How CBD Can Help Control Your Anxiety
Anxiety is an issue that affects nearly all of us at one point or another. While it is perfectly normal to feel anxious about certain events or situations, for millions of people across the globe anxiety can develop into a nearly crippling condition with real impacts on work, home, and social life.
In 2017, a whopping 284 million people were estimated to suffer from serious anxiety disorders across the globe, making it the most common mental health problem worldwide.
Even those who do not face symptoms serious enough to seek the help of a mental health professional can still suffer day in and day out from nagging anxious thoughts.
Although anxiety disorders are regarded as one of the most highly treatable mental conditions, many of the options for treatment rely on expensive synthetic drugs with a laundry list of side effects. Some methods, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) don’t require the use of drugs at all, but can take months or years worth of potentially expensive and complicated therapy sessions to produce lasting results.
This is where CBD comes into play. Affordable, effective, and easy to obtain without a prescription or doctor’s visit, CBD is proving itself to be a remarkable solution for countless sufferers of anxiety the world over — both in the laboratory and in everyday life.
Does CBD Really Relieve Anxiety? The Hard Data
As CBD products explode in popularity, the anecdotal evidence for its ability to alleviate symptoms of anxiety has grown exponentially. When tested in a laboratory setting, researchers quickly discovered that these anecdotes could be reinforced with hard evidence and scientific data.
One study found that using a low dose of CBD (just 25 to 75 milligrams per day) was enough to reduce the anxiety score of 79% of the studies’ participants within a month of daily use. Not only did their anxiety scores fall almost immediately, but the scores stayed at their reduced levels throughout the duration of the study.
While the jury is still out on exactly how CBD reduces anxiety at a biochemical level, researchers already have a strong idea of the mechanism behind CBD’s effects.
CBD is part of a class of compounds known as cannabinoids. While these are most commonly associated with their namesake (the cannabis plant,) the human body produces its own cannabinoid compounds as part of a system known as the endocannabinoid system.
In the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids are used as essential neurotransmitters which carry data and help to regulate the brain and body’s various functions — including mood and anxiety.
A 2015 study of CBD’s potential for treating anxiety delved into some of the biological mechanisms behind CBD’s role in reducing anxiety. The authors noted the endocannabinoid system’s natural role in regulating emotional behavior, particularly its role in responding to stress and fear — the emotions which produce an anxious response.
That study not only offered a strong basis for how CBD might help treat anxiety on a biological level, it also concluded with strong support of CBD’s use in anxiety treatments. To quote the study:
“Overall, existing preclinical evidence strongly supports the potential of CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders.”
Managing Anxiety With CBD
One of CBD’s primary benefits is that is produced completely naturally and organically. It doesn’t require any synthesis or complex chemistry. The production of CBD products is primarily concerned with extracting and separating CBD from its natural source in hemp plants.
In the studies we highlighted above, most research focused on oral doses of CBD taken once or twice daily. A tincture or gel capsule ingested in the morning and the evening is a popular method for reducing symptoms of anxiety, and can be a great way to keep your anxiety tamed throughout the day.
Another method increasing in popularity is vaporizing CBD oils, either with the help of a portable vaporizer like an e-cigarette, or in the form of a concentrated product similar to “dabs,” a popular means of consuming cannabis concentrates.
Ingesting CBD orally through a tincture can take up to fifteen minutes to begin affecting the body and calming your nerves, while ingesting a capsule can take as much as thirty to forty five minutes.
In contrast, the effects of vaporizing CBD can be felt nearly immediately. This allows anxiety sufferers to get rapidly relief as soon as they experience anxious feelings.
The act of vaporizing or smoking is often reported as a means of managing anxiety by sufferers of anxiety disorders. Unlike addictive nicotine or potentially anxiety inducing marijuana, vaporizing CBD allows sufferers to enjoy the relaxation of vaporizing without concerns of addiction or dependence. Compound this with CBD’s natural anti-anxiety effects and you have a potent combination for rapidly managing symptoms of anxiety.
An All Natural Anxiety Remedy
Although anxiety is regarded as one of the mental disorders most responsive to treatment, these treatments often involve powerful drugs which can bring their own issues — including chemical dependencies and recreational abuse.
In contrast, various studies on CBD have shown no tendencies towards abuse or dependence.
Though CBD is not without its side effects, these side effects tend to be limited and manageable, typically including nausea, irritability, and fatigue. CBD can also thin the blood and interact with certain medications. These effects are highly dependent on the dose of CBD, so it is important to experiment to find the dosage that best suits your body.
Should You Try CBD To Reduce Anxiety?
Because CBD has become so widely available, it is easy to give it a shot and experiment to find out if CBD can be an effective treatment for your anxiety.
Those who have never taken CBD should begin with a low dose and pay attention to how your body responds. Beginning with a low dosage is the best way to gently introduce yourself to CBD and begin understanding how it will affect you. Everyone is different! Remember to start small.
If you are already receiving treatment for anxiety (or taking any sort of medication,) you should consult your physician before taking CBD.