Anxiety is a widespread issue among many people around the world. In fact, it is a common response to overcome many difficulties that stand ahead of us. However, it can become a real problem when people don’t know how to manage their emotions and develop anxiety disorders, impacting negatively in the person’s life. This is the case of more than 18 percent of Americans -about 40 million people.
In order to tackle the condition, many doctors prescribe Benzodiazepines -products that produce effects similar to Xanax or Valium- or reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac or Zoloft. The problem is that these medicines tend to influence the consumers’ humor, making them feel fluffy or dormant, and there is a high risk of getting addicted. In that sense, CBD has become a widespread, plausible solution that addresses the problem without any of the side effects the previous medications provide.
Table of contents
- What is CBD?
- How does CBD work?
- What is anxiety?
- How can CBD help anxiety?
- Final thoughts
What is CBD?
CBD stands for the word cannabidiol and it is one of the components present in certain herbs like hemp or cannabis. It is important to mention that unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, this substance does not produce any “high” effect. Certainly, there are some products that do contain THC, especially when it is extracted from cannabis, but most of them have such a small content -under 0.3%- that it is literally impossible to get “high” with it.
How does CBD work?
Within the human body there is an Endocannabinoid System, also called ECS. It is located in both the nervous and the immune system and it is responsible for the humor, the stress and even the feeling of pain.
ECS produces cannabinoids in a natural way, but it does not always work in the best manner. What CBD does is basically stimulate it so it can correct the processing of the natural cannabinoids that the body creates.
What is anxiety?
This is an important question we have to address before getting deeper on the effects that CBD oil have on this common problem. First of all, there is a difference between anxiety as a feeling and anxiety as a disorder. It is important to separate these because although CBD oil works for both of them, it is especially important for people who suffer from this feeling on a regular basis. Generalized anxiety is a type of mental disorder very similar to fear that outstands from the rest for involving the person in an emotional state experienced in face of a potential threat. Although a large number of men have this feeling constantly, it is twice as likely to appear in women.
According to the formalized criteria, there are a number of signs and symptoms that should appear before diagnosing a person with GAD, such as:
- Poor concentration
- Impaired sleep
- Muscle tension
- Excessive worrying, during most days for over 6 months
Obviously, it is very difficult to live under this condition. That’s why during the last few years there have been lots of research to look for a medical way to overcome it. Of course, there are a lot of medicines to treat anxiety, but most of them generate many side effects and even addiction. This last one is the main reason of the increasing growth of CBD oil for anxiety disorders.
How can CBD help anxiety?
As we explained before, CBD works in a very specific way. However, it is not the only action that it executes in the body. Here are some others that deal specifically with anxiety:
The name of this serotonin receptor may not be familiar, but the truth is that you know it well as it works pretty closely to the mood. Anxiety is not always treated through the serotonin system, but many pills do work closely to it like Prozac. This SSRI blocks the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter, increasing its availability for the synapsis and leading to the reduction of anxiety as well as improving the mood of the person. However, in a Spaniard study, it was found that CBD does not only enhance the 5-HT1A transmission, but it also affects serotonin way faster than SSRIs.
Neurogenesis of the hippocampus
This area of the brain is very important. Thanks to it, people can form their memory and cognition. Those who suffer from depression and anxiety tend to have a slightly smaller hippocampus. However, the birth of neurons in the hippocampus has been proved to treat effectively these problems. An animal study showed that taking CBD periodically can help regenerate neurons in this area of the brain, finding that it is a useful treatment for anxiety. This is a significant finding as this may be a solution for some people who have suicidal behavior.
Although there are no large-scale studies on CBD oil yet, there are two outstanding studies that found great results in people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. The first one was carried out in Brazil, where a group of patients reported having decreased significantly their feelings of anxiety while the scans showed a consistent blood flow pattern in the brain.
The other study was a simulated public speaking test, where participants explained having felt less anxiety. The findings were supported with objective indicators, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
CBD oil is relatively new product that has proven to be great in many aspects and especially in dealing with anxiety. Although there are no definitive and long-term results on its use, it has been found to greatly help for this condition -even better than current regular medication. As it does not provide worse side effects than regular medication and it guarantees better results, it seems like a good deal to take. If you would like to know how to buy CBD oil, here is a buying guide that can help you.