What's the Best CBD Oil for Anxiety? These 11 Products Earn High Marks
If you're struggling with the weight of daily stressors and need a way to relax, CBD oil-or cannabidiol oil-may be able to help. This natural oil, derived from the Cannabis sativa or indica plants, can help calm your mind without the psychoactive effects found in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Below, learn more about using CBD oil for anxiety and the best brands to test out.
What are the benefits of CBD oil for anxiety?
CBD oils can provide wellness benefits, like improved sleep, for those who suffer from stress and anxiety. There are a variety of CBD oils available, including roll-on products for topical use as well as oils you can drop under your tongue or mix into your food. Some CBD oils also contain ingredients like essential oils. Here are 11 of the best CBD oils for anxiety.
Best CBD oils for anxiety
- CBDistillery: Relief + Relax Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
- Joy Organics: Tranquil Mint Organic CBD Oil
- NuLeaf Naturals: Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
- Spruce: Full-Spectrum Lab Grade CBD Oil
- Cornbread: Hemp Distilled USDA Organic CBD Oil
- Medterra: CBD and Organic MCT Oil
- Charlotte's Web: Original Formula CBD Oil
- cbdMD: Premium CBD Oil
- Naternal: Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
- Fab CBD: Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
- Liweli: Cherry Stress Melts
How we chose these CBD oils
This list was compiled using an in-depth review process that took into account hemp sources, potency, price, independent third-party lab testing, and customer reviews. Preference was given to products that are USDA organic, vegan, and all-natural. A substantial amount of research went into curating this list of CBD oils.
The science on CBD and anxiety
The current research on CBD and anxiety is in its early stages but has already seen promising results. "There is a long body of research showing CBD's effectiveness in animal models and there are new studies being published all the time confirming what we already know; that CBD works to address the symptoms of anxiety and mood disorders," Florida-based psychiatrist Andrew Levinson, MD, tells Health.
For example, a 2019 retrospective case study looked at the effects of CBD on sleep and anxiety. Results showed that CBD helped to reduce the anxiety scores of nearly 80% of the adults in the study after just one month of daily treatment using 25 milligrams of CBD oil in capsule form.
Another 2019 study looked at the impact of CBD oil versus a placebo in treating social anxiety disorder. Results showed that over a four-week period, 300-milligram daily doses of CBD oil significantly reduced social anxiety disorder symptoms that were measured using the Fear of Negative Evaluation Questionnaire and the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale.
So, how does it work? CBD inhibits the inactivation of anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter in the body's endocannabinoid system. This leads to activity on the CB1 receptor and, along with serotonin activity (or "feel-good" hormone receptors), helps reduce symptoms of anxiety.
How to find the best CBD oil for anxiety
When looking for a CBD oil to help with anxiety, it's important to do your research. Not all CBD products are alike, so you want to make sure the one you choose best fits your needs. Here are some factors to keep in mind.
Types of CBD
CBD oil comes in three major types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and pure CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains the pure, natural form of the hemp plant, which has other cannabinoid compounds like terpenes (which provide aroma and flavor) as well as small amounts of THC-less than 0.3%. CBD and these other compounds work together to produce an "entourage effect," meaning they interact synergistically to enhance the effects of the CBD oil product.
Like full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoid compounds. However, broad-spectrum options are THC-free, meaning you won't experience any psychoactive effects. It's important to note that even if you choose a full-spectrum product with THC, it won't create a high like the one you'd get if you consumed THC on its own. But full-spectrum CBD oil products can still show up on a drug test. As for pure CBD isolate, it contains 99.9% pure CBD without any THC.
CBD extract from industrial hemp is legal in the U.S. no matter what spectrum you select. It's recommended you choose brands that use organic hemp grown in the U.S. to ensure it's pure, potent, and safe.
Always check the potency of the CBD oil products you purchase. Read the label for dosages. It can take several hours to feel the effects of CBD oil products when you apply them to skin, but if you place the oil under your tongue or add it to a food or beverage, it typically takes just 30 to 45 minutes for the effects to kick in.
Third-party lab testing
When choosing an organic CBD oil, keep an eye out for certain certifications or testing methods that indicate the product you're buying is pure and safe. One thing to look for is a certificate of analysis, which may be located on the bottom of the product box (sometimes, you can find this information on the company website). This type of certificate details the potency and purity of a product. It also helps to have third-party lab testing to confirm that the product adheres to proper safety standards.
Other certifications that ensure strict safety and quality standards include the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification, the ISO 9001 certification, and the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification. Before you try any type of CBD oil, read through the ingredient list and only use products that contain natural flavorings and ingredients to reduce the risk of negative side effects.
How to use CBD oil
CBD oil can be taken as a tincture of drops under the tongue, in an oil-filled capsule, or applied to the skin in topical form. Under the tongue drops typically take effect in 30 minutes or less while topicals, gummies, and capsules may take up to two hours.
How much CBD should you take for anxiety?
The amount of CBD oil you should take for anxiety depends on a number of different factors, including your height, weight, and whether or not you've taken it before. If you're new to CBD, it's recommended you start with a small dose, but you should talk to your doctor before trying a product for the first time.
For help managing anxiety, Dr. Levinson advises taking "25 milligrams as a first dose and assess how your body and mind responds to it. If there is no meaningful response, let the next dose be at 50 milligrams, and then, based on that experience, adjust to a dose in the middle that feels right for you." If you suffer from severe anxiety symptoms, talk to your doctor about the best forms of treatment.
No matter how bad your anxiety is, it's recommended that you work with your healthcare provider to find a dose that's right for your specific needs. Your doctor can also provide valuable insights into whether a CBD oil product may react negatively with any of your medications. For instance, CBD oil has been known to increase the levels of Coumadin, a prescription blood thinner.
Are there any side effects to CBD oil?
The most common side effects associated with CBD oil are dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. While these side effects tend to be mild, your chances of experiencing them are reduced if you take proper doses and use high-quality products. Dr. Levinson notes that CBD "is safe, even at heroic doses, and has limited side effects." He also adds that "individuals' symptoms of anxiety have little to risk by endeavoring to try CBD."
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently evaluate CBD oil products like they do with dietary supplement products. It's important to consult with your primary care physician or mental health care provider before trying any CBD products, especially if you have a serious medical condition or take prescription medications.
The 10 best CBD oils for anxiety
CBDistillery: Relief + Relax Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
If you're new to CBD oil, CBDistillery has a great product that'll help you unwind. The Relief + Relax full-spectrum formula contains natural components of the hemp plant-including less than 0.3% THC-which work together to provide an enhanced wellness effect. Fractionated coconut MCT oil and non-GMO hemp sourced using natural farming practices make up the ingredient list, and the third-party lab-tested product has an ISO 9001:2015 certification. If you decide that this CBD oil isn't right for you, CBDistillery offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Potency: 17 mg of CBD per 1 mL serving; also comes in 33 mg and 83 mg of CBD per 1 mL servings
Joy Organics: Tranquil Mint Organic CBD Oil
If you prefer a THC-free CBD oil, then this formula from Joy Organics may be the product for you. The USDA-certified organic CBD oil contains organic peppermint essential oil, organic extra-virgin olive oil, and organic broad-spectrum hemp extract. Manufactured in America and third-party tested, this vegan-friendly premium grade product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Potency: 15, 30, 45, and 75 mg of CBD per 1 mL servings
NuLeaf Naturals: Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
NuLeaf Naturals offers a full-spectrum formula in a range of CBD concentrations. The ingredient list includes organic virgin hemp seed oil, which is made through a unique process known as CO2 extraction that yields a potent blend without any harsh chemical solvents. You can add this CBD oil product to food and drinks for easy consumption.
Potency: 10, 30, 60, 100, and 200 mg of CBD per 1 mL servings
Spruce: Full-Spectrum Lab Grade CBD Oil
Spruce offers a full-spectrum formula that is gluten-free, pesticide-free, and vegan with no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. The organic hemp seed oil product is third-party tested and provides a relaxing effect. If you prefer a higher concentration, Spruce also has a Max Potency formula, which contains 80 mg of CBD per dropper full.
Potency: 25 mg of CBD per 1 mL serving
Cornbread: Hemp Distilled USDA Organic CBD Oil
This unique CBD oil product uses the whole flower of the hemp plant to create an earthy full-spectrum formula. Made from USDA-certified organic hemp extract and MCT coconut oil, this product is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, third-party lab-tested, and GMP-certified-indicating high-quality safety and purity standards. The formula doesn't contain any preservatives or fillers, meaning it provides a great flavor on its own.
Potency: 25 mg and 50 mg of CBD per 1 mL servings; also comes in a flower-only flavorless extract formula
Medterra: CBD and Organic MCT Oil
Medterra offers a THC-free organically grown non-GMO CBD oil that is made using the CO2 extraction process, which filters out any unnatural substances to create a potent and pure product. Third-party testing ensures the CBD oil remains free of contaminants. This formula also contains organic coconut-derived MCT oil.
Potency: 16, 33, and 100 mg of CBD per 1 mL servings
Charlotte's Web: Original Formula CBD Oil
Charlotte's Web takes pride in the fact that it makes its CBD oil in small batches using alcohol extraction. Available in natural olive oil and mint chocolate flavors, this CBD tincture is a whole plant extract that includes compounds like phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids for additional wellness benefits. The additive- and dye-free formula is processed from hemp grown in Colorado and certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority.
Potency: 50 mg of CBD per 1 mL serving
cbdMD: Premium CBD Oil
This gluten-free and vegan CBD oil uses broad-spectrum hemp extract to provide calming effects without THC. To increase palatability, the oil comes in berry, orange, and mint flavors as well as natural. The hemp is sourced in the U.S., third-party tested, and GMP-certified to ensure purity and potency.
Potency: 10, 25, 50, 100, 166.5, and 250 mg of CBD per 1 mL servings
Naternal: Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
Naternal's broad-spectrum CBD oil tincture combines naturally occurring CBD extracts with cannabinoids and terpenes to create a THC-free formula. The all-natural, locally sourced product is cruelty-free and lab-tested for safety and purity standards. The company partners with farmers in North Carolina to produce high-quality products out of its state-of-the-art cannabis manufacturing facility.
Potency: 20 mg of CBD per 1 mL serving; also comes in 40 and 80 mg of CBD per 1 mL servings
Fab CBD: Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
Fab makes a full-spectrum CBD oil that not only helps you relax and unwind with all the natural components found in hemp, but it also tastes great. The organically grown non-GMO product comes in five different flavors: citrus, mint, berry, vanilla, and natural. As an added bonus, the hemp used to extract this CBD oil is farmed in Colorado and third-party tested, meaning it undergoes rigorous testing to ensure the hemp plant's purity and potency before and after processing.
Potency: 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg of CBD per 1 mL servings
Liweli: Cherry Stress Melts
Liweli Cherry Stress Melts are tasty chewable tablets that deliver 20 milligrams of calming broad spectrum CBD per chew. They contain 8 calories per chew and less sugar than a stick of gum, and are made with organically-grown hemp extract from North Carolina farms. These THC-free CBD stress melts are great for travel or taking with you to help relieve stress while on-the-go.
Potency: 20 mg of CBD per melt
Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, health editor, and founder of LighttrackNutrition.com. She has been a registered dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2010 and has over a decade of experience in the nutrition and dietetics industry.