Cannabidiol, also abbreviated as CBD, is the most popular compound of the cannabis plant that’s renowned for its immense therapeutic properties. Experts mostly prescribe CBD for the treatment of diseases that are symptomized by pain, anxiety, inflammation, and seizures.
When it comes to anxiety treatment, there are numerous reasons why you should consider CBD instead of conventional antianxiety drugs. Most importantly, CBD relieves anxiety without subjecting you to severe side effects. While new CBD users might experience some side effects, they are usually nothing more than mild and short-lived nausea and drowsiness.
In this post, we shall examine how best to use CBD to beat stress and anxiety.
A bottle of CBD oil
What Is Stress?
Stress refers to the body’s natural reaction to changes that require response or adjustments. These reactions can manifest at a physical, emotional, or mental level. While stress is a normal part of life, it can also degenerate into anxiety, where it’s now considered a medical condition.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders rank among the most prevalent mental illnesses affecting most Americans. Up to 40 million adults aged 18 years and older suffer from some form of anxiety in the U.S every year. It translates to about 18% of the adult population.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services identifies five main types of anxiety disorders, namely;
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD),
- Panic Disorder,
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD),
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), and
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The good news with anxiety disorders is that they’re treatable. But the bad news is that only about 37% of people living with disorders seek medical treatment. The rest choose to suffer in silence.
But when it comes to anxiety, there’s no such thing as suffering in silence. That’s because the condition affects more than just the victim. For instance, it’s difficult to lead a normal life if you’re living with a partner that experiences post-traumatic stress disorder, especially if their episodes come during sleep. If you don’t arrange for your partner to get urgent treatment, their traumatic episodes may rob you of sleep, putting you at risk of developing sleep disorders.
So, it doesn’t matter the type or severity of an anxiety disorder. Your best bet is to seek treatment for you or your partner before the condition degenerates to unmanageable levels. And that’s where CBD might help.
How Does CBD Treat Anxiety?
CBD impacts the activity of the body’s endogenous cannabinoids located in the Endocannabinoid System or the ECS. The ECS regulates the body’s normal homeostatic balance. Some of the functions of the ECS include treatment of pain, relief from anxiety, and alleviation of inflammation.
Besides endogenous cannabinoids, the ECS also contains various cannabinoid receptors. Two main receptors are CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The central nervous system and brain consists of CB1 receptors, and the peripheral nervous system consists of CB2 receptors.
When someone’s in stress, CB1 and CB2 receptors receive the signals and relay them to your central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, respectively. The body responds by unleashing its endogenous cannabinoids, which work to try and regulate the intensity of your response to the stress factor.
Depending on the type and severity of your anxiety, your endogenous cannabinoids may not always manage to relieve stress. When you consume CBD, the cannabinoids impact the activity of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Therefore, these receptors become more efficient at relaying stress signals, which is useful in preventing the levels of stress from crossing unmanageable thresholds.
In addition to enhancing the functions of your body’s cannabinoid receptors, CBD might also alter the signaling of your feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin. Serotonin refers to a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in managing stress levels. Low levels of serotonin have been associated with stress and depression.
Research also shows that CBD could enhance anandamide signaling. Anandamide is a naturally-occurring endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter located in the brain. CBD enhances its signaling by inhibiting the secretion and activity of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that’s known for breaking down anandamide.
A woman having panic attacks
What Does Research Say?
A 2019 study investigating the effects of CBD on patients with anxiety came up with some positive findings. The study involved 37 Japanese teenagers battling with Social Anxiety Disorder. Some of them received 300 mg doses of CBD oil every day for four weeks, while others received a placebo. At the end of the study, the students were subjected to situations that often trigger social anxiety. The group that received regular CBD doses demonstrated significantly reduced levels of anxiety compared to the placebo group.
There are also studies suggesting that CBD might help people with post-traumatic stress disorder. The substance targets various symptoms of PTSD, including nightmares and the replaying of negative memories. As a result, the patient recovers from PTSD while also benefiting from improved sleep.
In most of the studies conducted on the effects of CBD on anxiety, the verdict has been the same – CBD can treat anxiety. In fact, regular dosing on CBD can prevent anxiety from occurring in the first place.
How to Take CBD for Anxiety
There are different ways to consume CBD for anxiety, including;
- Vaping CBD oil,
- Administering CBD tinctures sublingually,
- Applying CBD-enriched skincare products, such as salves and balms,
- Ingesting CBD edibles, and
- Swallowing CBD pills and tablets.
Each method comes with its own advantages. For instance, vaping CBD oil and administering the tinctures sublingually are known to have a higher bioavailability. On the other hand, edibles and capsules offer a more convenient way to consume CBD, as you can easily pop and chew or swallow them as required. Of course, there’s the little part of ensuring you purchase your CBD capsules Canada from reputable vendors.
In terms of dosing, it’s important to note that CBD has no ideal dose, as that will depend on your body chemistry and the severity of the anxiety condition you’re treating. The convention is to start low and go slow, then work your way up till you achieve your ideal dose.
A person preparing to swallow pills
CBD is one of the most effective remedies for anxiety. The substance can treat various anxiety disorders without exposing you to any side effects, which is crucial in escalating the recovery process.