Note: This ‘Does CBD Vape Help Anxiety Article, has been co-authored by Dr Andres Maldonado M.D., in line with the ‘Vape and Juice Medical Review Policy’. See our Medical Editorial Team.
Does CBD vape help anxiety might be a question on your lips if you are someone who suffers from the condition. Anxiety can be debilitating. It can affect your social life, your work and everything in between.
In the UK there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK in 2013. This is only counting those who sought help for the condition. The figure could actually be much higher.
What is anxiety?
Everyone will experience a bout of anxiety at some point. It is that feeling of unease in the pit of your stomach. It can make you feel sick, restless or just want to curl up and hide away.
You might be anxious before an exam or a job interview, which is totally understandable. Anxiety is a natural response to ‘dangerous’ situations. For others, this anxiety goes much deeper and they are unable to control these emotions.
General Anxiety Disorder is a condition that affects every day. You are not anxious about one event, but a series of things. Often, one worry is resolved and another takes its place, almost instantly.
Social Anxiety Disorder is where the person has an overwhelming fear of social situations.
- Panic disorder
Panic disorder is a condition where you often have panic attacks or fear. These can be triggered or can happen at any time of the day or night for no apparent reason.
PTSD stems from a traumatic experience. Someone with this anxiety disorder may also experience flashbacks, nightmares, guilt, isolation and insomnia.
People use the term OCD quite loosely. “I’m so OCD with my cleaning” is actually be very different from the condition. This anxiety disorder is when a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.
How is anxiety usually treated?
Anxiety can be treated in a number of ways, from talk therapy to medication. The type of meds you may be offered are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). These are a version of antidepressant which increase the serotonin in your brain. Low levels of this chemical are thought to cause anxiety disorders as well as depression.
Side effects of anti-anxiety medications
There are some side effects to anti-anxiety medications that are not very welcome. We’ve checked the NHS website and this is what they have suggested:
- feeling agitated
- feeling or being sick
- diarrhoea or constipation
- loss of appetite and weight loss
- blurred vision
- dry mouth
- excessive sweating
- problems sleeping (insomnia) or drowsiness
- low sex drive
- difficulty achieving orgasm during sex or masturbation
- in men, difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
What is CBD
CBD is a compound called a cannabinoid, that is found in the cannabis plant. There are over a hundred different cannabinoids in the plant, however, the most known ones are CBD and THC. In the short video below you can get some further info into exactly what it is and where it comes from.
More into reading? Check out History of CBD.
How might CBD vape help anxiety?
There are a few ways in which CBD vape may help anxiety. You will be wise to chat with your healthcare provider before mixing or replacing your medications though.
Serotonin in the brain is thought to help regulate mood, happiness and anxiety. When this chemical is low it has been linked to depression and anxiety disorders.
Studies indicate that the cannabinoid CBD interacts with serotonin receptor, which may have anxiolytic effects. Anxiolytics are drugs that are used to reduce anxiety.
CBD is said to increase binding at the 5-HT1a receptor in a similar way to serotonin. There is also thought that it may help your body to use its own serotonin to reduce anxiety.
Terpenes found within full spectrum CBD and other herbs and plants may have added benefits to reducing the conditions. When you look for CBD vape to help anxiety you might consider a full spectrum e-liquid which contains the whole plant. This will then contain terpenes such as Alpha-Pinene which is thought to help with anxiety.
Lowers activity in parts of the brain
There is research to suggest that CBD lowers activity in the amygdala by increasing prefrontal cortex activation. The amygdala is a part of the brain which plays a huge part in our emotions.
Side effects of vaping CBD
The great thing about vaping CBD is that there are very few side effects, and they are not experienced by everyone.
In brief, these include a dry mouth, some cases of abnormal liver enzyme activity, lightheaded sensations, low blood pressure and feeling sick when vaping on an empty stomach. You can read more over here on the side effects of vaping CBD.
Sources: The Fatty Liver Foundation on CBD
Are the benefits of CBD well researched?
Does CBD vape help anxiety is a question being researched and answered all over the world. There have been studies on mice, rats as well as humans.
One human study looked at how CBD may help with social anxiety. The test involved two groups. One group was given a placebo, the other CBD. They were then asked to take part in a public speaking event. Those who were given the CBD said they felt much less anxious than those who had the placebo.
Is vaping CBD safe?
Vaping is said to be 95% safer than smoking, according to Public Health England. The ingredients, providing you do not have an allergy to them, are safe. They include:
- Propylene Glycol
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Flavourings and flavenoids
When you vape CBD you need to make sure you are vaping and e liquid, rather than an oil. Oil is not meant to go in a vape device, and doing so can be unsafe. You may have heard of a mysterious lung disease in 2019, this was mainly due to people vaping THC oil. You can read more about this on our Vaping Health Concerns post.
Is vaping CBD the best way to help anxiety
There are lots of ways to take CBD. Vaping the cannabinoid is said to be the most bioavailable, meaning that you need a smaller dosage for the same effects. It also enters your bloodstream and brain faster than other methods.
Medical Editor Note (Dr Andres Maldonado MD)
Although it is a tool to lean on, it does not replace medical care
Other ways to take CBD include:
- Creams and lotions
- Oil drops
Does CBD vape help anxiety – final thoughts
CBD shows great promise in helping anxiety and the problems which go along side it, such as difficulty sleeping.
The effects have been researched in both animals and human studies and the results have given us hope in some cases. We understand the safety profile, but there is a long path still to ensure it’s efficacy.
As for vaping CBD, it is a fast delivery method as the cannabinoid enters your bloodstream as quick as other routes. This might be preferable if the results continue to show promise and you want quick relief from your anxiety state, which let’s be honest, we all do!
You don’t have to have a diagnosed disorder to vape CBD to help anxiety. It might just be used for those times when you are anxious before an interview or are stressed at work.
If you do decide to use CBD then make sure you chat with your doctor before coming off any medication. It might be that they suggest to use both your meds and the cannabinoid in conjunction with each other. The Dr will also be able to talk to you about drug interactions and whether there will be any with your specific meds.
Remember, we are not doctors (Except for our Medical Review Team), just lovers of CBD who are passionate about alternative remedies. This article is based on research we have found as well as personal experiences.