Should I Take CBD Oil Before Going to the Dentist?
Going to the dentist can be an anxiety-inducing experience for many people. The sounds of the tools, the smells of the office, and the procedures themselves are enough to set anyone on edge. This anxiety can even cause some people to avoid going to the dentist altogether. For those who suffer from dental anxiety, finding ways to relax before an appointment is key. One method that has been gaining popularity recently is taking CBD oil. But is this actually effective? Should you take CBD oil before going to the dentist?
- How Could CBD Oil Help With Dental Anxiety?
- Potential Drawbacks of Using CBD Oil for Dental Anxiety
- Dosing CBD Oil For Dental Anxiety
- Other Tips for Reducing Dental Anxiety
- Should You Take CBD Oil Before the Dentist?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis plants. Unlike the more well-known THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. This means it does not cause any “high” feeling. Instead, CBD provides potential therapeutic effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system helps regulate many functions like mood, pain, sleep, and more. By supplementing it with plant-based cannabinoids like CBD, many report benefits for various conditions. This has made CBD an increasingly popular supplement option.
How Could CBD Oil Help With Dental Anxiety?
So how exactly could taking CBD oil help when you go to the dentist? There are a few key ways:
1. Reducing Anxiety
One of the most studied effects of CBD is its potential to reduce anxiety symptoms. Several studies have found CBD can lower anxiety in both healthy and anxiety-disordered populations.
The authors of one study state CBD has “considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.” Another meta analysis also found evidence supporting CBD’s use as an anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety medication.
Less anxiety before a dental appointment could help you face the experience with more confidence. Feeling calmer may also help you better tolerate any procedures you need to have done.
2. Acting as a Sedative
Along with decreasing anxiety, CBD may also have sedative properties. One study gave CBD doses between 100-300 mg to healthy volunteers before a public speaking test. Researchers found the CBD group had lower anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort.
However, the subjects also experienced sedation and sleepiness from the CBD. Other research has found comparable effects. A moderate sedative effect could promote relaxation before a stressful dental visit.
3. Helping With Pain and Discomfort
Finally, CBD may help deal with any oral pain you experience from dental work. Research has uncovered the potential of CBD to reduce various types of pain.
For instance, a 2020 systematic review of over 27 studies found benefits from CBD on sleep disturbance due to chronic pain. Another study in rats showed CBD injections reduced pain response to a surgical incision. More research is still needed, but CBD could aid in managing dental pain.
Through reducing anxiety, sedative effects, and analgesia, taking CBD oil before going to the dentist could make the experience more tolerable. But are there any drawbacks to using it this way?
Potential Drawbacks of Using CBD Oil for Dental Anxiety
While using CBD oil to relax before the dentist has some potential upsides, there are also a few risks and downsides to consider:
- It may interact with other medications. CBD can potentially interact with many pharmaceutical medications. These interactions occur through the cytochrome P450 pathway in the liver. Always talk to your dentist and doctor before trying CBD.
- The dose and timing must be right. Taking too much CBD could make you excessively tired, while too little may have no effect. Getting the dose and timing before your appointment right is key.
- It’s not regulated by the FDA. Since CBD products are not regulated for quality, dose, purity by the FDA, you can’t be sure of what you’re getting. Purchasing from trusted brands with third party testing is important.
- It may be detected on a drug test. Though rare, some super-sensitive drug tests could potentially detect trace THC metabolites after CBD use. This is something to consider if your dentist performs drug testing.
- It may cause side effects. CBD usage can cause side effects like diarrhea, tiredness, changes in appetite, and more. Though generally tolerated well, side effects are possible.
- It’s not a cure-all. While CBD shows promise for dental anxiety, it’s not a magic cure, especially when used on its own. Proper anxiety treatment may require other lifestyle changes, therapy, and medications. Don’t view CBD as a quick fix.
Overall, using CBD oil cautiously could provide some benefit. But it also does come with some risks to keep in mind. Proper timing and dose are crucial to see effects. And for some, CBD on its own is not enough to manage severe dental fear and anxiety.
Dosing CBD Oil For Dental Anxiety
If you do want to try CBD oil to ease dental anxiety, getting the dose right is key. Things to consider include:
- Your weight. Your weight heavily influences the CBD dose you need. Heavier individuals typically need higher doses than lighter ones.
- Your tolerance. Those new to CBD will need lower doses than seasoned users to feel effects. Tolerance builds over time.
- Timing. Take CBD oil about 60-90 minutes before your dental appointment so effects kick in. Don’t take it right beforehand.
- Start low and increase slowly. Begin with the lowest dose on your CBD product then gradually increase every few uses if needed. Don’t take very high doses right away.
- Try about 25 mg. For mild to moderate anxiety relief, around 25 mg CBD is a good starting point. Adjust up or down from there.
- Maximum of 150 mg. For severe anxiety, higher doses of up to 150 mg could be warranted. But don’t exceed this without talking to a doctor first.
The best approach is starting with a modest dose like 25 mg then increasing over time as needed to find the optimal amount. Always follow product directions and talk to your doctor before drastically increasing your dose.
Other Tips for Reducing Dental Anxiety
Though CBD oil may help some people feel more relaxed before the dentist, it shouldn’t be the only solution you rely on. Proper management of dental anxiety often requires multiple approaches. Here are some other tips:
Inform Your Dentist About Your Anxiety
Let your dentist know you deal with dental anxiety. They may be able to make accommodations to make you more comfortable. This could include things like explaining procedures in detail, allowing you to listen to music, or prescribing pre-appointment sedatives.
Use the Right Dentist
Seeing an understanding dentist trained in dealing with anxious patients can make a big difference. Look for a provider experienced in sedation dentistry and anxiety reduction techniques. Read reviews from existing patients as well.
Try Relaxation Exercises
Practicing deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation before your appointment could help lower stress. Apps like Calm provide guided relaxation content.
Ask a Friend to Accompany You
Having a trusted friend or loved one with you for moral support could be very helpful. They can also serve as a distraction during procedures.
Avoid Caffeine Beforehand
Skip the coffee on the day of your dental visit, as the added jitters won’t help your anxiety. Focus on relaxation instead.
Should You Take CBD Oil Before the Dentist?
Overall, taking CBD oil before dental procedures may offer some benefit for anxiety reduction, sedation, and pain relief. However, it does come with risks like side effects and interactions. It also may not be strong enough for severe dental phobia.
Using CBD oil cautiously, at proper doses, and with other anxiety reduction techniques can be helpful for many. But CBD oil on its own is likely not enough to “cure” dental anxiety for most people.
Speak with both your dentist and doctor to see if trying CBD oil before your appointment is right for your situation. Be sure to take the lowest effective dose and monitor any side effects. And pursue other stress and anxiety management strategies for long-term relief.
With the right approach, CBD oil could provide some anxiety relief before the dentist. But work with professionals and don’t view it as a magic fix for dental phobia. Instead, incorporate it as just one part of a larger dental anxiety treatment plan.
What types of CBD oil products are best for dental anxiety?
For fastest effects, use a CBD oil tincture or spray. These are absorbed under the tongue so CBD can enter the bloodstream quickly. CBD edibles and capsules must pass through the digestive system so effects take longer.
What's the best dose of CBD oil to take before a dental appointment?
There is no standardized CBD dose, as many factors play a role. Most people do best starting with 25-50 mg taken 60-90 minutes before their appointment. Wait 2+ hours if using an edible. Increase by 5-10 mg each time if needed, up to a maximum of around 100-150 mg.
When exactly should I take CBD oil before going to the dentist?
Take your desired dose about 1-2 hours before your scheduled dental appointment. This gives enough time for the CBD to kick in and reach peak blood levels. Taking it right before you leave won't provide relief in time.
Is it safe to take CBD along with dental anesthesia?
Yes, using CBD with common dental anesthetics like lidocaine is considered safe. But be sure to tell your dentist you use CBD. Stop use at least 24 hours before any major surgery requiring general anesthesia.
Can I take CBD oil along with my other medications?
CBD can potentially interact with many pharmaceuticals. These interactions occur in the liver and can increase or decrease medication levels in your blood. Always speak to your dentist and doctor first before using CBD.
What side effects might I experience from CBD oil?
Most people tolerate CBD well, but possible side effects can include diarrhea, nausea, tiredness, appetite changes, and elevated liver enzymes. Side effect risk increases at higher doses. Stop CBD use if side effects become severe.
Will CBD oil make me fail a drug test at the dentist?
In very rare cases, extremely sensitive drug tests could detect trace THC metabolites after CBD use. But this risk is low, especially if you choose THC-free CBD isolate products. Discuss any concerns over drug testing with your dentist.
Can I drive after taking CBD oil for dental anxiety?
It depends on the dose. Significant sedation could impair your ability to drive safely. Start with lower doses first to assess effects, and avoid driving if you feel very drowsy. Have someone else drive you to your dental appointment after taking CBD.
Is CBD oil guaranteed to reduce dental anxiety for everyone?
No, CBD oil does not work for everyone. While it may help calm the nerves, effects can be subtle and vary between individuals. Have realistic expectations and use CBD as just one part of a larger dental anxiety management plan.