Speak to your doctor about your anxiety, and you will almost certainly find yourself on a cocktail of antidepressants or tranquilizers, which are liable to incur some nasty side effects.
Many Americans are looking for a natural treatment alternative, and CBD oil has become one of the most popular on the market.
The American Psychiatric Association conducted a national survey on anxiety in May 2019. It revealed that anxiety levels remain on the rise in the United States, with nearly one in three adults (32 percent) reporting they felt more anxious than they did the previous year. In 2018, that figure was even higher.
Anxiety comes in many forms, but women seem to bear the brunt. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
What is CBD?
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a special compound found in cannabis and hemp. One of the most common reasons people buy CBD is to reduce anxiety.* Unlike recreational marijuana, the CBD from hemp won’t get you high.
It is separate from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical responsible for the intoxicating effect of marijuana. According to scientific research, CBD stimulates a variety of anti-anxiety-producing effects in the body.*
CBD Oil and Mood
One key finding is that CBD activates the 5HT1-A serotonin receptor, which modulates mood and anxiety. A team of researchers in Spain found that CBD may be superior to other antidepressants like SSRIs, which interact with serotonin production. “The fast onset of antidepressant action of CBD and the simultaneous anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect would solve some of the main limitations of current antidepressant therapies,” their study concluded.
CBD also appears to promote neurogenesis — the creation of new brain cells — in the hippocampus.* This region of the brain responsible for memory, emotion and the autonomic nervous system tends to shrink in subjects with long-term anxiety and depression. Creating new brain cells and new neural pathways is a key to recovering from anxiety.
CBD Oil and Stress
Another of CBD’s fascinating anxiety-reducing properties is its ability to reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone whose overproduction can cause everything from sleep disorders to low libido, depression, and irritability.* CBD also improves the function of the endocannabinoid system, the body’s master regulating system. It does this by blocking the enzyme responsible for breaking down a key neurotransmitter called anandamide. It’s thought that the more anandamide we have in our bodies, the less anxious we feel.*
CBD can be consumed in many forms, so when is ingestible CBD Oil recommended?
Anxiety, particularly panic attacks, often comes on quickly. A fast-acting solution is needed, and CBD oil drops are absorbed directly into the bloodstream under the tongue. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, CBD softgels are a good choice because their effects are longer-lasting.*
Much of the research so far into CBD’s anti-anxiety effects has been conducted on mice or rats. However, a couple of small pilot studies focused on CBD for social anxiety in humans. One group of subjects was given CBD prior to a simulated public speaking test. Subjects who received CBD exhibited “significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alertness in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels when compared with the control group.”*
Two more clinical trials are recruiting subjects to learn how effective CBD can be as a treatment for anxiety. One phase 2 trial in the US will be testing whole plant CBD oil taken under the tongue in subjects with various anxiety disorders, while another 8-week pilot study in Canada will evaluate the efficacy of CBD capsules for anxiety symptoms.
CBD Oil Dosage
Many women wonder about the best dosage level for anxiety. How much CBD is needed to alleviate anxiety depends on the individual. It’s best to start with a low dosage and gradually build up, until you notice your symptoms subside.*
When our hunter-gatherer ancestors roamed the African savanna, the flight-or-fight-or-freeze response protected them from predators. In that way, anxiety is a trait passed down to protect us from harm. Today, our brains still produce this extreme physiological response during situations that have nothing to do with life or death. (If I don’t find my keys, I might be late for work!)
CBD extracted from hemp plants is a natural solution to a natural problem that shouldn’t impede our lives.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.