Many of us feel anxious during high-pressure social situations such as giving a presentation or going to a job interview. This is completely normal. But when this level of anxiety starts to apply to everyday situations (talking to colleagues, ordering at a café, asking for directions), it could be a sign of social anxiety.
Social anxiety is a serious disorder that can severely affect the happiness and well-being of those who suffer from it. The good news? We understand more and more about how it works and how to treat it. Some studies even show that CBD and other cannabinoids could be an effective treatment option. Keep reading to find out how it works!
What Is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety (also knowns as social anxiety disorder) is a type of anxiety disorder focused on social situations. People who suffer from it feel slightly nervous to totally paralyzed when talking to people, working with others, and even being in crowded places. As a result, many people with social anxiety struggle to form new friendships, go to work or school, or even leave the house.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety: How To Recognize It
Social anxiety has two main aspects: a psychological one, and a physiological one.
The psychological aspect often manifests in patterns of overthinking that focus on social situations. For example, many people with social anxiety replay interactions over and over again in their heads. They may also be questioning themselves constantly, wondering if they are acting normal, how others perceive them, wondering if anyone is making fun of them.
The physiological aspect manifests in physical symptoms that are similar to those of other anxiety disorders: accelerated heart rate, sweating, headaches and muscle aches, insomnia, etc.
If you think you may have social anxiety disorder, it’s important to consult a mental health professional. They will be able to offer a diagnosis and guide you through finding the right kind of help for your unique situation.
How is Social Anxiety Treated?
Like other anxiety disorders, social anxiety doesn’t have just one cure. Lessening its symptoms and learning to cope with it is a long-term process that may involve a lot of trial and error.
Some of the best ways to treat social anxiety are forms of therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy. Although these treatment options can seem daunting to socially anxious people, they have been proven to be very effective.
In addition, activities such as meditation or yoga can help to lessen the physiological manifestations of social anxiety.
How Taking CBD for Social Anxiety Can Help
Let’s start by stating that CBD isn’t a cure for social anxiety. However, it has been proven to lessen symptoms of social anxiety. So even though it can’t necessarily eliminate the disorder, it can make many of its symptoms more manageable.
Many studies have found that CBD could lower cortisol levels and relieve symptoms of anxiety such as accelerated heart rate and sweating. Thanks to its effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD also seems to relax muscles—which can convince the mind that you are experiencing lower levels of anxiety.
A Closer Look At The Research on CBD For Social Anxiety
One particular study examined the effects of daily CBD for social anxiety. The participants were 37 Japanese teenagers who had been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. Over the course of the experiment, half of participants took a daily dose of CBD, while the other half took a placebo. After four weeks, those who had taken daily CBD scored much better on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale and Fear of Negative Evaluation Questionnaire. They reported feeling less afraid of public judgment and more comfortable in social situations.
How To Take CBD for Social Anxiety
There are so many CBD products out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is right for you. From CBD oil to CBD capsules, gummies, or vapes, all products offer slightly different benefits.
CBD oil is easy to dose and often affordable, but its rates of bioavailability are around 30%.
CBD edibles like capsules or gummies have even lower rates of bioavailability, rarely exceeding 10%. This can make them a relatively pricey option. That being said, they do offer a slow release of CBD throughout the day, which can be particularly useful to people with chronic conditions such as social anxiety.
Vaping CBD offers much higher rates of bioavailability, as high as 70%. This makes it a very cost-effective method of consumption. It’s also portable and easy to re-dose throughout the day. Of course, not everyone wants to vape—but if it’s an option that you’re open to, it can be perfect for those who suffer from social anxiety.
CBD Dosage for Social Anxiety
The studies we mentioned above used high doses of CBD for social anxiety: up to 300mg/day. This is not necessarily an option for everyone, as such high doses can quickly become expensive when taken on a regular basis.
Besides, taking a very high dose of CBD (above 100mg/day) when you’re inexperienced with it could incur side effects such as drowsiness or lethargy.
If you’ve never taken CBD before, we recommend starting with a low dose of just 10-15mg daily. It’s likely that you’ll have to up that dosage to really get the relief you want, but do remember to take it slow.
It’s a good idea to keep a journal in which you write down how much CBD you took, and how anxious you felt on any given day. Overtime, you’ll find that it becomes clear how much CBD you should be taking to experience lasting relief from the symptoms of social anxiety.
Here is a simple chart to help you get started:
|Strength of dosage
|Light to average
|Average to strong
How Long Does It Take To Feel The Effects of CBD for Social Anxiety?
When taking high doses of CBD (above 50mg/day), you can expect to feel an effect on that same day. If you’re going to be in a high-stress situation related to your social anxiety, it’s a good idea to try out a strong dose.
Lower doses of CBD can also do wonders for social anxiety. However, the full effects may only be felt after a couple of days or weeks. CBD has a way of building up in your system which means it’s more effective when you’ve already been taking it for a while. If you’d like to stick to a lower dose, don’t give up on feeling its effects too fast! Give it a good 2 weeks and then decide if that dose is working for you.
Social anxiety disorder is a complex condition that doesn’t have just one solution. Using a combination of therapy and natural remedies such as CBD or other cannabinoids could offer great relief—but you likely won’t feel it instantly.
If you suffer from social anxiety, be patient with yourself. Getting over the hurdles of handling social situations with a calm frame of mind is a long journey. So take it one step at a time and don’t be afraid to use a few different treatment methods to find the one that works for you.
At Renact, we formulate condition-specific cannabinoids vaping extracts that have all the brain-active compounds necessary to address anxiety disorders. Our “Relief” extract has been clinically-tested and proven to relieve anxiety and make you feel more confident. Give it a try by ordering your starter kit today!