You’ve probably noticed that CBD has exploded in popularity over the past few years. It picked up national steam when Charlotte Figi, whose parents founded Charlotte’s Web, found it to be an effective treatment for an epileptic condition she was born with. While she died earlier this year because of complications due to Covid-19, she enjoyed reduced epileptic symptoms from the time she was 5 until she passed away at age 13.
Stories like hers aren’t the norm and have led scores of people to claim that CBD is a ‘miracle drug.’
And even in Charlotte’s case, it eased symptoms…it wasn’t a cure.
But, while not a miracle panacea for all that ails us, CBD is helpful at abating many neurological and psychosomatic symptoms, including anxiety. Of course, as with anything you put in your body, it should be taken with care and likely in consultation with your physician.
Nevertheless, many people have found CBD to be extremely helpful at treating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and more – freeing them up to use that energy to get to the root cause – and treat that.
But, how much CBD is needed to be effective?
What is CBD
There are different types of CBD & each has its role in a treatment plan. But, what you should know is that CBD is shorthand for ‘cannabidiol’, a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. It is what’s called a ‘cannabinoid,’ which is a fancy way of describing its chemical compound.
But why does this matter?
Your Endocannabionid System
Your body is a complex organism with billions of cells interacting every moment. Those cells transfer nutrients, chemicals, and information to each other at an alarmingly fast rate.
One the surface of many of your cells are things called receptors, which are proteins, but essentially play a strong role in moving signals back and forth between cells.
These signals influence cell growth, division, reproduction, and more.
Inside your body are a group of cells with receptors that are sensitive to cannabinoids. Scientists and doctors call this the endocannabinoid system and it plays a SIGNIFICANT role in keeping our body in balance.
Particularly our brains.
The reason for this is because the CB1 receptor is one of the most sensitive receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system and is largely located in – you guessed it – the brain.
What does this have to do with anxiety?
You’re probably seeing the punchline – with so many of these receptors located in our brain and this system being so sensitive to CBD – it starts to follow that ‘feeding’ these receptors would naturally impact the cells in our brain.
Our bodies, as living organisms, consume resources to live. That’s why you eat and drink – and sleep. Because, as you consume resources, they need to be replenished.
In the same way that exercise depletes our body’s food stores, stress and anxiety deplete our cells of the cannabinoids we naturally produce. For those of us that are really stressed or anxious often, we’re depleting that resource at an accelerated rate.
Take, for example, Michael Phelps, who at peak competition was consuming 12,000 calories a day. His training routine depleted that many calories. So, he had to keep the food coming when he was training. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be enough energy to compete well.
Now, think of yourself as an ‘anxiety athlete.’
Far less glamorous, for sure, than being a ‘gold medal’ athlete, but you can see the principle at work: if you’re constantly stressed or anxious and not replenishing your body’s cannabinoid stores, you’re essentially exerting Phelps-like effort (in terms of anxiety), without the proper nutrition.
Those hungry little receptors in your brain aren’t getting what they need.
CBD to the “rescue”
More and more research is being devoted to understanding the role of CBD in psychiatric treatment, given the biochemical reactions described above.
Again, not as a cure to to generalized anxiety, social anxiety, or PTSD, but as a supplement. To help abate symptoms while you treat the root cause.
And that’s how CBD should be perceived: as a supplement designed to help us replenish a malnourished, depleted system, while we get better through counseling and other treatment modalities.
So, how much should I take?
If you were to eat 12,000 calories a day and not exert energy like Michael Phelps, it wouldn’t be long before you had a bit of a weight problem.
Fortunately, CBD doesn’t work that way.
If you take “too much” CBD, your cells just don’t absorb it and it gets expunged with other waste in your body.
There’s no way to overdose on CBD.
Having said that, prices for CBD can vary widely and the higher the dosage, the more expensive it is.
Generally speaking, higher dosages (say 1500mg or more) is really only necessary for people with severe symptoms or a severely depleted endocannabinoid system. That’s not because it’s harmful at that dose, it just starts getting pricey if you don’t really need it.
Because dosing isn’t dangerous, you really can’t go wrong.
However, Dr. Phil Slonkosky, our Chief Scientist, generally recommends starting a little higher and tapering off. That allows you to ‘rehabilitate’ your depleted endocannabinoid system until you can get to more of a ‘maintenance’ dose.
One suggestion might be to start with 1,000mg 2x/day or so for 4-6 weeks, then taper down to 500mg 1-2x/day thereafter. Or, as you start to heal the root issues driving your anxiety, you might be able to get away with 500mg once a day or 250mg once a day.
“Typical” Example Plan:
1 dropper of 1,000mg of hemp-based, broad-spectrum CBD 2x/day for 4-6 weeks, then
1 dropper of 1,000mg 1x/day OR 500mg of hemp-based, broad-spectrum CBD 2x/day thereafter
Given how much anxiety most of us experience on any given day, 500mg 1-2x/day is likely a good ‘maintenance dose.’
By the way – your mobile devices are causing you a lot of anxiety, whether you ‘feel’ it or not…the ‘addictive’ quality of messages and notifications deplete the same biochemical resources your brain relies on to manage anxiety. So, one other ‘natural way’ to reduce anxiety: get off the phone. Turn off notifications. And the socials.
Except ours, of course 😉 Just kidding. We want you to be well, and your devices likely aren’t helping.
Of course, everyone’s body – and circumstances – are different, which is why we created our free CBD dosage calculator. It’s not perfect science, but will help you figure out a pretty good starting point, given where you are.
The role of bioavailability
The other factor to consider when thinking about dosages is “bioavailability,” which is a fancy way of describing how well (and quickly) something ‘gets into your system.’ High-quality CBD products tend to have higher bioavailability, which means that lower dosages might work just as well as higher ones because more is absorbed, faster.
While all of our products have high bioavailability, our CBD Softgels, for instance, have a bit higher bioavailability. Don’t worry, when you try free CBD dosage calculator, we’ll handle the ‘conversions’ for you, so you know how to compare apples with apples.
The point is important, though, because if you’re used to taking higher dosages from other vendors with (perhaps) lower quality product, you might find that our similarly priced, but lower dosage options are actually better for you.
That’s why starting at the free CBD dosage calculator is so important; there are a lot of variables and we can’t speak to the quality of other vendors’ products. Only ours.
In addition to ‘bioavailability,’ you also want to look at the ‘terpene profile’ and any other ingredients of the products you try. Terpenes are just other compounds found in plants and could impact both the relative proportion of high-quality CBD inside the product and the product’s quality overall.
Of course, stay away from any ingredients that aren’t natural or unfamiliar to you.
Lastly, make sure any product(s) you try have been lab-tested and have certificates to prove they’ve been tested. The “CBD gold rush” as spurious speculators are calling it has attracted a lot of people hawking dubious products to unsuspecting customers.
What to do next
CBD can be helpful in abating some of the symptoms of anxiety because it replenishes depleted brain cells with the nutrients they need. While you can’t overdose on CBD, it is helpful to pay attention to how your body reacts, so that you can taper up or down as necessary. For instance, on some particularly stressful days, you may need to take an extra dosage or two. Think of the athlete analogy – if you’re using the resource, it has to get replenished or you’ll ‘starve.’
Of course, if you have any questions, please let us know; we’re happy to help. For now, go try our free CBD dosage calculator and see what works for you. Finally, we’re running a BOGO deal right now, which means you can get twice as much for the same price. Try it out and let us know what you think.
Here’s to your health.