Anxiety has become a rampant problem in the US, causing several adults and children to experience various negative reactions when exposed to intense situations. The symptoms make it hard for them to have a normal life. However, to treat these symptoms, recently, Cannabidiol (CBD) which is a compound in hemp and marijuana plants, has shown a ground-breaking effect comparing other alternatives. So, does that people can use CBD for anxiety?
Though this compound is popular for treating depression and anxiety, people are still confused about its real effectiveness towards anxiety. Moreover, ditch all your confusion and check out this latest article to know whether you can use CBD to get relief from anxiety or not.
What is CBD?
CBD is also known as Cannabidiol and is one of several chemical compounds present in Cannabis sativa, a species of plants including marijuana and hemp. The plant contains another chemical, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), responsible for making users feel “high.” Most producers often extract their CBD from hemp plants since they have low amounts of THC.
Recently, various entities have marketed CBD as a treatment for various medical conditions, including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic pain
However, the FDA only approved Epidiolex (a CBD medication) for treating two severe forms of epilepsy: Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. They also approved the medication for treating seizures resulting from tuberculosis sclerosis complex. Researchers are studying the compound for treating other conditions, but it hasn’t been approved yet. So, can the compound help with anxiety and if so, how?
How does CBD Help with Anxiety?
Currently, in the US, anxiety is the most common mental health disorder, with 31% of the United States adult population affected. The condition causes affected individuals to experience a sense of impending doom.
Other symptoms include:
- Feeling tired or weak
- Increased heart rate
Affected individuals become restless, nervous or tense and have trouble thinking or concentrating. This affects their social life, causing them to experience trouble navigating everyday situations.
Research has shown that CBD or Cannabidiol can help people affected by depression or anxiety lead normal lives. The compound causes your body to release Anandamide, a hormone that makes you feel calm. The chemical controls your mood, sleep cycle, pain sensitivity, and appetite.
In addition, based on preclinical evidence, it was found that, when administered acutely, CBD effectively treats issues like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Besides that, a 2020 study was conducted among 397 adults who received medical CBD prescriptions and found that their overall quality of life was improved. In fact, those who received CBD treatment for anxiety or depression reportedly improved their daily status.
Another retrospective study found that in their study, after consuming 25-milligram capsules of CBD once a day (mg/d), 78.1–79.2% of participants reported improvements in anxiety symptoms.
Advantages of CBD Over Alternatives to Minimize Anxiety
When it comes to treating anxiety, typical medications include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, SSRIs, and beta blockers. These include Zoloft, Prozac, Xanax, and Valium. Most of these drugs are inhibitors and prevent the brain from reuptake specific inhibitors.
These inhibitors stay in the brain for extended periods causing the individuals to feel better. However, the problem with these medications is they provide a temporary fix and don’t address underlying issues like multiple neurotransmitter imbalances. Neurotransmitters help the brain communicate and regulate what we think, feel, and do.
Focusing on one transmitter deviates attention from other transmitters, likely exacerbating the condition. Often, the drugs cause other negative psychological symptoms for the user, including suicidal thoughts and depression. This has caused researchers to focus on non-pharmaceutical solutions like CBD.
Cannabinoids are unique since they interact with the human body and provide amazing benefits with minimal side effects. Various reasons why most people prefer cannabinoids are their anti-inflammatory effects that could be used when treating brain and hormonal issues, heart disease, digestive issues, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, etc.
Additionally, the initial stages of research confirm that the compound helps treat cases of depression and anxiety. Also, CBD has minimal side effects to those common with antidepressant and antianxiety medications like mood swings, agitation, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, etc. However, we don’t advise you to stop taking your antianxiety medication without talking to your health care specialist.
Forms of CBD for Anxiety
There’s minimal FDA guidance for using CBD. Therefore, the optimal use of the compound varies between individuals. You could find one method that works better than another; however, there are various ways to consume it. Often, users will have to try various products to determine which suits them best.
- Oils and tinctures
You can consume CBD for anxiety in the form of oils and tinctures. They come in dropper bottles that you can consume orally (by mouth). To enjoy its full potential, you must often choose high-quality CBD oil for anxiety.
These are sweet, chewable, and often fruit flavored. they deliver the compound to your system slower than most other forms.
These are preferred by individuals who want the compound delivered to their system more quickly. They come in a nozzle bottle that you can spray in your mouth.
These come in tablets or soft gels. Often, users take these individual capsules orally like a pill.
This form of CBD consumption uses vapes, which heat the oil without igniting it. Users inhale the resultant vapor delivering the compound into their system.
These are dried hemp plants. Users ignite and smoke them to get the compound into their system.
- Creams and gels
Consumers use these products to introduce the compound into their system through the skin. It’s a more localized treatment.
Dosages of CBD for Anxiety
There’s no known dosage for treating anxiety using CBD. However, it was found that doses between 300mg – 600mg help reduce anxiety in individuals with social anxiety disorder; moreover, researchers need to do more studies to determine effective doses. Thus, you’ll have to consult a doctor before using the product to determine which dosage works for you.
Side Effects of CBD
A 2019 review confirmed that there are some side effects of using CBD. However, the side effects depend on the individual and even the type of product used. For instance, some people may experience mild side effects like diarrhea from ingesting CBD products, while others may not. Common side effects include:
- Changes in weight
- Decreased appetite
When it comes to CBD for anxiety, there is no doubt that CBD shows tremendous effectiveness over other alternatives. Moreover, as CBD comes in many forms, it’s better not to jump over one size fits options. Forms that show results in others maybe not be equally suitable for you. So, before using any CBD products, it’s best to consult a doctor to avoid minimal risk and side effects. So, are you planning to use CBD to ease your anxiety symptoms?