- A randomized controlled trial indicated that CBD (cannabidiol) may reduce anxiety triggered by a simulation public speaking test(1).
- The product market for CBD oil and hemp oil, also known as hempseed oil, remains concerning due to the variability in CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) levels in the products and the lack of regulation in production and distribution(2).
- Hempseed oil is extracted from the hemp plant’s pressed seeds, while CBD oil comes from the flowers, stems, and leaves of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Is Hemp Seed Oil or CBD Oil Better for Anxiety?
Hempseed oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil provide similar benefits. Studies showed that the antioxidant potential of hempseed oil may be used to prevent oxidative stress(3).
Experts continue to research the potential of CBD oil in drug development, including its promise as a treatment for anxiety.
A 2019 study from the Permante Journal hypothesized that CBD may hold benefits for anxiety-related disorders(4).
A reduction in blood pressure and heart rate induced by restraint stress was observed upon systemic administration of CBD(5).
The Benefits of CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil for Anxiety
The oil extracted from hemp seeds is processed mainly for its potential nutritional value and therapeutic benefits.
For CBD, the target is the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Research studies showed how tapping the ECS using CBD may help treat conditions related to mental health(6). The ECS receptors regulate emotional responses and learning, such as pain reception, cognition, mood, and feeding behavior.
With low concentrations of CBD, CBD oil may be used in alleviating anxiety and other anxiety-related disorders, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)(7).
Hemp Seed Oil for Anxiety
Several studies link pathological anxiety and oxidative stress(8).
Hempseed oil has shown promise in helping with ailments caused by oxidative stress(9). Still, only a few clinical studies on the efficacy of hempseed oil in reducing oxidative stress at the cellular level exist.
Meanwhile, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in hempseed oils may help prevent bipolar disorders, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder(10).
However, systematic reviews on the connection between anxiety reduction and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) treatment also indicated the need for more extensive clinical studies focused on high doses of omega-3 PUFAs(11).
CBD Oil for Anxiety
Clinical research showed how CBD administration to heroin-addicted patients reduced cue-induced cravings and anxiety after three days and continued up to one week(12).
Studies also indicated how CBD may assist in addiction recovery(13). Systemic CBD prevented increased anxiety levels in patients who suffer from chronic unpredictable stress(14).
Ongoing research on CBD as a potential therapeutic agent for anxiety disorders is being conducted. Additionally, current studies support the panicolytic and anxiolytic roles of CBD.
How to Use Hempseed Oil or CBD Oil for Anxiety
Hempseed oil and CBD oil may be administered sublingually by placing drops under the tongue.
CBD oil and hemp oil are available in spray or dropper bottles. Some CBD oil products are unflavored, while others come in different flavors.
Another way to use hemp oil and CBD oil is through topical application. CBD will not result in systemic blood levels when applied topically.
CBD’s effect may last for 2 to 4 hours via topical administration(15). Meanwhile, CBD’s duration of action when taken orally may last 6 to 8 hours(16). There are currently no approved CBD dietary supplements available on the U.S. market.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Industrial hemp comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, and hemp seed is the nut of the plant.
The seeds and the hemp plant stalk are the sources of carbohydrate-rich feedstocks utilized for different industrial purposes worldwide(17).
Hemp seeds are also rich in unsaturated food oil (ca. 30-35%) and protein that can easily be broken down (ca. 20-25%)(18).
The unique characteristic of hempseed oil is its high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) compared to other food oils(19).
The high level of PUFA contributes to good health. However, PUFA is not highly considerable for cooking due to its trans fat formation and high peroxide risk.
Hempseed oil is low in phytocannabinoids but has potential as an antioxidant(20).
What Is CBD Oil?
Another cannabinoid found in hemp, a derivative of the Cannabis sativa plant, is cannabidiol (CBD).
The medical industry took an interest in the research and development of CBD due to its nonpsychoactive effects and potential health benefits.
CBD oils are products that are low in THC. CBD, infused in these products, may alleviate symptoms associated with epilepsy, sleep disorders, and anxiety(21).
Studies showed how CBD in products like CBD oils may provide relief in several medical conditions, particularly conditions that require pain management(22).
CBD Oil and Hemp Oil Dosage Recommendations
Clinical research showed how Omega-3 PUFAS found in hempseed oils demonstrated antidepressant effects in formulations that contain not greater than 60% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) when EPA is less than 1 gram per day (1g/d)(23).
The CBD content for CBD oil has to be carefully selected when treating anxiety-related conditions.
Only the anxiolytic benefits are targeted in the treatment doses.
In the clinical trials performed, CBD doses were 25mg per day to 175 mg per day and 300mg per day to 600mg per day(24).
Lower doses result in an adequate clinical response.
A single dose of 400 or 600mg of CBD also showed significant reductions in subjective symptoms of anxiety and decreased speech performance discomfort and cognitive impairment.
However, some clinical studies reported no significant difference in the study groups regarding the form and dose of CBD, frequency, and age of respondents(25).
Several studies also showed that CBD is not toxic and a high dose of up to 1,500 milligrams per day is still tolerable for humans(26).
CBD’s potential for abuse or dependency is unlikely. However, psychotropic properties are present in high doses of vaporized CBD or other preparations.
There is currently no standard dose of CBD administration to help with anxiety-related conditions.
However, research is still ongoing on the efficacy of CBD based on gender differences in other anxiety disorders that the past clinical trials have not covered.
Side Effects of Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil for Anxiety
Research on hempseed oil showed how hemp seed could influence heart disease(27).
Meanwhile, studies on CBD indicated that the substance is relatively safe(28).
However, CBD may induce side effects, including appetite disturbances, fatigue, diarrhea, dry mouth, and drowsiness(29).
In some cases, liver damage may be one of the severe side effects of CBD use, especially when taken along with other medications(30).
Some patients also experienced mild sedation, which became less intense in the first few weeks(31).
CBD use was also discontinued in a 21-year-old patient with developmental disorder due to increased sexually inappropriate behavior.
Doctors observed that the inappropriate behavior was caused by disinhibition attributed to the effects of CBD on the patient’s anxiety.
There are also instances of individuals reporting dry eyes after using CBD.
In general, the side effects of CBD on patients with anxiety are minimal, which is mainly fatigue.
Additionally, the side effects may or may not correlate with the dosage administered based on the needs and preferences of the individual.
How Hemp Oil and CBD Oil Are Made
Hemp Seed Oil Production
In hempseed oil production, hemp seeds need adequate cleaning to avoid contamination by the sticky resin oil found on the outer surface of the seed(32).
Other compounds generated from hempseed oil production are terpenes and polyphenols. Terpenes are the compounds responsible for hempseed oil’s flavor, odor, and antioxidant properties(33).
Different methods of extracting hempseed oil include supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction, cold press, solvent extraction using isopropanol, dimethyl ether, hexane, and other pretreatments.
CBD Oil Production
CBD oil production involves the CO2 extraction method performed on the flowers and leaves of a hemp plant.
The THC level for hemp plants (on a dry weight basis) used for CBD oil production is 0.3%. Solvent extraction is also another CBD extraction process that uses olive oil.
CBD extracts are classified as isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum.
Full-spectrum CBD oil includes all compounds of the cannabis plant, such as flavonoids, terpenes, essential oils, CBD, and other cannabinoids.
The amounts of THC concentration for full-spectrum CBD should not be higher than 0.3%.
Meanwhile, broad-spectrum CBD is similar to full-spectrum CBD, except that the former has no THC content. The active ingredient for CBD isolate is 100% pure CBD.
A CBD hemp extract is typically combined with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. CBD oil and tinctures are commonly marketed for pain relief. Most CBD brands also claim that their products are anti-inflammatory and can help with chronic pain, such as joint pain.
The Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil
Hempseed oil should not be confused with hemp extracts, which are often used in CBD products like CBD oil. Hempseed oil is made from the hemp plant’s pressed seeds, which do not contain CBD but are a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids(34).
Can Hemp Oil and CBD Oil Be Taken Together?
Hempseed oil and CBD oil can be taken alongside other CBD products as long as every intake will not exceed the dosage limit(35).
Some CBD products, especially those that contain CBD isolates, are made of 100% pure CBD.
There are no reports of lethal overdose with cannabinoids like CBD(36).
The Farm Bill 2018 enacted the use of hemp for medical and research purposes under stricter restrictions(37).
Thus, the production of hemp-based products, including CBD, was made legal in the U.S as long as these products contain no more than 0.3% THC.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved only one CBD-based drug: Epidiolex.
Epidiolex is a drug used to manage seizures in rare and severe forms of epilepsy, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome for patients two years old and above(38).
There is a wide range of CBD oil and hemp oil products offered. Thus, the FDA warned consumers to double-check labels regarding the authenticity of the CBD oil products before buying.
Some products are mislabeled and have false claims regarding CBD, THC, and other compounds(39).
The best CBD-based products are not a cure-all and have side effects and contraindications with some medications.
There were also trace amounts of contaminants found in some CBD products being marketed illegally(40).
These contaminants include heavy metals, fungus, pesticides, and solvents, which have serious side effects on the body and one’s overall wellness.
When buying CBD products, it is advisable to check for the manufacturer’s certificate of analysis (COA) or a CBD lab test result on the product’s website.
Other CBD-based products currently being sold on the market come in the form of gummies, vapes, and topicals. CBD is also included in skincare and beauty products, such as moisturizers, lotions, and creams.
- 1. Cannabidiol Reduces The Anxiety Induced By Simulated Public Speaking In Treatment-Naive Social Phobia Patients
2. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils
3. Antioxidant Activity of Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Oil in Drosophila melanogaster Larvae under Non-Stress and H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress Conditions
4. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
5. A Single Dose of Cannabidiol Reduces Blood Pressure in Healthy Volunteers in a Randomized Crossover Study
6. The Endocannabinoid System: A Potential Target for the Treatment of Various Diseases
7. Endocannabinoid System and Psychiatry: In Search of a Neurobiological Basis for Detrimental and Potential Therapeutic Effects
8. Oxidative Stress and Anxiety
9. Antioxidant Activity of Hemp ( Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Oil in Drosophila melanogaster Larvae under Non-Stress and H 2 O 2-Induced Oxidative Stress Conditions
10. Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Prevention of Mood and Anxiety Disorders
11. Association of Use of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids with Changes in Severity of Anxiety Symptoms
12. Industrial Hemp (Cannabis sativa subs. Sativa) As An Emerging Source for Value-Added Functional Food Ingredients and Nutraceuticals
14. Cannabidiol As A Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
15. Healing With CBD, page 193.
16. Ibid, page. 191.
17. Hempseed Oil In A Nutshell
20. Antioxidant Activity of Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Oil in Drosophila melanogaster Larvae under Non-Stress and H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress Conditions
21. Quality Traits of “Cannabidiol Oils”: Cannabinoids Content, Terpene Fingerprint and Oxidation Stability of European Commercially Available Preparations
22. Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Chronic Pain: A Survey of Patients’ Perspectives and Attitudes
23. Efficacy of Omega-3 PUFAs in Depression: A Meta-Analysis
24. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
25. Cannabidiol (CBD) in the Self-Treatment of Depression-Exploratory Study and a New Phenomenon of Concern for Psychiatrists
26. Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence
27. The Cardiac and Haemostatic Effects of Dietary Hempseed
28. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
29. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
30. Potential Adverse Drug Events and Drug–Drug Interactions with Medical and Consumer Cannabidiol (CBD) Use
31. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
32. Cannabinoid Profiling of Hemp Seed Oil by Liquid Chromatography Coupled to High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry
33. Therapeutic and Medicinal Uses of Terpenes
34. Healing With CBD, page 253.
35. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils
36. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
37. Farm Bill
38. FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of An Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms Of Epilepsy
39. Penn Study Shows Nearly 70 Percent of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online Are Mislabeled
40. Medical Fraud, Mislabeling, Contamination: All Common in CBD Products