Anxiety

CBD and Public Speaking: What You Need to Know

By Harris Wheless

If you have a fear of public speaking, you probably dread the days when you have to give a presentation in front of a whole office or a classroom full of people. And whether you’re regularly tasked with speaking in front of others, or it’s only something you do on occasion, you might be wondering if there’s anything with the potential to alleviate your symptoms. If you suffer from anxiety when speaking in public, CBD is a wellness supplement you might find helpful.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis that has therapeutic potential in the treatment of some ailments. CBD products may offer relief from symptoms such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, and pain. However, it’s important to note that research on its efficacy is still ongoing, and CBD has not been approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

In the U.S., CBD is normally derived from hemp, which can be distinguished from marijuana by its THC content. Hemp has less than the legal limit of 0.3% THC, and marijuana has more than that amount. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects. While THC sometimes enhances feelings of anxiety, CBD has the potential to ease anxiety or stress.

What the science says

CBD may work within the endocannabinoid system to reduce anxiety or stress. This internal system regulates the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. When you take CBD, it binds to cannabinoid receptors and has the potential to modulate your body’s response to stress. But CBD works differently depending on application method, dosage, and your condition. For example, those who feel anxious before public speaking will require a different form of relief from those with stress or anxiety disorders.

Many studies testing the efficacy of CBD on anxiety place subjects in a public speaking setting. One study published in 2017 on public speaking-related anxiety found that CBD did ease feelings of anxiety when taken at certain doses. In this case, subjects who took 300mg doses experienced more effective relief than those who took doses of 100 and 900mg. Other studies also found that the impact of CBD on anxiety followed a bell-shaped response curve in humans.

Studies done on CBD and anxiety suggest that the compound has anti-anxiety effects. Results have indicated that CBD can have a positive effect on blood pressure and heart rate when a person is placed in an anxiety-inducing setting. However, scientists are still not completely sure how it works to relieve anxiety, and more research is still needed to determine how this happens.

What to know before trying CBD

You may have noticed that the doses of CBD used in the clinical trials mentioned earlier were in the hundreds of milligrams. These high doses are far above what the average user would normally take. When considering dosage, it’s a good idea to look at the recommended serving size on the packaging. The concentration, or amount of CBD in the product, will likely be prominently displayed on the product’s exterior.

Dosage will vary depending on your condition, weight, metabolism, and application method, but will generally be under 100mg. It’s important to start with a low dose, then work your way up incrementally until you find a dose that offers the kind of relief you’re looking for.

To relieve anxiety before a presentation, you can take CBD a few minutes before, or an hour or so in advance depending on the application method you’re using. For example, if you take a capsule, you’ll need to allow extra time for the product to be digested and enter your bloodstream. But if you are using a sublingual tincture, you’ll feel the effects much more quickly.

If you’re using a vape, it’s okay to wait until you’re almost ready to go before inhaling since these kinds of products work almost immediately. Just keep in mind that the effects will wear off quicker than they would had you used another application method. If you use capsules or gummies, you’ll feel the effects longer, but you might want to give the product enough time to start alleviating your symptoms.

Are there any risks?

Research has determined that CBD has limited side effects with a good safety profile. However, if you have a more serious condition or an existing medication that might elicit drug-on-drug interactions, you should consult your doctor about CBD before using it. It’s best to stay safe and smart, so you can find a product that improves your productivity and calms your nerves before tackling that big presentation or lecture.

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