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Lifestyle, Research

Using CBD to Prevent Performance Anxiety

Bethan Rose

by Bethan Rose

June 7, 2022 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Using CBD to Prevent Performance Anxiety

Are you feeling the pressure to perform? If so, you may consider trying cannabidiol (CBD) to prevent performance anxiety. As more research emerges it is fast becoming acknowledged as a treatment option for anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders are among the most common type of mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults across the country. Performance anxiety in particular is one of the most prevalent types of anxiety. In fact, a recently conducted systematic review revealed that 16.5-60% of professional musicians suffer from performance anxiety.

What is Performance Anxiety?

Ever heard of “stage fright”? This overwhelming state of anxiety, fear and panic can consume a person right before they are expected to performin whatever way that might bein front of a group of people. 

Performance anxiety comes in many forms. For example, athletic performance anxiety, social performance anxiety, interview anxiety, test-taking anxiety, and sexual performance anxiety are all some variation of performance anxiety. Someone may also be diagnosed with this type of anxiety if they feel a general inability to carry out tasks that require some element of performing.

Performance anxiety is characterized by uncomfortable symptoms, such as hyperventilation, rapid heart rate, trembling, nausea, and sweating. It is is usually treatable with anxiolytic (i.e. anxiety-reducing) medications, including benzodiazepines and SSRIs.

Does CBD Have Anti-anxiety Effects?

A 2019 study titled, Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders,” hypothesized that CBD could be a useful option to treat social anxiety. 

Separately, during the year 2011, a study explored CBD’s effects on people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with positive results. Participants were orally administered with 400 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo. 

Both studies explore the power that CBD has when it interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors inside the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). These receptors are located in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system that play an important role regulating many critical functions such as memory, fear and mood. The results were promising, and further research is needed to confirm and replicate these results.

Is CBD a Safe Choice for Preventing Performance Anxiety?

Small-scale experiments have indicated that daily CBD doses of up to 200 mg can be administered safely for a maximum of 13 weeks. On the other hand, despite being fairly well tolerated by most people, there are certain risks associated with CBD consumption.

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The reported side effects of CBD include:

  • Appetite loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

Moreover, CBD may unexpectedly react with other types of medications, including blood thinning prescription drugs.

What Types of CBD are Available?

The CBD product market is growing considerably, with the food and drinks segment of the market expected to top $2.65 billion in the U.S. by 2025. As the market matures, manufacturers are finding new ways to develop CBD for use in products like gummies, lotions and sprays.

Listed below are the three main types of CBD:

  1. Broad-spectrum – One of the most popular options is broad spectrum CBD, which contains a variety of compounds found in the Cannabis plant. The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content does not exceed 0.3%.
  2. Full-spectrum – Another variety is full-spectrum CBD, which contains all parts of the cannabis plant and no more than <0.3% THC.
  3. Isolates – If you don’t want to run the risk of testing positive for THC during a workplace drug screening, then use isolates, which are strictly limited to CBD. 

Is CBD Legal to Buy Across the U.S.?

The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill led to broad legalization of CBD products. This legislation effectively eliminated hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), meaning that farmers can now legally grow hemp in U.S. soil. 

CBD is legal in all 50 states, but it’s important to note that the law differs from one state to another. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still in the process of hashing out a solid set of regulations for the industry.

What Are Some Other Ways to Prevent Performance Anxiety?

Aside from dabbling in a comfortable dose of CBDbeginners are advised to consume 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) and raise the dosage (if necessary) as time progressesthere are some other habits that can be incorporated into one’s lifestyle so as to reduce the risk of performance anxiety developing.

Some examples include limiting caffeine and sugar intake, meditating regularly, focusing on a positive outcome (as opposed to a negative one), and repeating positive affirmations. 

Should I Consult with a Doctor Before Using CBD for Performance Anxiety?

Yes. It’s especially important to consult with a doctor if you are currently using anti-anxiety medication or any other medications. As mentioned before, it’s possible for CBD to interact unexpectedly with other medications. So, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before pursuing any additional treatment for your anxiety.

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