How can CBD Help with Anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural response that occurs within the body when faced with a stressful situation. No two cases of anxiety are the same, which is why most formal treatment plans are personalised for the individual. However, many people are now looking at more natural remedies for anxiety:
- Meditation & Relaxation – Gentle breathing and focusing the mind can help slow the heart rate and improve positive thoughts
- Journaling – Helps to process the thoughts and to identify patterns within behaviour and outside causes of anxiety
- Aromatherapy – By stimulating the smell receptors within the brain can change chemical responses and thought process
- Herbal Teas – Popular herbal teas include peppermint, chamomile, lavender and lemon balm can help relax and unwind
- Exercise – During exercise the brain releases serotonin which can be seen in laymen terms as the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. It does not appear to alter consciousness or trigger a “high”, it instead interacts with the many different receptors within the body.
Receptors are protein-based chemical structures that are attached within the bodies cells. It is believed that CBD interacts with the bodies CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. It is believed that the CB1 receptor signal alters the serotonin signals. Serotonin has been implicated in practically every type of behavior, such as emotional, motor, cognitive and autonomic. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27940/.
The more prevalent state is that of too little serotonin. The most obvious (but not limited to) results could be:
- Depression – (loss of brain repair)
- Anxiety – (loss of stress response and resilience)
- Insomnia – serotonin is converted to melatonin which manages the sleep/wake cycle.
The usual culprits which current anxiety medications attack:
- Neurotransmitter imbalances
- Brain region signaling
The medications normally prescribed for anxiety have been around for decades with very little change and many side effects,which also is true for depression. There has however been a recent increase in scientific publications documenting the value for CBD in some neuro psychiatric disorders.
What Does The Research Say?
Evidence from ongoing research is showing that Cannabidiol can benefit those suffering from anxiety-related disorders, by offering a calming effect in the central nervous system.
A large retrospective case study at a psychiatric clinic involving clinical application of CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints in addition to their usual treatment. The trials found that the anxiety scores decreased fairly rapidly, and this decrease was sustained during the study period. These results are consistent with the existing pre-clinical and clinical data.
The final sample consisted of 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (n = 47) or poor sleep (n = 25). Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration.
Although the clinical data in the analysis showed a trend towards clinically significant relief of anxiety upon the start of CBD treatment, it has to be reviewed in further trials, as research into humans and CBD is still in its infancy.
Another study that was carried out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that CBD may reduce signs of stress and anxiety in rats. The study monitored the effect of CBD by looking at many of the common symptoms of anxiety such as increased heart rate and reaction to stimuli. The results showed that the rat’s heart did not increase to the same extent as it did without CBD when presented with stressful stimuli.
The majority of current studies have been carried out on rodents, therefore it is not fully understood whether CBD is a valid form of treatment for all types of anxiety. While there are many personal testimonies and reports of CBD being effectively used to manage anxiety.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Anxiety
The effects of using CBD for anxiety are still not completely understood and there are a number of ongoing clinical trials focussing on humans and CBD. Although current research looks promising, more research is needed, as most studies have been carried out on animals and stress within the human body.
Current research is however pointing towards CBD being a useful form of treatment for managing the many forms of behaviors relevant to multiple disorders including:
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- GAD (General Anxiety Disorder)
- PD (Panic Disorder), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder)
Using CBD oil for anxiety has not been found to have any adverse effects, and there is little evidence to show that it should not be used. Instead it has been shown to help boost the immune system and improve well-being as well as many other health benefits.
The great thing about CBD is that it can be taken in many forms some of which are:
- CBD oil and tinctures are perhaps the most common and simple way to try it by placing the drops under your tongue
- For those more adventurous you can add CBD oil to your favourite recipes.
- CBD capsules are handy for those who do not like the taste of CBD oil and prefer the measurements to be already prepared.
- CBD Bath bombs offer the combination of essential oils and CBD combined with the natural relaxation of a bath.
What ever way you choose to try CBD, once you try it you will be surprised at the many other health and well being benefi