CBD For Anxiety
Scary News: Forty million Americans suffer from anxiety-related stress.
The good news is that CBD is helping many lessen their anxiety, more on that below.
Best CBD Oils For Anxiety
Here’s The Deal:
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses affecting American adults today.Anxiety can be defined as, “A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.”
This sounds very clinical, what do you mean?
Basically, anxiety is a state of worry that can be experienced in varying intensities.
The Scary Fact:
We have become so accustomed to anxiety we accept it as our default state.
Our anxiety swings on a spectrum from mild worry to a debilitating feeling of impending doom.
Conventional Medications Falling Short
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness affecting American adults. Anxiety and depression are often co-occurring and pharmaceutical companies have developed several prescription drugs to try and treat these disorders.
From Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) like Celexa, Lexapro, and Zoloft to Benzodiazepines, sometimes called “benzos,” like Xanax and Valium.
But, Here’s The Issue:
These convetional medications are designed mostly for short-term use and can be habit-forming.
So Where Does That Leave The Anxiety Sufferer?
Short Video: Doctors Discuss CBD and Anxiety
Can CBD help anxiety?
Animal studies have shown that CBD can be effective in treating anxiety. Research on CBD is still limited, but the early results are promising. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worrying and irrational fear. In a 2011 study, researchers found that participants with GAD experienced a significant decrease in anxiety after consuming CBD. Brain scans backed up the findings that were reported by the patients.
In another study, participants suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder found that they experienced significantly less anxiety and were better able to take a public speaking test when consuming CBD first. This study was also backed up by examining the participants’ blood pressure and heart rate.
Researchers backed by the National Institutes of Health are about to begin a clinical trial to test whether people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who also have alcohol use disorder can be helped by CBD. The aim is to see if the participants who take CBD will experience a decrease in PTSD symptoms and/or will drink less.
Dr. Esther Blessing, a researcher, and psychiatrist at New York University recently told NPR, “I think there’s good evidence to suggest that CBD could be an effective treatment of anxiety and addiction. But we need clinical trials to find out.”
How CBD treats anxiety
CBD is one of the 80+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that when consumed, bind to receptors in the body producing varying effects. CBD is non-psychoactive, unlike THC, the more popular cannabinoid known for the “high” feeling. You won’t get high from consuming CBD alone. The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a natural, biological system that regulates the body. It’s made up of receptors and it regulates many cognitive and physiological aspects of the body including pain, memory, mood, appetite, and fetal development.
Here’s The Deal:
There are two types of cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are located in the central and peripheral nervous system and are credited with creating homeostasis with health and disease. CB2 receptors are located in the immune system, gastrointestinal system, and the brain. In a 2001 study, researchers from Vanderbilt conducted a study on mice to search for CB1 receptors in the central amygdala — an area of the brain associated with anxiety and stress responses. They found the presence of receptors in the mouse brain and furthermore, discovered that when endocannabinoids interacted with them that the excitability of these brain cells decreased. Further studies are needed to prove this finding.
Recently, the FDA approved the pharmaceutical drug, Epidolex, to treat seizures. Epidolex is a synthetic version of CBD used to treat Dravet syndrome, Infantile Spasms, and other severe seizure disorders. The approval of the drug could lead the FDA to open more doors for cannabis research looking further into its effects on the brain.
You may also enjoy this article, Using CBD Oil for Tremors
CBD and THC
You may be familiar with a concept called the entourage effect. The entourage effect states that cannabinoids work better together than they do alone. In essence, CBD is more effective when combined with other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, THC, and so on than it is in isolation. The terms “full-spectrum” and “whole-plant” are alluding to this concept.
But Did you Know This?
Biologically, a person gets high by having THC bind to CB1 receptors in the brain. CBD also binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and has been shown to actually counteract some of the effects of getting high by blocking the activation of THC in CB1 receptors. CBD changes the shape of the receptor so that there is less room for THC to bind to. CBD has even been shown to decrease the heightened heart rate that you feel from getting high. Therefore CBD can even have an impact on the anxiety that comes from the psychoactive effects of THC.
CBD for Anxiety – Is it for me?
Many people turn to CBD in order to escape the intense, sometimes addictive effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Benzos are commonly prescribed to treat anxiety in the short term but don’t provide the patient with longer-term options. CBD products can often cost less than pharmaceutical drugs and work naturally with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
That’s not all…
CBD is found in both the cannabis and hemp plants. Hemp-based CBD is available nationally and can be found online, regardless of your state’s cannabis laws. However, CBD coming from the cannabis plant is more likely to have a robust cannabinoid profile, playing into the entourage effect which may be more impactful.
It’s important to talk to a doctor regarding your own experience with anxiety. Anxiety is experienced on a spectrum from mild to intense and proper treatment needs to be catered to the individual.
I can’t belive this is true, but…
American veterans have been vocal in the discourse regarding medical marijuana. Scientists found that people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are deficient in endocannabinoids. They also found that CB1 receptors signal the deactivation of traumatic memories. PTSD is increasingly popping up on states’ lists of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. In June 2017, Colorado added PTSD to its list making it the ninth and most recent qualifying condition. New York added PTSD to its tightly controlled program this year after pressure from veterans groups made its way to the governor. Those affected by PTSD often suffer from extreme anxiety, drastically impacting their life and ability to interact with others.
Suggested Reading: Sunday Scaries Review
As more states legalize cannabis and as more people turn to plant-based treatment for their conditions, more information regarding CBD and its effects is being produced. Talking to others, advocating for research, and learning about the different products on the market are all ways to further your own personal understanding of CBD.