Can Cannabidiol (CBD) be a Good Treatment for Anxiety?
Cannabidiol for anxiety disorders is becoming a go-to natural remedy for many who are anxious about taking prescription anxiety meds.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is known for its use as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, sleep aid and is frequently sought after for its therapeutic benefits.
Ever-popular, CBD is now making its mark as a choice medicinal for many symptoms and ailments, including epilepsy, insomnia, cancer, and, you guessed it- anxiety.
It seems as though anxiety is everywhere these days- and for a good reason, too.
Between the stresses of daily life and a more significant concern for a planet-wide pandemic, it’s not so surprising that anxiety is on the rise.
And with increasing ailment comes the search for a remedy, and natural, supplements such as cannabidiol (CBD) are no exception.
With increasing evidence supporting CBD as an anxiolytic and potential treatment for anxiety disorders, people are seeking it as a form of alternative relief.
If you’re experiencing anxiety, you’re not alone.
Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder among Americans affecting more than 40 million U.S. adults. To put it another way, that’s over 19 percent of the adult population or one in five people over 18.
Globally, anxiety disorders afflict nearly 300 million people. That is roughly equivalent to the entire population of the United States. Imagine, if you will, all of America having anxiety disorders.
Whether mild, moderate, or severe, read on to find out how CBD could help reduce or treat your anxiety.
An Introduction to Anxiety
Whether it’s the stress of a job, fear or phobia, or impacting your quality of life, we’ve all felt anxiety at some point- but it affects each of us differently.
Anxiety can be an emotion or feeling, but an anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder and is different from the occasional bout of anxiety.
There are also different anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.
These disorders vary from excessive everyday worry to fear of public interaction and communication, panic attacks and terror, and severe irrational fears.
What Causes Anxiety?
Anxiety surfaces for various reasons but often develops due to stressful environments or situations, other health issues like depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, or genetics.
Other times anxiety boils down to genetics.
General Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed when anxiety is the primary symptom experienced by a patient. This is the most common anxiety disorder, affecting 6.8 million people in the United States.
Anxiety levels are rising as social endeavors shift from being community-oriented and instead are heavily focused on the individual.
This change is especially prevalent as image, material status, and financial success heavily influence motivation.
What’s more, the use of social media has been shown to contribute to a rise in depression and anxiety, impacting other symptoms associated with anxiety disorders such as low self-esteem and sleeplessness.
This impact is worsened by social media addiction, a cycle of seeking instant gratification followed by bouts of stress.
Symptoms of anxiety also rose following the occurrence of the covid-19 pandemic. Surveys reported that 30.9 percent of participants were exercising symptoms of anxiety or depression at rates higher than the previous year.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Though anxiety affects everyone differently, it can produce both emotional and physical symptoms.
These symptoms include feelings of fear, apprehension, tenseness, restlessness, dread, elevated heartbeat, difficult breathing, headaches, sleeplessness, upset stomach, and diarrhea, among others.
The one symptom consistently produced by every type of anxiety is excessive worry, which often arises when the feeling is uncalled for.
CBD can help alleviate the symptoms of both intermittent and chronic anxiety.
How Can Cannabidiol Help with Anxiety?
After cannabidiol enters your body, it interacts with an internal, biological system called the endocannabinoid system or ECS.
The ECS maintains homeostasis, regulating and monitoring function, communication, and balance throughout your body.
The ECS also helps regulate appetite, sleep, mood, and emotions.
CBD communicates and interacts with your endocannabinoid system through pharmacological receptors.
These receptors called cannabinoid one and cannabinoid two receptors, are responsible for the regulation of anxiety.
Because of this direct interaction with anxiety regulation, CBD can serve as an anxiolytic or anxiety reducer.
Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Anxiety
Scientific studies also support CBD as a potential treatment for anxiety.
Experiments and research support findings of CBD association with brain receptors can reduce anxiety.
Both human and animal-based studies also display evidence of anxiolytic abilities.
One prevalent study observed the effects of CBD on anxiety induced by public speaking.
Participants were divided into two groups and then given either CBD or a placebo.
Before and during the simulated public speaking event, the study’s authors measured subjects’ blood pressure and heart rate.
Concluding results found that the CBD recipients had significantly reduced anxiety. These findings align with similar anxiety studies done on animals.
Another study found that CBD performed anxiolytic, panicolytic, and anti-compulsive actions. Furthermore, CBD decreased fear, and long-term anxiety produced stress.
Scientific studies on CBD and anxiety are relatively new but growing. Still, their progression supports CBD as a potential treatment for anxiety and offers concrete evidence in addition to user testimony.
How Do I Use CBD for Anxiety?
CBD is often used for many of the symptoms and side effects associated with anxiety and anxiety disorders.
A common remedy for pain relief, sleeplessness, mood stabilization, and other therapeutic benefits, CBD could be used to target headaches or insomnia as well as tension, irritation, and of course, anxiety.
The most effective and fastest way to use CBD to alleviate and assuage your anxiety is through sublingual ingestion and inhalation.
Sublingual Ingestion of Cannabidiol for anxiety
You can sublingually ingest CBD by applying CBD oil under your tongue.
Before swallowing, allow the CBD to remain under your tongue for 30 seconds. This will enable your oral capillaries to absorb the CBD and send it to your bloodstream, creating a fast and effective onset.
The rest of the Cannabidiol contained in the oil will travel through your digestive tract and present a second set of effects once processed and dispersed.
Sublingual ingestion is quick and efficient, allowing for retroactive relief and proactive prevention.
Inhalation of CBD for anxiety
Inhaling CBD by smoking or vaping allows it to work even faster as it is directed straight into your bloodstream by your lungs, where it can begin to circulate immediately.
Once in the bloodstream, CBD can begin interacting with the ECS, and the effects can be felt quickly. The sooner Cannabidiol can take effect, the sooner it can help your anxiety.
Though fast, inhalation will not allow you to feel the effects of Cannabidiol for anxietyty as intently as sublingual ingestion would.
Some users prefer one over the other, while others prefer a combination of the two.
If you’re experiencing anxiety, be sure to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about how you’re feeling and what could help.
Incorporating Cannabidiol into your healthcare regime may bring you a bit of relief, help tame some tensions, or be the saving grace you’re looking for.