Feeling anxious? Do you feel unable to maintain a stable mood?
Try these proven CBD products to help regulate your mood, ease anxiety, and alleviate chronic stress.
Everyone experiences stress and mood swings from time to time — but there’s a clear distinction between “healthy stress” and “unhealthy stress”.
Too many people in today’s world experience a rollercoaster of emotions, and crippling stress on a daily basis.
The 1000 mg CBD oil by Royal CBD made the top of our list for three main reasons:
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Gold Bee CBD capsules are made with premium full-spectrum hemp extract derived from organic hemp plants. These are some of the strongest CBD oils on the market today — containing 40 mg of CBD per capsule.
When it comes to managing severe anxiety, it’s important to use something strong. These capsules not only deliver a high concentration of active CBD, they also provide additional anti-anxiety cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, and THCV.
Third-party lab analysis for these capsules indicates they’re also high in terpenes.
Terpenes are another key element in CBD products that work alongside CBD and other cannabinoids to boost the overall therapeutic effects of the extract.
A few examples include pinene, limonene, humulene, lavendin, and bisabolol.
Each of these terpenes has been shown to offer powerful stress-relieving benefits on their own. A few of these terpenes are also abundant in other anti-anxiety herbs, such as chamomile, hops, and lavender.
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Headery is a small CBD company with a strong focus on creating oils suitable for supporting stress and anxiety. The company helps fund research programs at McMaster University by supplying study groups with high-grade CBD for research on the effects of CBD oil for stress, anxiety, sleep, and mood regulation.
This oil is made from organically-grown hemp and extracted using supercritical CO2 at 30 mg/mL (1 mg per drop).
The final product maintains a high terpene level as found in the natural hemp plants, and the strains the company chose to use for this oil are particularly high in the terpenes humulene and myrcene — which are notably effective for relaxing the central nervous system to help alleviate stress and anxiety.
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Kat’s Naturals combines other medicinal herb species in with their oils for added potency. Their Relax oil contains hops (Humulus lupulus) — which is a potent relaxant with similar, and complementary effects to CBD (it works primarily through GABA).
In fact, hops are one of the only other members of the cannabis family (Cannabaceae). They produce similar sedative ingredients, including the terpene humulene, as hemp flower.
Phoria makes CBD oils in several different configurations — but we prefer the DHA and nano CBD option when it comes to mood support.
There’s a lot of research confirming the role omega-3 fatty acids like DHA have on mood and cognitive function. This oil combines a DHA-rich carrier oil with fast-absorbing CBD extract for even greater benefit.
You need to take a fairly high dose of DHA to get the benefits, so we recommend ordering the low potency version of this oil (10 mg/mL) so you can take more volume of DHA-rich oil with each dose.
The benefits of using DHA for mood support can take a while — so be patient and persistent with your CBD oil regimen.
Vaping is a great way to use CBD for supporting stress and mood simply because of its ease of use and fast onset of effects.
At the very first signs of anxiety attacks, or stress, CBD can be vaped to alleviate symptoms within minutes.
We like the vape oils by Bluebird Botanicals for this because of the high-quality hemp source used to make the oil, and the great value. These oils are relatively cheap especially for the level of care and attention that goes into making them.
CBD is a great supplement to take alongside stress, anxiety, or mood disorders.
This unique compound interacts with a system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system — which plays a key role in the stress response and regulation of our mood.
The best CBD oils for anxiety and mood disorders are made from full-spectrum extracts, provide relatively high concentrations of CBD (at least 30 mg/mL), and have been independently tested for quality and potency.
Some people experience the benefits of CBD oils immediately — others need to take the oil for several days or weeks before there’s any noticeable difference. It’s important to be patient and persistent when using CBD. Monitor how your feeling and take other measures to help alleviate anxiety.
I cover all of this in much more detail in this article.
Everybody has experienced anxiety at some point in their lives. It’s completely normal to feel anxious — to an extent.
Feeling anxious too often can lead to a variety of other health issues and makes it difficult to carry out daily responsibilities.
Healthy anxiety helps us deal with dangers — such as coming face to face with a hungry animal, getting into a fight, or standing on a ledge a thousand feet from the ground below. Our anxiety helps us run away from danger, win a fight, or hold on more tightly to avoid falling.
Anxiety disorders happen when we feel anxiety too often, or we experience a level of anxiety inappropriate for the situation.
For example, social anxiety disorder is characterized by severe, debilitating anxiety around the fear of being judged by others. This form of anxiety can make it hard for sufferers to go out in public, visit with friends, or interact with strangers in any way.
CBD has a similar effect on all forms of anxiety. It works to reduce hyperactivity in the brain associated with the symptoms of anxiety. By activating neurotransmitters like GABA, serotonin, and dopamine, CBD is able to relax the mind enough to get ahold of our anxiety.
The best CBD oils for anxiety contain a full-spectrum extract with high concentrations of CBC, CBG, CBD, and the terpenes humulene, pinene, and bisabolol. I recommend Royal CBD oils for this.
Mood disorders (also called affective disorders) are a collection of neurological conditions affecting our ability to regulate and maintain emotion.
There are many different kinds of mood disorders, and CBD works a little differently for each one.
CBD has the biggest impact on mood disorders underpinned by inflammatory or autoimmune disease, or in people experiencing hyperactivity with their moods — such as bipolar disorder or mania. For depressive disorders, CBD offers benefits for common side effects like insomnia or low energy.
Here are the most common types of mood disorders and how CBD may be able to help:
Bipolar disorder is a neurological disorder involving extreme shifts in mood — going from periods of deep depression to euphoric mania and everything in between.
There’s no cure for bipolar disorder, and medications for the condition are often hit or miss in their effectiveness.
A large clinical trial is currently investigating the potential benefits of CBD as part of a treatment plan for bipolar individuals. Although the study isn’t scheduled to finish until 2020, the results are looking promising for CBD.
CBD may be effective for bipolar disorder — however, bipolar disorder affects everyone differently. What might work on one person could make symptoms worse for another. So it’s important to discuss the use of CBD with your doctor or psychologist before giving it a try.
If you decide to use CBD, always start with the smallest dose possible and build up gradually from there to see how it affects your symptoms.
There are a few different types of depression — characterized by the presence of other symptoms and the length of time the condition was present. All forms of depression involve chronically low-mood and motivation. Other symptoms may include fatigue, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, or low libido.
There are a few ways CBD can be used to alleviate depression. The most important is through CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits — especially on neuroinflammation (inflammation in the brain). Inflammation is considered to be one of the most common causes of depression .
CBD also protects the hippocampus from damage — which is tasked with regulating our mood and is one of the first regions of the brain to show signs of damage in the minds of depressed individuals.
Low anandamide (one of the primary endocannabinoids) is associated with symptoms of depression . CBD boosts anandamide levels in the brain by inhibiting the enzymes responsible for breaking anandamide down.
Mania (also referred to as manic syndrome) is a serious condition involving abnormally high energy levels, feelings of euphoria, and frequent anxiety attacks. It’s the opposite of depression, but it can be just as debilitating.
Manic syndrome can lead to increased tendencies for violence, aggression, irritability, and delusions. This condition can be dangerous, causing people to become reckless and at a higher risk of injuries.
Use CBD with extreme caution for mania due to concerns of worsening the condition. Mania is a severe condition that requires the care of trained medical professionals.
The cause of mania is different from one person to the next, and although there are reports of people using CBD to treat this symptom effectively — there are plenty of reports about cannabis products making symptoms worse as well.
Hypomania is similar to mania but involves more mild symptoms. It’s somewhere between depression and mania.
Symptoms of hypomania involve extended periods of euphoria and disinhibition but aren’t as severe as mania.
CBD can be used to support some of the side-effects of hypomania, such as insomnia and anxiety. Similarly to mania, CBD should be used cautiously with this condition. Always start with a small dose and increase gradually.
Once you know how it affects you individually and you’ve confirmed it doesn’t make symptoms worse, try increasing the dose.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder brought on by lack of sun exposure. It’s referred to as a seasonal disorder because it’s especially prevalent in northern climates during the winter months when daylight hours are at their lowest. At the same time, the cold weather in these places means the people living there tend to cover up most of their exposed skin — further limiting the exposure of UV light with the skin.
When light from the sun hits the skin, it drives an enzymatic reaction that produces vitamin D — a key regulator in our mood.
The best treatment for seasonal affective disorder is regular exposure to sunlight, or another source of UV light, and vitamin D supplementation.
Both CBD and THC may be useful for this condition by alleviating many of the associated side-effects of the disorder such as insomnia, low immunity, depression, and anxiety. Vitamin D supplementation and UV light exposure are still required for maximum effect, however.
All mammals have an endocannabinoid system — a system of specialized receptors found in virtually every organ in the human body. The endocannabinoid system is involved with maintaining homeostasis (balance) throughout the body.
There are two main types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system; the CB1 receptors found in the brain and spinal cord, and the CB2 receptors abundant in the skin, internal organs, and immune cells.
The endocannabinoid system — in particular, the CB1 receptors — plays a significant role in the regulation of emotional homeostasis. Studies involving the removal of endocannabinoid receptors in mice often result in the development of mood disorders. Many researchers suggest that a dysfunctional endocannabinoid system is one of the leading causes of mood disorders.
One of the most important effects of CBD is its ability to inhibit the enzymes responsible for breaking down naturally occurring endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG). By limiting the breakdown of these compounds, we may be able to alleviate deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system causing mood disorders.
THC is also beneficial for treating mood disorders involving depression through its euphoric effects. The euphoric effects may be responsible for causing problems with manic or hypomanic episodes, but more research is needed to understand this in detail.
Generally, low doses of THC appear to offer beneficial effects on mood, while larger doses are most often involved with negative effects .
CBD may be used in the treatment of a variety of different psychological disorders — but not all of them. This is a rapidly growing area of cannabis research, with a lot of complexity that can make it very hard to study.
Here we’ll go over some of the research currently available on this topic, and dive into some of the tips and tricks experts often recommend when using CBD for various mood disorders.
There are a few studies — primarily on animals — investigating the effects of CBD on various mood disorders. There is also a small collection of human clinical trials exploring the safety of using CBD and cannabis extracts with depression, bipolar disorder, and other common mood disorders.
Animal studies involving models of depression have shown that daily CBD supplementation in mice had a significant reduction in depression scores when compared to placebos .
Another study investigated the details of how CBD exerts its antidepressant effects and found that CBD inhibited the reuptake of serotonin in mice brains . This is the same mechanism that the common antidepressants — SSRIs — use to treat depression.
Animal studies have also investigated the role CBD plays in obsessive-compulsive disorder — measured through a test involving marble-burying habits in mice .
The most significant human study involving cannabis and depression investigated the use of the plant to see if it was a potential cause for depression. With over 45,000 participants, the study concluded that cannabis was not likely to cause depression .
Human studies have also shown that CBD supplementation reduced anxiety during simulated public speaking events (400 mg dose) , and exposure to fearful facial expressions (600 mg dose) [7, 8]. It was also shown to improve mood in patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder .
Although there are a lot of different hormones involved with the stress response, the most relevant in terms of mood is cortisol — the chief “stress hormone” in the body.
Cortisol is what causes many of the changes we experience when we’re stressed. It’s designed to help us make the changes we need to handle stress. However, there are some tradeoffs — one of them being that it can force the balance of mood-regulating neurotransmitters in the brain out of balance.
High cortisol levels for long periods of time lead to elevations in neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and glutamate, and a gradual loss of serotonin and dopamine.
Both serotonin and dopamine play a critical role in regulating our mood. These are the key focus of pharmaceutical antidepressant drugs in the treatment of mood disorders.
When cortisol levels force the neurochemistry of the brain to change too often (long term stress), or with too much force (traumatic event) — it can lead to sustained losses of serotonin or dopamine — leading to chronic depression or bipolar disorder.
Anxiety is also a common result of chronic stress. Cortisol stimulates the activity of neurotransmitters like glutamate that have a stimulating effect on the brain. If this excitation is too strong, we experience anxiety. This is why anxious people are more easily triggered by small stresses than healthy individuals.
As we fall further into “stress debt”, the problem compounds on itself — leading to hyperactivation of the stress response, higher cortisol levels, and further changes to the normal neurochemistry of the brain.
Normally, our bodies are well adapted to manage stress — it’s even considered a key element of good health. If we’re exposed to too much stress for the body to adapt, we can become very sick — this is essentially what going into shock involves.
On the other side of this, if we’re exposed to stress for long periods of time, we begin to lose our ability to cope — leading to negative effects on our physical and mental health.
Think of stress resistance like a bank account:
Every day you get a deposit into your account for $100 — this is the ability for our limbic system to handle the stresses we’re exposed to.
Now every time we experience a stressor, we have to spend some money from our bank account. Ideally, we’ll finish the day with some of this cash leftover in our bank account.
When we’re under near-constant stress — like most people alive today — we end up with a negative balance at the end of the day. Like any good bank, there’s an interest fee when we’re in the negative range.
This means that the next day we need to work extra hard to conserve our exposure to stressors otherwise we’ll end up even further in “stress debt”.
Eventually, we reach a point where we no longer have the capacity to handle even small stresses — causing us to experience side-effects like depression, anxiety, adrenal fatigue, immune dysfunctions, and more.
Using CBD for supporting our mood and stress levels is fairly straightforward. As long as we’re getting the right dose (more on how to do this later), and stay away from low-quality or contaminated CBD products — were likely going to experience at least some improvement on our stress levels and mood.
However, if you follow this simple 4 step process, you can truly dial in your CBD supplementation to get as much benefit as possible out of your CBD.
The CBD market is brand new and still lacks a lot of the regulation needed to keep bad products out of the marketplace. This makes it easy for companies to sell really poor-quality CBD oils at a high markup — making a quick buck in the meantime. By the time regulation works its way in, these companies will simply step out of the market and count their cash.
Reading reviews on your products is a good way to get unbiased information and opinions on the products by people who know exactly what to look for and how to assess it.
If you’ve never used CBD before, you’re going to need to read this step extra carefully.
The correct dose of CBD to use will vary a lot from person to person.
Size, weight, genetics, experience using CBD, liver metabolism, and age can all affect the dosage of CBD. Therefore, we can only really provide basic ranges in the dosage — everybody needs to spend some time calling their dose in when they start using CBD for the first time.
This is done by starting at the low range of their general dosage range and monitoring the effects. From here, you can increase the dose slightly each time until you reach your desired effects.
If you experience side-effects, simply dial the dose back to the last time you didn’t.
Over time the dose can change, but once you get a feel for how your body responds to the CBD, you’ll be able to make adjustments on the fly.
These doses are in mg of CBD. You may take anywhere from 1 dose of CBD, to 3 doses in a day depending on your symptoms and how long the effects of the CBD last for you. Most people report about 8 hours of effects.
It’s a good idea whenever taking any medication or supplement for stress and mood levels. Keeping track of your dosing, and any changes— both good and bad — are extremely helpful for dialing you’re supplementing in, and tracking the effectiveness (or lack thereof).
Mood and stress are very broad — it can be hard to tell if there’s any improvement or not on a day to day basis. For this reason, we recommend you quantify your feelings on a regular basis so that you or your doctor can look back on your progress after a few weeks, and months.
To do this, simply keep some notes in a journal, or on your computer. Set a timer on your phone to go off at a specific time once per week to remind you to fill out these notes.
You can write down some simple questions of your own to answer, use our sample at the bottom of the section, or find an official version to use online.
These questions should only take 1–5 minutes to complete depending on which one you use.
Note: 1 is the lowest on this rating, and 10 is the highest. A 1 stress rating would be you at your most relaxed and calm, while a 10 would mean you feel like you’re running away from a lion.
You can use modifications of this list as daily, weekly, or monthly questions.
CBD can take a few weeks for some people to begin experiencing its benefits, so remember to be patient, and keep monitoring how you feel.
Wait until you’ve been using the CBD oil on a daily basis for a few weeks to really know how it works for you (or not).
We recommend opting for the higher potency options because it’s easier to dilute a high-potency oil than it is to take large doses of a low-potency oil.
This is common, and can actually cause chemical stress to the body rather than alleviate it.
The compounds in hemp work together to produce stronger effects. This is a concept called the entourage effect. CBD isolates tend to be less effective than full spectrum extracts.
CBD works best with other beneficial extracts. Things like melatonin, L-theanine, or other herbal extracts go a long way in making the oil more effective for stress and mood support.
All herbal medicine is better when used in combination with other herbs — especially if the herbs used are synergistic with each other. This means that the effects of the herbs compound off each other to produce stronger results in combination than either of them on their own.
When it comes to combining CBD oils or other products with synergistic herbs and supplements, there are a few that you should at least be aware of:
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is a small succulent found growing at high altitudes around the world. These plants live in some of the most remote corners of the world, thriving in environments where most other organisms would quickly perish.
This herb was made famous for its use in secret Soviet research programs in the 1950s and 60s. Soldiers were given rhodiola to enhance their ability to adapt and survive in harsh environments. Sometime in the mid-60s one of the lead researchers escaped Russia to the United States where he shared a lot of the findings.
Since this time rhodiola has become one of the most important adaptogenic supplements on earth — buffering the brain’s receptiveness to cortisol to give us a better ability to resist and manage stressors in our environment.
Rhodiola is mildly stimulating and is best for people experiencing stress from athletic exertion, long workdays, or depression involving fatigue.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is another adaptogenic herb with a long history of medical use. This particular herb works more specifically on the adrenal glands where cortisol is produced. It supports the adrenal function — helping prevent burnout from excessive cortisol and catecholamine production and lowering our perceived stress level.
Ashwagandha is considered more relaxing and is better for people experiencing stress along with anxiety or insomnia.
L-theanine is an extract from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). It’s structurally similar to glutamate — the primary stimulatory neurotransmitter in the brain.
By mimicking glutamate, L-theanine is able to bind to the glutamate receptors and block real glutamate from attaching itself and activating the neuron. The end result is a potent relaxing effect on the mind, without making us feel sluggish, or tired.
L-theanine is popular for alleviating the stress associated with long work or school sessions and can even be used to support memory and concentration. It’s also one of the best supplements to take alongside CBD oil for anxiety-related conditions.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is arguably the best antidepressant herbal medicine on earth. It works through the same mechanism as conventional pharmaceutical antidepressants like SSRIs, only without producing the same level of side-effects.
This herb should be used cautiously and never combined with pharmaceutical antidepressants. The effects are so similar it can cause too strong of an effect — which can be dangerous.
Only use St. John’s wort with mild depressive symptoms, or under the supervision of a trained medical professional.
Kava (Piper methysticum) is a tropical plant species native to the scattered islands of the South Pacific ocean.
This herb has been used for thousands of years for its ability to induce a state of relaxation. In high doses kava has a euphoric effect. People living on islands where kava is grown use the herb as an alternative for alcohol.
In the Western world, kava is used to relieve anxiety, promote sleep, and alleviate chronic stress. Some people use the herb for its euphoric effects to alleviate symptoms of depression.
You can order this herb in its raw powder form to make into a strong tea — but I recommend ordering some capsules or a tincture instead. Kava combines very well with CBD for a synergistic benefit on stress and anxiety.
CBD is an excellent health supplement to take for stress and mood support.
The compound works through a series of related, and unrelated receptors and cell-signaling mechanisms to enhance our ability to resist, and respond to the stresses exerted on us in our environment and from our own thoughts and emotions.
By buffering our ability to resists stress we can also impact our mood. Additionally, CBD offers effects on mood through its ability to modulate serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, GABA, and glutamate — both directly and indirectly.
The best CBD oils for stress and mood support are rigorously tested to prove the absence of contaminants that can worsen the condition, and use a premium full-spectrum hemp extract instead of CBD isolates.
Depending on the specific condition or symptoms, it’s usually better to choose a high-potency option and something with additional ingredients designed to make the overall formula even stronger.
As always, be sure to start CBD oil or other forms of CBD at a small dose if trying it for the first time. You can then increase the dose gradually from there once you understand how your body responds.
|Number||Product||Total CBD||Potency||Cost per mg CBD||Link|
Royal CBD Oil
250 – 1000 mg
8.3 – 33.3 mg/mL
$0.15 – $0.26
Gold Bee CBD Capsules
40 mg per Capsule
Good Morning. By Headery
Kat’s Naturals Relax THC-Free Sublingual CBD Oil
50 mg – 300 mg
$0.20 – $0.36
Phoria CBD Tincture with DHA Oil + CBD Oil Nano Tincture
300 – 5000 mg
10 – 83.3 mg/mL
$0.02 – $0.10
Bluebird Botanicals CBD Vape Oil
333 – 1000 mg
$0.07 – $0.09
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