But first off, a little background information on how/why CBD can help relieve pain and anxiety. CBD is one of the cannabinoids (naturally occurring chemical compounds) found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body, a cell-signalling system full of receptors. There are two main endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system and CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in your peripheral nervous system. These interactions with the endocannabinoid system promote both pain relief and anti-inflammation. They also help to restore the body’s serotonin levels to a balanced state, which helps both anxiety and anxiety-induced depression.
Genetically, I am predisposed to anxiety, so it wasn’t a huge shock to my family that I started exhibiting the symptoms of anxiety at around age 11. Over the years, the anxiety got so debilitating that my symptoms were also compounded with anxiety-induced depression (these have both been clinically diagnosed, once when I was 12 and again when I was 17). For me, the physical stomach aches and pains that accompanied my anxiety were what impacted my life the most. Over the years i’ve been to therapy, been on and off medication, tried meditation, and tried cognitive behavioural therapy. After trying all of these options, I truly believe that CBD is the best solution. It is calming, works quickly and efficiently, helps with my sleep, and most importantly, is natural and non-addictive. I don’t have to worry about building up a tolerance (not possible with CBD that has THC removed) and don’t have to worry about experiencing withdrawal symptoms or becoming dependent on CBD.
So now that you know CBD can be helpful for pain and anxiety, which form should you really be using?:
One great form of CBD to treat pain and anxiety is oils, as you suggested in your question. CBD tinctures can be used for a wide range of ailments, pains, or to help struggles with anxiety and insomnia. Many CBD tinctures also contain terpenes, which interact with the cannabinoids in the tincture to amplify its benefits. All tinctures contain a carrier oil (usually MCT oil or olive oil) to ease the taste as well as ingestion. Tinctures can be either ingested sublingually (they should be held under the tongue for about 45-60 seconds) or can be mixed into drinks, such as your morning smoothie. Tinctures come in both full and broad-spectrum (with or without THC), and are one of the most popular forms of CBD products, due to their tendency to create immense benefits.
Another form of CBD for pain you could consider is topicals. A topical is a medication that is applied directly to different parts of the body. This form of CBD is typically the course of treatment chosen by athletes, both everyday and professional (seriously, just search up Rob Gronkowski and see all of the amazing things he has to say about CBD topicals!) for muscle pain, strains, or bruises. Aside from short-term pain, those who suffer from long-standing chronic pain, such as arthritis, also seek out topicals. Topicals diffuse across the skin and seep directly into the muscle tissue and target pain at pain receptors throughout the body, thereby targeting pain at its source. They also are credited with reducing inflammation throughout the body.
Another important factor to consider is dosage. Unlike traditional medication, CBD dosing demands an individualized approach, as dosing is dependent on one’s internal cannabinoid levels. If a person is low in endocannabinoids, they’ll need more CBD. And if one is high in endocannabinoids, they’ll likely need less CBD to get the very same effect. So CBD is not like your typical over-the-counter medication that has a universal dosage. But here are some good suggestions for starting dosages:
For anxiety treatment, even a single dose of CBD can see anxiety tangibly reduced. Usually, just 5-10 milligrams of CBD per day is enough to make an impact. But things are a bit different for severe anxiety. For those whose anxiety-induced symptoms are especially severe, suggested starting dose is 30-60+mg per day.
CBD is great for addressing both pain-inducing inflammation and pain itself. For light pain, the recommended starting dose is about 20-30mg per day, increasing by 5mg as needed. The pain relieving and anti-inflammation properties of CBD can also be of great assistance for those suffering from chronic pain, such as arthritis. Those with chronic pain may need to take a relatively high dose of CBD (20-40+ milligrams) every day to get the relief they need.
With CBD, the general suggestion is to “start low, go slow”, meaning to start with dosages on the lower and and progress as needed.
Overall, CBD is a non-addictive and natural course of treatment for those who suffer from both short-term and chronic pain or anxiety. In my opinion, it is the best and most natural course of treatment you can take for pain relief and anxiety relief! If you’ve found this helpful, please leave an upvote.