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Can CBD help with social anxiety?

Could CBD help with feelings of anxiety around people not wearing masks or being in a busy crowd?



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As England starts to move into Plan A Covid restrictions, it can be natural to feel a bit nervous about getting back out there. Could CBD help with that social anxiety?

As restrictions start to lift in different parts of England and Ireland, it can feel a bit unnerving to suddenly not wear a mask or be in a crowded room.

This is a new form of social anxiety that we may not have had to deal with before Covid. It is usually an overwhelming fear of social situations like meeting new people or speaking in front of a crowd. In extreme cases, it may mean a person feels unable to leave the house.

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Here are some tips for helping with social anxiety 

1- CBD on the go

The great thing about CBD is that it can be easily added to your daily routine. CBD gummies, edibles and vapes are all very discreet options that can be popped into a bag without anyone needing to know what they are.

Anxiety attacks can happen really quickly with no warning. Some of the early signs of a panic attack include sweating, shaking, increasing sense of danger or fear and a pounding heart rate. If panic attacks are part of your anxiety, then it is worth looking at which CBD options can work the fastest.

Vaping is a quick way to get a dose of CBD into your system if you are about to have a panic attack.

CBD is instantly absorbed into the system through the tissue of the lungs.

But is there any science into how CBD may help?

CBD interacts with the receptors in the brain potentially sending signals to the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Although there is still a lot of research needed to understand how the two interact.

Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for your mental health and lower levels are associated with anxiety.

A study examining the effect of CBD on people with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) found that it may help to reduce anxiety.
SAD is a social disorder where people can feel panic at the thought of social settings. This may now apply to the thought of being in crowded places or not wearing a mask around others due to Covid. The participants in this study were given 400 mg of CBD or a placebo. Those in the group given the CBD recorded lower levels of anxiety.

2- Slow it down

Meditation and yoga can be great for helping with anxiety.

Yoga may help with anxiety by reducing stress hormones such as cortisol in the body. It teaches practitioners to be mindful and encourages relaxation through gentle stretching and breathwork. There are a lot of ways to introduce aromatherapy and CBD into a yoga session. Oils and tinctures can help with relaxing the body while topicals can soothe any sore muscles post-session.

Meditation offers a similar approach to anxiety by helping to encourage mindfulness. CBD or aromatherapy can help to lift a meditation session by infusing the room with different terpenes. There are also a few CBD candles on the market that do the same with cannabinoids. Some can even be used as warm massage oil after you are finished. Just make sure to let the candle cool for a bit first.

Social Anxiety and CBD: a woman doing yoga

3- Aromatherapy and terpenes

Terpenes are a compound found in plants that causes their unique scent. For example, if you have ever smelled fresh pine needles then that is the terpene pinene.

Brands are becoming more aware of the health benefits of different terpenes and adding them to CBD products. This means it is easy to shop for CBD blends for a particular problem such as sleep or anxiety. While oils or tinctures may be the obvious choice for incorporating certain terpenes into your daily routine, there are other options such as vapes or candles.

Aromatherapy oils added to pressure points on our bodies that we can smell are also effective.

Here are some of the most common:
  • Limonene found in citrus fruits like lemon
  • Linalool found in lavender
  • Alpha-pinene which is found in pine needles or rosemary
Here are some of the best pressure points for anxiety:
  • The wrist
  • The midpoint between your eyebrows which in acupuncture is referred to as Yin Tang.
  • The upper part of the ear which in aromatherapy is called the heavenly gate.
  • The shoulder well which is located at the base of the neck


4 –  Patches

It can be difficult to remember to take your daily dose of CBD.

Patches are a really easy way to get a constant release of the cannabinoid over the day and night without having to top it up. They can be applied to anywhere in the body. Some patches are waterproof so they can even be worn in the shower or swimming pool.

The CBD is absorbed through the skin although it’s unclear how much we actually take in. It can be a less precise dosing method compared to CBD oil which may have a graduated dropper so the amounts can be measured.

5 – Using a topical for massage

We carry a lot of stress in our bodies resulting in physical pains. If you have ever felt stiffness in your shoulder muscles then that may be from tensing them due to stress or anxiety. Lower back pain may also be the same.

Even if you may not have a partner on hand to help with a massage, there are still ways to add a CBD topical into your skincare routine. There are many different options from massage oil to gels or roll-ons.

Applying CBD to some of the pressure points above in deep circular motions may help to release some of the tension especially in our shoulders and backs. A warm bath with a bath bomb, oil or salts may also help to relax the muscles. We breathe in the botanicals released into the air at the same time so it’s worth researching different terpenes for relaxation. Alternatively, adding a few drops of CBD or aromatherapy oil into the bath may help.

If you aren’t feeling like a massage or a bath, then gentle stretching exercises can also help. We tend to hold stress in our hands and feet too so don’t forget to include those.

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