Groundbreaking studies have suggested that CBD is very effective at treating social anxiety, though there’s still a lot of confusion about exactly how it works. Is taking CBD for social anxiety right for you? We’re going to walk you through the science, address any safety concerns, and share some real testimonies from people who have tried using CBD for SAD (social anxiety disorder). We’ll even tell you how you can start managing your social anxiety with CBD today.
Why Take CBD for Social Anxiety?
Before we jump head first into the land of cannabidiol (CBD), you may be wondering why you should even consider CBD as an option. Isn’t there plenty of medication out there for anxiety already?
While traditional anxiety treatments work for some, many people are turning to CBD because:
After just a few days of taking CBD, may sufferers of social anxiety have found their lives changed for the better. Some have even reported being able to leave their homes for the first time they can remember without feeling nervous and agitated.
These accounts and the science behind them (we’ll discuss that in a minute) are promising and have inspired many to try CBD for themselves. This article may leave you feeling the same way, but remember, if you suffer from (or think you might suffer from) an anxiety disorder, always check with your doctor before trying any form of treatment.
How does CBD Treat Social Anxiety?
In the past, CBD’s effects on anxiety had been largely based on testimony rather than hard science. But recently, one peer-reviewed study after another has shown solid evidence that CBD really does improve not just our perception of anxiety but our brain chemistry as well.
Here’s how it works
During studies, scientists found that human subjects taking CBD reported a reduction in feelings of anxiety in their daily lives. When they took a look at their brain chemistry, what they found was surprising.
They concluded that CBD has a direct effect on the limbic system and paralimbic cortex. These both exist within our brains and make up what psychologists refer to as our “emotional nervous system.” One of the components of this system is the amygdala: the fear center of the brain. This is where anxiety comes from.
Sometimes fear and anxiety are good. We need our amygdala to tell us to be afraid when a threat is near. But, if this part of our brain becomes unbalanced and unchecked, then we feel irrational fear and anxiety all the time.
So, your amygdala is running wild. How can CBD help?
One of the ways that our anxiety is reduced naturally is by the neurotransmitter GABA. When GABA receptors are stimulated, we feel relaxed or sedated. Anti-anxiety medication stimulates GABA receptors to provide relief. There are especially high levels of GABA in the amygdala.
CBD modulates GABA activity and binds with GABA receptors to provide relief from anxiety, panic, depression, and stress. Scientists have observed CBD’s direct effect on the limbic system and on GABA activity therein.
CBD, therefore, has a similar effect on our bodies that anti-anxiety medication has. The difference is that CBD is all-natural and much safer than synthetic drugs.
Is Taking CBD for Social Anxiety Safe?
Considering the serious side effects and high risk of dependency associated with many anti-anxiety drugs, saying the CBD is safer may not be very convincing.
Nonetheless, studies have shown that CBD is very safe under most conditions.
Although CBD has been shown to be very safe, there are some concerns that need to be addressed:
CBD is used by many as an effective treatment for social anxiety. Users across the country take CBD safely every day to counter feelings of stress, panic, and irritability. But, if you’re trying CBD for the first time, don’t take too much all at once. This could actually trigger your anxiety.
Start with the lowest concentration available and work your way up to a dose you’re comfortable with (we’ll tell you how below). The proper dosage will be different for everyone, as CBD’s effects are determined by body chemistry and genetics.
The best way to find out if CBD is right for you is to consult your doctor.
Does CBD Deliver Results?: Real CBD User Reviews
We know how CBD interacts with our brains, but how does it make you feel? Can CBD really make social anxiety go away? How long does it take to work?
To find out more, we asked some real people to share how CBD impacted their social anxiety.
(Note: The following quotes have been edited slightly for purposes of readability.)
I started taking CBD for migraines a while back, and after about a week I realized that I felt more energetic and more social. Actually, my husband pointed it out. I was always reluctant to go out to dinner or to talk to people at the store or at church, but he told me I was chirping up like a little bird! Then I noticed it too. I feel a lot more comfortable in social situations and around people I don’t know. My migraines have improved too!
Dana, 47, Illinois
I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when I was 23, and SAD is a big part of my experience. It kind of ruined my life for a while. I went through the motions and supported myself, but I didn’t get any enjoyment out of my social life anymore. I just wanted to be alone. I really hated it because I could remember what it was like to have fun with my friends. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I tried medication, but it just made me feel numb. Finally, I discovered CBD and it was a game changer. I still feel anxiety about meeting new people and one-on-one interaction sometimes, but now I feel much more confident and I actually want to socialize and go to parties again.
Drew, 29, New York
I left my house for the first time in two years after trying CBD for one week. I have severe SAD, so interacting with others besides close family is basically impossible. After trying CBD, I started to feel more relaxed and like my world was a little bit bigger. I actually felt confident enough to walk around the block. My mom cried. This is the most hope I’ve had in a long time. I want to go to a movie soon and maybe get a job someday.
Paul, 24, Texas
I take CBD oil once or twice a day and it just makes life easier. I don’t feel much, but I notice that it’s just easier to interact with people, smile, and let things go. I don’t overthink things too much and I don’t get so mad at myself all the time like before. I used to almost have a panic attack if I went shopping and assistants kept coming up to me asking if I needed anything. I also used to feel nauseous I would get so nervous about reporting to colleagues and my boss at work, even if I typed it all out beforehand. Now I can talk to people and go to work without feeling that horrible tightness in my chest or worrying about panicking all the time.
Megan, 35, California
When my wife died I stopped going out. I used to golf and go to dinner, but I didn’t know how to cope with the change. It took a few years for my family to convince me this wasn’t normal, and my doctor told me I suffered from depression and social anxiety. By then, I thought it was too late for me. I was old, and I didn’t feel like doing anything. A family member introduced me to CBD and from the first time I took it, I felt a relaxing feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time. It was like someone’s hand just released its grip from around me. I still take it every day and now I don’t feel dread about going to dinner with family. I even started going to the gym and hope to golf again soon. I really recommend giving it a try.
Bill, 71, Kansas
The effect may not be uniform around the globe, but there’s one thing that all users generally agree on: taking CBD for social anxiety works.
Everyone’s body is different, and therefore, everyone’s reaction to CBD will be a bit different too. Some have stated that taking CBD was completely life-changing. Others said that it simply helped to ease their feelings of social anxiety.
It might work a little, and it might work a lot, but the quality of life of those who take CBD for social anxiety almost always improves. One study on social anxiety found that anxiety levels were reduced in ALL of the participants given CBD.
There are thousands of testimonies all over the web like the accounts above. It says something that those who found relief by using CBD want to share their stories with others. Those who found it so hard to be social are now actively reaching out, and to strangers at that.
How to Take CBD for Social Anxiety
If you’re ready to take CBD for social anxiety, you need to know how to best take it to reduce your symptoms. CBD comes in many different forms and concentrations, and they don’t all affect you in the same way.
Here are just a few ways you can take CBD:
CBD is used to help a wide range of ailments from schizophrenia and epilepsy to mild pain. The amount you should take and the form you should take it in depend on your condition.
If you suffer from social anxiety, it is recommended that you take CBD in two different forms—one that affects you gradually throughout the day and one that affects you immediately.
The idea is, you take a gradual dose to maintain a baseline of CBD in your system and to keep your anxiety under control. The fast-acting dose should be kept on hand in case you feel a surge of anxiety or panic (say, if you have to speak in public or go to a job interview).
Some popular combinations of gradual and fast-acting CBD include:
CBD oil is one of the most popular forms of CBD for social anxiety relief because, as seen above, it can be taken in different ways. If you want to try CBD for social anxiety for the first time, we recommend trying CBD oil first.
Start with CBD oil that contains 250 mg of CBD per bottle. This is a relatively low concentration of CBD and a good place to start. If you suffer from more severe anxiety, you may want to start with a 500 mg bottle of CBD oil, but again, we always recommend starting with the lightest dose and working your way up.
Make sure to order CBD from a trusted producer. There are many CBD companies making big promises nowadays, but as CBD is not yet regulated by the FDA, not all of their claims can be trusted.
The CBD companies in our reviews section have all been researched thoroughly and their products have been tested by our staff. If you’re looking for a trustworthy CBD supplier, you can start there.
Taking CBD for social anxiety is a legitimate way to find real anxiety relief—the growing popularity of CBD products and the scientific evidence both suggest the same. Talk to your doctor and find a trusted CBD producer, and you can experience the all-natural benefits that CBD can bring to your life.