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We’re hearing a lot about CBD these days. We’ve even seen several CBD shops popping up here in conservative Boise! As more and more information is coming out, learning is that many people are using it to manage their anxiety (among other things) and seeing improvements!

There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the topic, though, which is unfortunate. It’s important to get to know the facts, because misinformation can prevent scores of people from finding the relief they deserve. While I’ve relied on yoga, meditation, and even the keto diet to find relief from anxiety, having more natural options would be great. Have you ever wondered if CBD could help your anxiety and OCD?

What Is CBD?

So many people hear the word cannabidiol (CBD) and they immediately think marijuana. No, you’re not going to get high from CBD! The Harvard Health Publishing explains that cannabidiol is “derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant.” What that means is that, although you’ll find CBD in marijuana, but CBD is NOT marijuana. You’ll find eggs in bread, for example, but eggs are not bread. See the difference?

To back up what I’m saying, let’s look at what the World Health Organization (WHO has to say: “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

But what about THC, one of the main chemicals found in marijuana? As WebMD states, “THC… produces the “high” people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it.” Some CBD products do contain THC, but typically in very small amounts (0.03% or less). You will not feel “stoned” or be impaired from your daily dose of CBD. 

Major Types of CBD Products

When you start shopping for CBD, you’ll have to get familiar with some of the terms. To choose between full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate products, for example, you’ll need to understand the difference. 

  • Full Spectrum — Most popular. Almost always contain some THC. Made up of a variety of cannabinoids which work together to create the “entourage effect.” 
  • Broad Spectrum — Similar benefits, but without THC.
  • Isolates — Sometimes labeled as “pure CBD” because the CBD has been isolated from all other components. 

A lot of people who effectively manage their anxiety with CBD say that having that little bit of THC makes a difference. It can potentially cause you to fail a drug test, however, so some people avoid it for that reason. Hopefully, we’ll continue to learn more about CBD and the stigma will fall away.

How Should You Use CBD?

There are a number of ways that people use CBD. When choosing a method, it’s important to understand the concept of bioavailability, which refers to how much CBD will make it into your system. There are several delivery methods, each associated with a different level of bioavailability (shared in brackets below). 

    • Sublingual (20-30%) — CBD oil is extremely popular right now. Most people put drops of it under their tongue and hold it there for 60-90 seconds to allow it to be fully absorbed. It might take around 30 minutes to make an impact, making it ideal for daily management rather than a rescue method. 
    • Inhalation (30-40%) — The effects of CBD are typically instant for those who vape or inhale the products. It goes directly to the lungs where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Some find this method effective when coping with panic attacks. 
    • Oral (5%) — You can eat or swallow CBD, typically in the form of baked goods, chocolates, or gummies. It takes longer for the effect to kick in, and people may need a lot of product to feel any therapeutic effect. Any relief, however, can last for up to eight hours, though! 
    • Topical (0%) — Whenever CBD products such as creams and balms are used, the relief is localized. While it might make a sore knee feel better, it won’t reach the bloodstream. Therefore, it’s not a great method for treating anxiety or OCD. 
    • Transdermal (70%) — While they are similar to topicals because they are applied to the skin, transdermal CBD products (such as patches) are designed to be absorbed into the bloodstream. They are expensive, but are great for whole body relief, including local pain and anxiety. 
    • Suppositories (80-90%) — There aren’t a lot of people taking CBD suppositories, but they work well for people who have trouble swallowing or need higher doses of cannabinoids. 

You may need to experiment with several methods before you find the one that is right for you. Ultimately, this is a personal decision. 

How Do You Find The Right Dose?

The million dollar question after someone decides to try CBD is always “how much should I take?” The tricky thing is that there’s no right answer. What you need will depend on your personal situation, body, and the brand you buy. 

If you purchase a CBD oil, many companies offer customer service. Reach out to them and ask for guidance about using their product. In our experience, most brands are really good about this! 

Despite the fact that there’s no evidence that you can overdose on CBD, it’s always a good idea to start gradually. Begin with a low dose and slowly increase the amount until you start to feel a difference. We love the suggestions provided in this great article on CBDOilUsers.com

How to Choose a Brand

We’ll say it once (and we’ll probably have to say it again) — buy your CBD products DIRECTLY from the manufacturer. People searching Amazon for CBD run a real risk of getting counterfeit products that contain little or no CBD. 

For guidance, refer to this informative article about How to Shop for CBD. Look for reviews on the internet. What are people saying about the product? Can you see the results of third-party testing certifying the quality of the item you’re thinking of buying?

Trust your gut, too. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. From what we’ve seen in message boards and Facebook groups, these seem to be the most popular brands: 

  • NuLeaf Naturals
  • CBDistillery
  • CBDMD
  • Lazarus Naturals
  • Fab CBD

We can’t personally attest to the quality of all of these brands because we’ve only tried the first two. What we can say is that a member of our family has seen improvements in their health as a result of continued treatment with CBD oil and it’s changed our lives.

NuLeaf Naturals

At least once a month, we place an order to NuLeaf Naturals. This is not a paid endorsement, it’s not an ad, and we’ve received nothing from them. We’re just sharing our experience as consumers. 

When we were researching CBD brands, NuLeaf Naturals was consistently ranked among the very best. Founded in 2014, they focus solely on delivering high quality CBD oil. As such, they don’t carry any other products. 

The company sources their CBD from licensed farms in Colorado, and the third-party testing information is readily available on their website. It’s definitely not the cheapest CBD brand on the market, but they do offer multiple assistance programs

We’ve had nothing but great interactions with their customer service, who have bent over backwards to help us several times. We couldn’t recommend NuLeaf Naturals more. Their products are available online

Is It Legal In Your State?

Not every state has laws that allow the use of CBD. Idaho is definitely not the most CBD-friendly state, even though people are openly selling (and buying it). Things change all the time, so if this is important to you, check for new developments every few months. Here are a few articles you can use as reference:

It’s a tough topic, but laws and attitudes are changing very quickly. As more and more people become receptive to CBD’s potential, it won’t be long before this method for managing anxiety (among other things) becomes very common. 

Can You Travel with CBD?

This is a site about travel, so a burning question you might have is whether or not you can travel with CBD. The unfortunate answer is that it’s probably best to leave it at home. As mentioned, there’s a lot of confusion about CBD being the same as marijuana. A complicating factor is that they both can contain THC. If you’re caught with CBD, they will test it, and that’s where things can get dicey. 

One of my most beloved travel sites, The Points Guy, quoted an expert as saying, “If the tested substance contains detectable amounts of THC, field testing will show a positive result for marijuana, which would likely lead to arrest. After the positive presumptive field test for marijuana, the substance may be sent to a laboratory for testing.”

Okay… then what happens?

The TPG post quoted a Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson as saying, “As a law enforcement agency, CBP works closely with other law enforcement agencies. If prosecution is not accepted at either the local, state [or federal level], travelers could face seizures, fines, penalties or could be denied entry.”

If you absolutely must travel with a product that contains CBD, such as the pediatric anti-seizure drug Epidiolex, make sure you have the prescription and your physician’s contact information ready if they ask for it. 

The Future of CBD for Anxiety

Using CBD for anxiety can be an effective means of managing symptom for many people. Hopefully, the legal system will begin to make it easier for us to explore this option. In the meantime, if you’re traveling, it’s probably best to play it safe and leave your CBD products at home. 

Have you tried CBD? If you feel comfortable, please leave us a comment and let us know whether it has helped. Do you travel with your oils, creams, or other products? Tell us about traveling with CBD in comments!

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