How To Use CBDA And CBD For Help With Anxiety
Many people have turned to cannabinoids, including CBDA and CBD for anxiety relief. Everyone experiences anxiety, and with symptoms ranging from heart palpitations, shortness of breath, excess sweating and trembling, we can see why people are searching for relief. Often times we can see anxiety rise when work deadlines approach, public speaking is required, or when our finances and relationships become stressful. This can lead to poor decision making and sleepless nights, which is why so many people are exploring hemp derived products to help reduce stress and anxiety.
How to get the best CBD and CBDA for Anxiety
There are many ways that CBDA and CBD are administered, such as tinctures, edibles, transdermal, and vaporizers being the most popular. For immediate relief, vaporizers are the best approach since they are absorbed rapidly (5-10 minutes), but also may not have some negative health complications due to the additional ingredients and temperature of the smoke. Tinctures and edibles provide a consistent release, and are absorbed within 10-30 minutes of ingestion.
|Potential for Contaminants
General outline of different delivery mechanisms for CBDA and CBD. Contaminants will depend on the quality of the manufacturer as well. Check for a CoA of the CBDA/CBD product before buying. See our guide on how to interpret a CoA.
CBDA and CBD edibles for anxiety
Since so many people enjoy edibles, we will briefly talk about this CBDA and CBD product.
The benefits of CBDA and CBD edibles for anxiety is their ease of use and ease of dosing. Many edibles, like CBDA and CBD gummies are easily cut into halves for 4ths if you need to start with lower doses.
If you are taking an edible, expect results to kick in around the hour mark. We will note that CBDA gummies are a bit quicker in the 15-30 minute mark due to their superior absorption.
Make sure that if you are buying CBDA or CBD gummies for anxiety that they are infused and not sprayed. Many gummies that are sprayed do not have consistent dosing since the CBD wears off over time.
CBDA and CBD quality for anxiety
Searching for the best product starts with the certificate of analysis (CoA) from a third-party laboratory. The company you buy from should show what is in their product, and also, what contaminants are not in their product.
What are the top 5 things you should see in a CoA?
- Potency: this shows the amount and type of cannabinoids that are in the product. This should match the label on the CBDA or CBD product.
- Pesticides: while the FDA does not allow the use of pesticides when growing hemp, there can be residual pesticides left in the soil from previous different crops. These are then absorbed by the hemp and can be found in the flower extract.
- Heavy metals: almost all soil has some form of heavy metals, but usually in lower amounts. However, sometimes soils that are contaminated have higher amounts of heavy metals which are absorbed by the hemp plant.
- Solvents: different types of solvents are used to extract the cannabinoids from the hemp flower, and while most companies remove them, they are not always 100% successful.
- Microbes: bacteria and mold get into everything so its important to check that there are no potentially harmful microbials in your product.
For more information see our blog post on how to do this yourself.
To find the best CBDA suppliers check out our guide and industry report on some of the top suppliers.
Enhanced CBDA absorption for anxiety
Natural Dos specializes in CBDA Natural Spectrum products that contain all the original cannabinoids found in the hemp flower.
Not only is CBDA absorbed better than CBD, but CBDA also increases CBD blood levels greater than taking CBD alone, making the combination of the two a superior product!
In a recent study, they showed that CBDA absorption can be up to 14-time greater when it is combined with other cannabinoids.
Can CBD help reduce anxiety? What about CBDA for anxiety?
There are a number of studies assessing CBD and CBDA and its potential benefits for anxiety relief. In a follow-up study of 250 patients, CBD was found to significantly improve anxiety/depression over a 1-year timeframe (p=0.02)1. This study in Colorado with 41 patients found that CBD administration of 25mg per day reduced anxiety in 78% of participants over 3 months of study2.
CBD is being tested in many areas where anxiety can have significant effects on a patient’s social life. For example, this study looked at the effects of CBD on patients with generalized social anxiety disorder under conditions of simulated stress from public speaking. Administration of CBD (600mg) prior to simulated public speaking decreased anxiety and improved cognitive impairment in those individuals with social anxiety disorder3.
Overall, the main concern with CBD for anxiety is the inherent poor absorption of CBD because it is not water soluble. This means that you need to consume a much higher dose of CBD to get a clinically relevant result. This often means in the hundreds of milligrams (e.g. 200mg to 600mg range).
CBDA for anxiety
CBDA has seen fewer studies than CBD to date since the technical abilities to purify it from the hemp plant has only recently been employed at scale in the wider industry. However, there are a number of pre-clinical research manuscripts that show substantial benefit in CBDA for reducing anxiety scores4,5. Often the research catches up to the observations seen in the field.
For example, CBDA is a potent activator of the serotonin receptor 5HT1A. This is a common target for many SSRI drugs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), and may underly its relaxing and calming effects.
Similar to CBD, CBDA is also a regulator in the endocannabinoid system through the CB2 receptor. Combined with its enhanced absorption, CBDA benefits for anxiety can be significant.
CBD and CBDA dosage for anxiety
Before taking CBD and figuring out a dosage, talk to your doctor. CBD is known to have some drug-drug interactions so its important to know if this is something to consider.
Every person has slightly different biology, so individuals should will need to try a range of doses to see what works best for them. Based on the published literature, a good place to start is 50mg of CBDA or 50mg of CBD daily and dose up or down from there depending on your personal response.
Prior studies have used much higher doses and seen significant improvements:
- A 2011 study found that 600mg helped patients with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
- Public speaking is known to cause anxiety in many people, and this 2019 study found 300mg improved anxiety in study participants.
If you have liver complications, it is especially important to talk with your physician before trying CBDA or CBD.
Potential risks and side effects of CBDA and CBD
CBD is a prescribed drug for epilepsy patients and therefore has been widely tested for side effects. This study published in 2011 suggests that up to 1500mg per day is safe for healthy people. For CBDA there are much fewer studies assessing potential side effects, so it is recommended to talk with your physician if you plan on taking higher amounts.
Patients have reported some side effects of CBD such as:
- Altered appetite
- Changes in weight
Hemp derived cannabinoids, like many nutraceuticals, are still under researched, but there is a growing body of evidence supporting their health benefits for anxiety related symptoms.
Currently, the FDA has only supported CBD for the use of refractory epilepsy under supervision of a physician.
If you are currently taking medication or have liver complications it is important that you consult your physician before using CBD or CBDA.
1. Graham Gulbransen, William Xu, Bruce Arroll, “Cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice: an audit of the first 400 patients in New Zealand”, BJGP Open, May, 2020, 1;4(1).
2. Scott Shannon, Nicole Lewis, Heather Lee, Shannon Hughes, “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series,” The Permanente Journal, 2019, 23:18-041.
3. Mateus M Bergamaschi, Regina Helena Costa Queiroz, Marcos Hortes Nisihara Chagas, Danielle Chaves Gomes de Oliveira, Bruno Spinosa De Martinis, Flavio Kapczinski, Joao Quevedo, Rafael Roesler, Nadja Schroder, Antonio E Nardi,Rocio Martin-Santos, Jaime Eduardo Cecilio Hallak, Antonio Waldo Zuardi, and Jose Alexandre S Crippa, “Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients,” Neuropsychopharmacology, 2011, 36:1219-1226
4. Neda Assareh, Anand Gururajan, Cilla Zhou, Jia Lin Luo, Richard C Kevin, Jonathon C Arnold, “Cannabidiol disrupts conditioned fear expression and cannabidiolic acid reduces trauma-induced anxiety-related behavior in mice,” Behavioral Pharmacology, 2020, 31:591-596
5. Erin M Rock, Cheryl L Limebeer, Gavin N Petrie, Lauren A Williams, Raphael Mechoulam, Linda A Parker, “Effect of prior foot shock stress and d9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiolic acid, and cannabidiol on anxiety-like responding in the light-dark emergence test in rats,” Psychopharmacology,2017, 234:2207-2217
FAQ: CBDA and CBD for Anxiety Relief
Does CBDA help with anxiety?
CBDA is often used for its calming and relaxing effects, and there are now multiple pre clinical trials showing it can have anti anxiety effects. These effects most likely come from its interaction with the both the serotonin (5HT1A receptor) and endocannbinoid system (CB2 receptor).
Is CBDA better than CBD for anxiety?
The effects of a compound are derived from its bioavailability (how well its absorbed) and its targets in the body. CBDA is absorbed over 450% better than CBD, and can boost both the serotonin and endocannabinoind system.
How much CBDA for anxiety?
Everyone has a slightly different biochemistry so its important start with a low dose before moving up. Typically consumers will look to the 25mg to 50mg daily dose before trying something higher if those ranges dont work well.