Excessive worrying, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, agitation, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. If some or all of these describe your day-to-day, you may be one of the millions of people living with anxiety. We don’t need to tell you anxiety is straight-up not a good time. It can make even relatively simple things, such as giving a presentation, studying for an exam, or making a phone call, feel like the mental equivalent of climbing a mountain, with a 40-pound backpack, backward.

Most people will experience anxiety, like stress, at some point in life. It will come and go, usually as fast as it came, when a stressful period comes to a close. This phenomenon is particularly common among college students. According to the American College Health Association Fall 2018 National College Health Assessment, 63% of respondents reported feeling anxious in the past year.

For others, however, anxiety is chronic. Anxiety disorders, which include several conditions from obsessive-compulsive disorder to generalized anxiety and social anxiety and post-traumatic stress, can be a result of genetics, imbalance brain chemicals, trauma, personality, or other factors, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

On top of pre-existing contributors like genes, with everything going on in the world today, from global warming to a global pandemic, it’s not too surprising that more people report being anxious now than ever before.

According to a 2019 Gallup poll, the anxiety epidemic was already well underway before the emergence of COVID-19 in January. And the U.S. was leading the charts with one of the highest rates of stress in the world. Meanwhile, the ADAA, reported more than 40 million adults in the United States had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, making anxiety the most prevalent mental illness nationwide.

Fast forward to June 2020 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 40% of respondents in a nationwide survey reported experiencing at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, such as anxiety, depression, or a trauma – and stressor-related disorder related to the pandemic. A new, specific term, post-lockdown anxiety, has even been coined to describe the challenges associated with emerging from months of life in quarantine.

Unfortunately, according to the ADAA, most people do not seek help for their anxiety. To some extent, that may be because many anti-anxiety medications can cause adverse side effects, ranging from irritability and insomnia to suicidal thoughts. The good news is CBD can provide a safe, natural, and effective alternative to pharmaceuticals and a constructive complement to non-pharmacological anxiety treatments like therapy.

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) a vast network of endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters) and receptors. This ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the mind and body and influences a range of processes. Cannabinoids in CBD interact with the ECS, influencing receptors and helping to modulate body functions, mimicking the endocannabinoids our body produces. The result is a higher-functioning ECS, which can better address conditions like stress, anxiety, and insomnia as well as physical symptoms, such as inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms.

While most CBD research thus far has been conducted using animal subjects, there is a growing body of research confirming its positive impact in humans. Of course, there is also overwhelming anecdotal evidence. In a survey of 5,000 people by The Brightfield Group, about 60 percent of people who use CBD have taken it for anxiety.

For those of us with anxiety, making decisions, even small ones can feel like a monumental task. So, even if you are interested in giving it a try, combing through pages upon pages of CBD products in search of the right one is probably not your idea of a good time. We’ve done the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

Here are four of our top picks for fellow anxiety-sufferers.

  1. Bespoke Extracts 50mg Full-Spectrum CBD Infused Softgels offer a convenient way to get the benefits of CBD oil neatly packaged in an easy-to-swallow capsule. Vegan, cruelty-free, and made with ingredients derived from U.S.A.-grown organic hemp, each soft gel contains 50 mg of CBD. Take one daily.
  2. Charlotte’s Web Calm Gummies provide another convenient and tasty way to get anxiety relief. Charlotte’s Web Calm CBD blend includes lemon balm and l-theranine, ingredients that, like CBD, can help relieve anxiety. Each gummy is sweetened with natural fruit and vegetable juice and contains 10 mg of full-spectrum CBD. The recommended dosage is two daily.
  3. Lazarus Naturals Chocolate Mint High-Potency Full-Spectrum CBD Tincture is made from hemp grown on the company farm in central Oregon. This high-potency tincture contains 50 mg of CBD per 1 mL dose. With a subtle, slightly earthy mint chocolate flavor, this could be a great addition to your cup of coffee or hot cocoa.
  4. FOCL Orange Cream Swirl CBD Drops’ flavor is similar to that of a creamsicle ice cream treat. Vegan and non-GMO, they are made with U.S.-grown hemp in F.D.A.-compliant facilities. Each drop provides a low dose of CBD, with 300 mg in a 30 mL bottle. They also provide a 1,000 mg per bottle option if you need a higher dosage.

As always, talk with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or health regimen. This is especially important if you’re taking any medications that might interact with supplements like CBD. Also, never stop taking a prescription medication without a doctor’s supervision, as some medications can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. To learn more about how to select a good CBD product, click here.