manufactured
- No more than 0.3% THC
- Transparent 3rd-party lab tests (certificate of anlaysis) for each batch from an ISO 17025-compliant lab
- Below the regulatory standards for heavy metals, pesticides, and mold
Do your thorough research on the CBD company and brand before supporting it! It’s important to understand the quality, safety, and purity of the product. Most CBD brands (like the ones sold at gas stations and at malls) are total c-r-a-p.
Finding a reputable CBD source is essential.
Even though hemp laws are frequently changing, CBD is federally legal in the United States. The 2018 Farm Bill (Agriculture Improvement Act) allows for CBD from hemp to be sold, as long as levels of THC fall below 0.3%. CBD cannot be labeled as any medication or “cure,” according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If a brand is claiming to “cure” an issue, run!
Prior to 2018, regulators did not legally differentiate CBD from THC. They had all-encompassing legislation to include all “cannabinoids,” despite the compounds being very different. Some states still have anti-CBD legislation at the state level, although it is completely legal at the federal level. In general, you must be at least 18-years old to purchase a CBD product, however some states require consumers to be 21+ in age.
Important note: The FDA does not regulate the purity of supplements! Supplements (… yes, most types of supplements) do not need to be approved before they’re sold on the market. Supplements are unregulated.
It’s important to use extreme caution with any supplement brands, especially if there is any mislabeling.
About 70% of cannabidiol products sold online are mislabeled.Penn Medicine
Healthiest CBD Brands
Not all CBD is created equal! Below are some of the best options available on the market:
- Best: Ned (use code inonaround for 15% off!)
- Based in Boulder, Colorado
- Ranges from 300-1500 mg for the daily blend (stronger)
- Use cold extraction method
- Second Best: Joy Organics (use code inonaround for 20% off!)
- Based in Austin, Texas & Wichita, Kansas
- Contains some blends with THC, so ensure you read the label
- Ranges from 15-75 mg
- Use gentle CO2 extraction method
Both of these brands are USDA-organic certified and based in the United States. Their 3rd party lab reports are available directly on their websites, for full transparency on the quality of their products. Since these are full-spectrum hemp blends they contain other beneficial cannabinoids, like CBG.
While rare, they can show up on a drug test in very small amounts (despite containing less than 0.3% of THC), so just use caution if your career depends on it.
In Summary – Pros And Cons Of CBD Oil For Anxiety
If you struggle with common symptoms of anxiety, like dizziness, heart palpitations, restlessness & more, CBD might be able to help! While there is a major stigma against cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids can be very beneficial.
CBD research (and cannabis research in general) is very limited and new. While shopping for CBD, always keep in mind that supplements are NOT regulated. Look for brands that are USDA-certified organic, USDA-grown, have less than 0.3% THC, and provide all 3rd party COAs.
It’s extremely important to only consume CBD if it is pure & high-quality – use caution.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the below FAQs to learn more the pros and cons of CBD oil for anxiety!
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound naturally found in the Cannabis Sativa and Hemp plants. It’s the second most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana (the first being THC).
What Is The Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an essential biological system used to balance out our bodies. It has two main receptors in the ECS: CB1 and CB2. Each impact different important functions in the body, such as appetite, blood pressure, energy, immune cells, and more. The full role of the ECS on the body is still not completely known.
What Is CBG?
Cannabigerol, also known as CBG, is another cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants. CBG is a different compound with a different molecular structure than CBD. Therapeutic clinical research on CBG is limited, however, it’s thought to have antifungal, antiparasitic, anticarcinogenic, and antibacterial properties. It may also improve glaucoma, help with neural diseases, and stimulate appetite.
How To Find High-Quality CBD?
While shopping for CBD, always keep in mind that supplements are NOT regulated. Look for brands that are USDA-certified organic, USDA-grown, have less than 0.3% THC, and provide all 3rd party COAs.
Have You Tried CBD?
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Information on Pros And Cons Of CBD Oil For Anxiety from: FDA, Harvard Health, Ideal Med Health, Olio Lusso, Accidental Hipster Mum, Penn Medicine, SingleCare, CFAH, Discover Magazine, Daily CBD, Popsci, Weed Maps, Verywell Mind, Green Market Report, Heathline, Feals, This Organic Girl, BULA Intelligence, CBD Pillow, CBD MD,
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