Evidence based

Best CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression: Benefits, Safety, & Research

Feeling stressed? Anxious? Depressed?

CBD may help regulate your stres, ease anxiety, and alleviate symptoms of depression.

Here’s how it works.

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on November 26, 2020

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 or anxiety on a daily basis.

In this article, we’ll review the best CBD oils and other products to use for stress, anxiety, & depression — along with current research to support these effects, information on dosage, and tips for using CBD safely and effectively. 

  • MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

    Abraham Benavides, M.D., Medical Doctor

    Updated on November 26, 2020

  • Table of Contents

Best CBD Oil for Anxiety & Depression (Top Brand Reviews)

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1. Royal CBD Oil — Best CBD Oil For Anxiety Overall

$49 – $229
Royal CBD

Royal CBD Oil 30 mL

5 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    250 – 2500 mg

  • Potency:

    8.3 – 83.3 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg CBD:

    $0.09 – $0.20

  • Extract Type:

    Full-spectrum

  • THC Content:

    <0.3%

The 1000 mg CBD oil by Royal CBD made the top of our list for three main reasons:

  1. It’s a simple formula without any additional ingredients, just high-CBD hemp extract and MCT oil — this is great for use with mood and stress support because it lowers the chances of a compound in the oil negatively interacting with other medications you might be taking.
  2. This oil is made with premium-quality hemp — all Royal CBD hemp is tested in a third-party lab for quality and purity, and again once the final product is complete.
  3. Royal CBD Oils are made with a full-spectrum extract — which has been shown numerous times to be the best option for mood and stress support compared to CBD oils made from an isolate.

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2. Gold Bee CBD Capsules — Best CBD Capsules For Anxiety

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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3. Good Morning. By Headery — Best CBD Oil For Depression

$69.99
Headery

Good Morning. By Headery 30 mL

4.67 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    900 mg

  • CBD Potency:

    30 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg CBD:

    $0.08

  • Extract Type:

    Full-Spectrum

  • THC Content:

    <0.3%

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 regulating serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain to help manage depression.

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4. Kat’s Naturals Relax — Best CBD Oil For Stress

$19.99 – $59.99
Kat’s Naturals

Kat’s Naturals Relax THC-Free Sublingual CBD Oil 5 mL – 30 mL

4.67 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    50 mg – 300 mg

  • Potency :

    10 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg CBD:

    $0.20 – $0.40

  • Extract Type:

    Isolate

  • THC Content:

    0.0%

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.

5. Phoria CBD Tincture with DHA Oil — CBD Oil With DHA

$29.99 – $99.99
Phoria

Phoria CBD Tincture with DHA Oil + CBD Oil Nano Tincture 30 mL

4.17 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    300 – 5000 mg

  • CBD Potency:

    10 – 83.3 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg CBD:

    $0.02 – $0.10

  • Extract Type:

    Full-Spectrum

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.

6. Bluebird Botanicals CBD Vape Oil — Best Vape Oil for Anxiety & Mood

$19.95 – $49.95
Bluebird Botanicals

Bluebird Botanicals CBD Vape Oil 10 – 30 mL

4 / 5

  • Total CBD:

    333 – 1000 mg

  • Potency:

    33.3 mg/mL

  • Cost per mg CBD:

    $0.05 – $0.06

  • Extract Type:

    Isolate

  • THC Content:

    <0.0273 mg/mL

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.

Benefits of CBD Oil For Anxiety, Stress & Depression

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.

The benefits of CBD oil for anxiety, depression, & mood disorders include:

  • Calms the mind by boosting GABA activity
  • Regulates serotonin & dopamine levels in the brain
  • Reduces brain inflammation
  • Promotes more restorative sleep
  • Reduces cortisol levels
  • Protects the body from oxidative damage

1. CBD Oil Calms The Mind By Promoting GABA Activity

GABA is the brain’s primary neuroinhibitor — which means it’s tasked with being the brake pedal for the mind. When we become anxious or agitated, it’s up to GABA to slow us down and bring us back to a more normal, relaxed state.

Anxiety sufferers often experience a problem with GABA. Without this compound keeping brain activity in check, we experience bouts of anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and more.

CBD has been shown to interact with GABA receptors in the brain [34].

The interaction is similar to the effects of common prescription anxiety medications like Xanax or Valium, but with much less force. Instead of directly activating these receptors, CBD helps improve the ability for naturally-produced GABA to bind to the receptor and exert its effect.

The result is a dramatic reduction in anxiety levels as well as other benefits like muscle relaxation and improved sleep onset.

2. CBD Regulates Serotonin & Dopamine

Serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are all key neurotransmitters involved with regulating mood and mental state. Imbalances with these neurotransmitters can lead to anxiety and depression.

CBD has been shown to stimulate the serotonin receptors (5HT1A) [30]— which leads to increased serotonin activity in the brain. Low 5HT1A receptor activity has been correlated with panic attacks and anxiety [31].

Dopamine also plays a key role in regulating anxiety levels. Low dopamine levels in mice are correlated with an increase in generalized anxiety symptoms [32]. CBD has been shown to have a mild stimulating effect on the dopamine receptors [9] — which increases dopamine levels in the brain and alleviates anxiety symptoms.

3. CBD Reduces Inflammation In The Brain

New evidence has recently come to light implicating neuroinflammation (inflammation in the brain) to be a major underlying cause for anxiety and depression [35].

The chemical balance in the brain must be kept within a tight range of controls. Compounds in our blood may interfere with this delicate balance, so a special membrane lining the blood vessels in our brain (called the blood-brain barrier) works to keep unwanted molecules from being able to enter the brain directly.

If this lining becomes inflamed, it can result in damage to the integrity of this barrier. Compounds in the blood enter the brain and affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, GABA, glutamate, and more — potentially leading to anxiety.

CBD has been shown to reduce neuroinflammation and enhance the regeneration of damaged nerve cells caused by the inflammatory process [36].

4. CBD Promotes Longer, More Restorative Sleep

Sleep deprivation is another common cause of anxiety. A 2006 study showed that just one night of sleep deprivation resulted in significantly higher anxiety scores the following day [37].

Anxiety itself is a common cause of insufficient sleep — resulting in a self-perpetuating negative feedback look. High anxiety levels lead to lower sleep quality, which leads to more anxiety.

CBD can be used to break the cycle by managing anxiety symptoms during the day and improving sleep quality at night.

A review paper analyzed the results of research on over 2000 participants to explore the impact of CBD and other cannabinoids on sleep. The study concluded that there was a clear increase in sleep quality and duration in around 50% of the patients taking part in these clinical studies [38].

5. CBD Reduces Cortisol Levels

Anxiety is directly related to our stress response — called the “fight or flight” response.

Stress begins with a region of the brain that includes the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. This part of the brain is tasked with controlling the release of hormones from other organs in the body, including the adrenal glands. The connection between these two organs is referred to as the HPA-axis (hypothalamic-pituitary axis).

When we’re faced with a stressful situation — such as coming face to face with a hungry animal or feeling the pressure of an upcoming deadline — the hypothalamus sends a signal to the adrenal glands to start releasing cortisol.

Cortisol is responsible for inducing the changes we perceive as stress. It increases heart rate and blood pressure, stimulates the mind, and forces blood sugar levels to increase.

Usually, when the stressful situation is mitigated, the hypothalamus stops telling the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol, and levels go back to normal.

However, many people remain in the “stress” state for long periods of time. Cortisol continues to activate the stress response, leading to symptoms associated with anxiety.

CBD and other cannabinoids have been shown to modulate the hypothalamus through its effects on the endocannabinoid system [39]. Improving the sensitivity of the hypothalamus leads to a dramatic reduction in cortisol levels.

6. CBD Protects Against Oxidative Damage

One of the main ways stress causes so much destruction is through something called oxidative damage.

Higher blood sugar and increased metabolic activity stress causes can lead to a buildup of free radical products which can damage tissues all over the body.

Normally this is cleared up when we enter the rest and digest mode in a state of relaxation, but of course, when we’re stressed for long periods of time these free radicals persist.

CBD oil is high in antioxidant compounds [48] that help neutralize free radical molecules and protects the body from their damaging influence.

CBD Oil For Anxiety

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.

Different Anxiety Disorders Include:

What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety has many causes. Virtually anything that triggers stress can result in anxiety. The most common causes are financial concerns, loss of a friend or family member, diagnosis with a health disorder, excessive stimulant intake, and lack of sleep.

Causes of Anxiety May Include:

  • Alcohol use
  • Caffeine intake
  • Heart disease
  • Inability to effectively cope with stress
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Recreational drug use & addiction
  • Side effects of medications
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Smoking
  • Traumatic history

What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety?

The symptoms of anxiety are different for everybody. The most common symptoms are increased heart rate, elevations in blood pressure, loss of focus, changes in mood, and insomnia.

Symptoms can come and go throughout the day, or remain consistent all day long.

Common symptoms of anxiety disorders include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Mood changes
  • Poor concentration
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive disturbances (constipation or diarrhea)
  • Hyperventilation
  • Frequent cold/flu

Are Pharmaceutical Anxiety Medications Dangerous to Our Health?

There are a variety of prescription medications doctors can choose from to treat anxiety. While these medications work in the short term, many of them lead to severe side effects, dependency, and potential for abuse with long term treatment.

The most common class of drugs used to treat anxiety are the benzodiazepines (such as Xanax). These drugs target the GABA receptors in a similar way to CBD, but with a much stronger effect.

In as little as 2 weeks, the body will start to form a dependency to benzodiazepines. When this happens, the GABA receptors adapt to the drug in an attempt to restore balance. GABA receptors become hidden in order to reduce the effects of the drug.

If the drug is no longer used, we lose our ability to activate GABA (because we have fewer receptors available in response to the drug). The results of this are the same symptoms that prompted us to take it in the beginning — anxiety, and insomnia. We become reliant on having the drug in our system for us to avoid anxiety attacks.

In short, taking prescription anxiety medications is safe short-term, but beyond 2-weeks of use, they can have the opposite effect — causing severe panic attacks and anxiety as soon as the medications start to wear off.

Common prescription Anxiety Medications Include:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)

Tips For Using CBD Oil For Anxiety

Let’s go over exactly how to use CBD for anxiety — including how it works, what dose to take, and which CBD oils you should be using.

1. What’s The Dose of CBD Oil For Anxiety?

Finding the right dose of CBD can be a challenge for first-time users. To make this as simple as possible, we’ve included our CBD oil dosage calculator.

Taking into account your weight and the desired strength, you can make a rough estimate regarding the amount of CBD needed to get the results you’re looking for.

Recommended strength for anxiety — moderate to heavy strength (1.5 – 2 mg/kg)

2. Track Your Progress

As with many mood and neurological disorders, it’s wise to keep track of your symptoms whenever trying a new supplement or medication.

This gives you a starting baseline and helps you track your progress — both good and bad — to see how the new supplement or medication is working.

We recommend spending a few minutes before taking CBD to answer the following questions:

  1. How is your mood on a scale of 1–10? (1 being very poor, 10 being very good)
  2. How would you rate your quality of sleep on a scale of 1–10?
  3. When you experience anxiety attacks, where do they rank in severity on a scale of 1–10?
  4. How is your energy on a scale of 1–10?
  5. What are some triggers for your anxiety symptoms?
  6. How many anxiety attacks do you have per day on average? Per week?
  7. What other symptoms are you experiencing along with your anxiety?
  8. What makes your symptoms feel better?

After a solid month of use, go back and answer these questions again.

Are there any improvements? Is anything worse?

Some of the benefits of CBD supplementation may be noticeable right away, especially those related to insomnia and the severity of anxiety attacks. You can expect to see the broader benefits after around a month or two. These may involve a reduction in the frequency of your anxiety attacks and improvements in associated conditions such as depression or fatigue.

3. Take Other Approaches to Manage Anxiety Alongside CBD

CBD is an excellent supplement for anxiety symptoms, but it works best when combined with other approaches as well. A targeted, multifaceted approach is always going to have a greater impact than any single therapy on its own — including CBD.

Here are some other steps you can take to mitigate your anxiety:

  • Eat a balanced diet & avoid high-sugar or processed foods
  • Identify the cause of your anxiety and take steps to reduce its impact
  • Visit a counselor to work through underlying traumas
  • Take other anxiety supplements alongside CBD oil (kava, L-theanine, magnesium)
  • Prioritize your sleep (aim for at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night)
  • Exercise regularly (even just 20 minutes per day has been shown to reduce anxiety levels)
  • Practice meditation or yoga (aim for 10 – 30 minutes per day)

CBD Oil For Depression

Depression is the most common mood disorder — affecting as many as 300 million people around the world each year, according to The World Health Organization.

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 Three Severity Levels of Depression:

  1. Mild depression — involving low-grade loss of interest or low motivation.
  2. Moderate depression — involves a major loss in motivation and low energy, and may or may not interfere with daily responsibilities.
  3. Severe depression — can include thoughts of suicide or complete loss of motivation.

The Benefits of CBD For Depression

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 [24].

CBD also protects the hippocampus from damage — which is a region of the brain tasked with regulating mood and one of the first regions of the brain to show signs of damage in the minds of depressed individuals.

The benefits of CBD oil for depression include:

  • Reduces brain inflammation
  • Protects the brain from damage and degeneration
  • Increases anandamide activity in the brain
  • Regulates serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine
  • Supports a healthy night of sleep

What Causes Depression?

There isn’t a single cause for depression. In most cases, it’s merely a symptom of other underlying medical conditions or unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices.

Causes of Depression May Include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic stress
  • Bereavement
  • Medication side-effects
  • Genetic diseases (such as Huntington’s Disease or multiple sclerosis)
  • Nutritional deficiencies (including B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and protein).

Does Chemical Imbalance Cause Depression?

The suggestion that depression is the result of neurotransmitter dysfunctions, usually involving serotonin, is more than 50 years old.

Research has come a long way since this time, especially in the realm of neurology.

Although many doctors stick to the idea that low neurotransmitter levels cause depression, this is far oversimplified, and no explicit connections have been established between the two yet.

The evidence to support this hypothesis involves something related, called tryptophan depletion. In this process, the precursor for serotonin, tryptophan, is completely blocked, causing serotonin levels to decrease and depressive symptoms to begin appearing.

In healthy individuals, tryptophan depletion doesn’t cause depression. This only happens in people who have a predisposition for depressive symptoms [44].

So, how can I incorporate CBD oil into my health routine to alleviate symptoms of depression?

The key to CBD for something as complex as depression is to make sure you use it in combination with other diet and lifestyle changes.

Performing activities that help to reduce stress, increase antioxidant protection and lower inflammation is going to go a long way in alleviating the symptoms of depression.

It’s also important to always consult with your doctor before starting CBD oil if you have depression, especially if you’re currently taking other antidepressant medications.

What Are the Symptoms of Depression?

Although many conditions have depression listed as a symptom, depression is also a condition with its own set of symptoms.

Confusing, I know, but then again the human body is incredibly complex.

Depression tends to come in packages with a series of other symptoms.

Some of the Signs and Symptoms of Depression Include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest in pleasure activities
  • Loss of motivation
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite
  • Apathy
  • Lack of ability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Irritability
  • Subservience (prostration)
  • Changes in habits

Common Treatment Options for Depression

Treating depression involves finding the cause.

Psychologists will usually identify if there are any signs of abuse, personal hardship, stressful events, substance abuse, or other causes of depression that may be at play.

Dieticians, nutritionists, and natural health therapists will look at the diet, and consider how the lifestyle of those affected factor into their depression.

Often, a diet and lifestyle change is enough to alleviate most symptoms of depression.

Doctors address depression as a condition of imbalance. They’ll give medications such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to counterbalance this.

1. MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors)

MAOIs are a class of pharmaceutical medications used for treating depression.

It involves inhibiting the enzyme (monoamine oxidase) that breaks down monoamine neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine).

By blocking this enzyme, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine takes longer to break down, and lingers in the neurons for longer periods.

If the cause of the depression is low serotonin or dopamine, this class of compounds is useful for boosting activity and alleviating symptoms. It won’t fix the problem, however, because as soon as the drug stops — everything goes back to normal. In some cases, we have rebounding drops in dopamine and serotonin — causing even more severe symptoms.

2. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)

SSRIs are the most common class of antidepressants used today.

Many believe that low serotonin levels are the leading cause of depression. Therefore, if there’s a way to target serotonin to boost its activity, we can alleviate the symptoms of depression.

A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor works to block serotonin from reabsorption and dissolution in the synapses of the brain.

This causes serotonin to build up outside the synapses and therefore boost overall mood.

It’s important to note that SSRIs don’t fix the cause of the low serotonin, and there’s a lot of evidence to support most cases of depression don’t involve a deficiency of serotonin [43]. Instead, research now indicates that depression is the direct result of neuroinflammation.

This explains why SSRIs have less effect on people as inflammatory markers go up in their bloodstream.

3. Tricyclic Antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants are an older generation of antidepressant medications.

Newer versions like MAOIs and SSRIs have mostly replaced them.

They block the reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine, which makes them very similar to SSRI medications.

The difference is that tricyclics produce a variety of undesired effects on other neurotransmitters as well — which gives them unpredictable side effects.

4. Anti-Inflammatories for Depression

Looking outside of conventional medicine, which maintains its obsession with serotonin levels, there are other ways to address depression effectively.

In the world of botanical medicine, there are perhaps hundreds of treatments for depression, some of them can be traced down to neurotransmitter modulation, such as St. John’s wort or Catuaba, while others have a mechanism that is less clear (initially).

Ashwagandha, Rehmannia, ginseng, turmeric, and frankincense are all potent antidepressants with plenty of evidence to back up their use — yet none of them have a clear interaction with serotonin. The factor that connects these herbs is their strong anti-inflammatory profile.

There are other examples of reliable antidepressant herbs with anti-inflammatory effects, too many to list here.

Conventional medicine is catching on, and there are a few anti-inflammatory drugs on trial for the treatment of depression — some showing promising results.

Where do cannabis and CBD come into all of this?

CBD is arguably one of the most potent herbal anti-inflammatory compounds on earth.

Tips For Using CBD Oil For Depression

1. What’s The Dose of CBD Oil For Depression?

Finding the right dose of CBD can be a challenge because everyone responds differently to its effects.

You can use our CBD dosage calculator below to help find the right dose based on your weight and strength level of the CBD oil.

If you’re just starting, we recommend aiming for the lower end of the spectrum and building up to the higher doses.

Most of the studies done on CBD for depression use heavy doses (2 – 3 mg/kg).

2. Use High-Quality CBD Oils

Whenever using CBD oil for something serious like depression, it’s important that you always choose the highest quality products possible.

There are a lot of CBD oils on the market, and to be honest, most of them are of poor quality.

We always recommend checking out our guide for the best CBD Oils.

3. Combine CBD Oil With Other Depression Therapies

This is the most critical step.

Many other factors are involved with depression, including how we handle stress, and what foods we’re eating.

Most people in the modern world lack the mental tools needed to manage stress effectively — and it’s no secret that modern humans tend to have a terrible diet.

When we allow stress to take control of our lives and eat foods that promote inflammation and nutrient deficiencies, depression often follows. Therefore, it’s crucial that we take measures to lower the causes of our stress, work on ways to increase our ability to endure stress when it happens, and optimize our diet to reduce inflammation.

Lifestyle Changes Recommended for Reducing Stress & Depression:

  • Practice meditation
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Ensure you’re allowing 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Listen to relaxing music when feeling stressed
  • Write a list of the causes of your stress and make a plan to eliminate/deal with them
  • Visit a therapist or psychologist to work through difficult causes of stress

Dietary Considerations to Minimize Depression Symptoms:

  • Include at least half a plate of fresh vegetables with every meal
  • Avoid refined, processed foods
  • Avoid eating on the go, sit down and spend time eating and digesting your food
  • See a nutritionist to identify and eliminate any potential food allergies
  • Drink tea instead of coffee

CBD Oil For Other Mood Disorders

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.

What Causes Mood Disorders?

  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic stress
  • Bereavement
  • Medication side-effects
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Chronic anxiety

Here are the most common types of mood disorders and how CBD may be able to help:

1. Bipolar Disorder

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.

The Benefits of CBD For Bipolar Disorder

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.

2. Mania

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.

The Benefits of CBD For Mania

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.

3. Hypomania

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.

The Benefits of CBD For Hypomania

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.

4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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.

The Benefits of CBD For Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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.

The Endocannabinoid System & Mood

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.

CBD, THC, & The Endocannabinoid System

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 [24].

What the Research Says: CBD For Anxiety, Stress & Mood

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.

A) Mood Disorders In Animals

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 [3].

Another study investigated the details of how CBD exerts its antidepressant effects and found that CBD inhibited the reuptake of serotonin in mice brains [2]. 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 [10].

B) Mood Disorders In Humans

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 [1].

Human studies have also shown that CBD supplementation reduced anxiety during simulated public speaking events (400 mg dose) [5], 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 [9].

How to Use CBD for Anxiety & Depression

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.

Choose The Best CBD Products for Anxiety

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.

Factors to Consider When Buying CBD:

  • Third-party test results
  • Product potencies
  • Additional information about the company
  • Quality of the hemp being used
  • Customer service responsiveness and knowledge
  • Additional ingredients list

CBD Oil Dosage for Stress, Anxiety, & Depression

Dosing CBD oil isn’t an exact science. Everybody responds differently to CBD products, so the dose is different for everyone.

In general, the dose of CBD for managing stress is around 10 – 50 mg per dose. Some people take one dose per day, others two or three.

The easiest way to find the dose of CBD for your body is to use our CBD oil dosage calculator below. Everybody is different, so start with the lowest dose and increase once you know how your body reacts.

In general, the doses of CBD for stress, anxiety, and depression are in the following ranges:

  • Mild Stress — Mild dosage
  • Severe Stress — Moderate dosage
  • Mild Anxiety — Moderate dosage
  • Severe Anxiety — Heavy dosage
  • Depression — Heavy dosage

If you experience any side-effects, it means you’ve taken a dose that’s too high for your body. Reduce the dose the next time to the last dose that didn’t produce side effects — this is your maximum dose.

CBD Dosage Calculator

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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.

Step 3: Monitor Any Changes

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.

Some Sample Questions to Ask to Monitor Your Progress with CBD

  1. Rate your stress on a scale of 1 to 10
  2. Rate your mood on a scale of 1 to 10
  3. Rate the average quality of your sleep on a scale of 1 to 10
  4. Describe your mood today in a sentence
  5. How many times have you exercised this week?
  6. What was your daily dose of CBD?
  7. What other supplements did you take this week?

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).

Step 4: Combine Other Supplements Alongside Your CBD Oil

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:

1. Rhodiola

(Rhodiola rosea)

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.

2. Ashwagandha

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.

3. L-Theanine

(High-Grade Green Tea — the Source of L-Theanine)

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.

4. St. John’s Wort

(St. John’s Wort — Hypericum perforatum)

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.

5. Kava Kava

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.

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.

Red Flags to Watch Out For With CBD Oils

1. The Potency is Too Low

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.

2. Contamination: Heavy Metals, Pesticides, & More

This is common, and can actually cause chemical stress to the body rather than alleviate it.

3. CBD Isolates Lack the Support of the Entourage Effect

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.

4. Some Products Lack Supportive Ingredients

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.

Summing It Up: Can CBD Help With Mood & Anxiety Disorder?

CBD has a lot of benefits — but few are as well studied as its impact on mood and anxiety levels.

Studies have shown CBD products can help regulate serotonin and dopamine, increase GABA activity in the brain, promote a more sound sleep at night, regulate the fight or flight response, and fight inflammation in the brain.

All of these changes have a positive impact on anxiety levels.

If you plan on using CBD products to help manage your anxiety, it’s important you find a reputable brand that can verify its claims through independent lab testing. It also helps to look for products that contain a full-spectrum hemp extract and a relatively high potency of CBD (at least 500 mg per ounce).

For even better results, look for CBD products that combine other anti-anxiety ingredients such as kava, L-theanine, or hops.

In Review: Best CBD For Anxiety, Stress & Mood

Number Product Total CBD Potency Cost per mg CBD Link

1

Royal CBD Oil

250 – 1000 mg

8.3 – 33.3 mg/mL

$0.15 – $0.26

2

Gold Bee CBD Capsules

1200 mg

40 mg per Capsule

$0.07

3

Good Morning. By Headery

900 mg

30 mg/mL

$0.08

4

Kat’s Naturals Relax THC-Free Sublingual CBD Oil

50 mg – 300 mg

10 mg/mL

$0.20 – $0.36

5

Phoria CBD Tincture with DHA Oil + CBD Oil Nano Tincture

300 – 5000 mg

10 – 83.3 mg/mL

$0.02 – $0.10

6

Bluebird Botanicals CBD Vape Oil

333 – 1000 mg

33.3 mg/mL

$0.07 – $0.09

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Conditions that May Respond to Cannabidiol

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