Anxiety refers to the feeling of excessive worry, unease, and nervousness about an event whose outcome is uncertain. We all suffer from some form of anxiety in our day-to-day lives. There’s a common joke that the apparent lack of stress is in itself anxiety.
You could be anxious about facing a disciplinary committee at work or an interview panel. You could also be anxious about an upcoming exam or the outcome of a match. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, up to 40 million adults in the U.S suffer from an anxiety disorder. Let’s discuss how CBD can come to your rescue and alleviate anxiety effectively.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – The most common anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable fear and nervousness over everyday events.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – An anxiety disorder marked by excessive worry when in public places.
- Panic Disorder (PD) – This anxiety disorder manifests in sudden and unexplained panic attacks.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – OCD is one of the worst forms of anxiety, where the victim engages in compulsive, ritualistic behavior patterns.
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – PTSD affects individuals who experienced traumatizing situations in the past. Common sufferers include sexual assault victims, genocide victims, and soldiers who’ve been in close-combat encounters.
Causes and Symptoms of Anxiety:
Anxiety can result from one or more of the following causes;
Children born from parents with anxiety disorders are at higher risk of inheriting those disorders.
The brain contains chemical messengers, also known as neurotransmitters, which regulate stress levels. Examples include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Low levels of these neurotransmitters may increase the risks of anxiety.
Environmental stressors range from traumatizing events to job loss, routine changes, etc.
Regardless of the anxiety disorder you’re suffering from; the following are some of the common symptoms;
- Excessive worry
- Mood swings
- Appetite problems
- Headaches and body aches
- Poor concentration
Fortunately, it’s now emerging that CBD products from reputable vendors might treat anxiety disorders.
How Does CBD Help Overcome Anxiety?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most popular non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, in which medical experts recommend its powerful anxiolytic properties. CBD treats anxiety by impacting your endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is the body’s internal cell-signaling system, which runs from the brain to the peripheral organs. The system contains three major components – endogenous cannabinoids/endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors, and a series of hormones and enzymes which facilitate the reuptake of endocannabinoids.
When you consume a CBD-containing compound, the cannabinoids in the substance enter your body through the endocannabinoid system and affect how your endocannabinoids bind to your endocannabinoid receptors. CBD mostly interacts with CB2 receptors, which are widespread along with your peripheral organs. It changes the chemical structure of these receptors, making them more receptive to your endocannabinoids.
CBD also increases the body’s signaling of various ‘feel-good’ hormones, such as serotonin. The substance improves serotonin signaling by impacting serotonin receptors, also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors. It works similarly as conventional selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft). However, CBD has the edge over SSRIs in that it doesn’t pose risks of tolerance and dependency.
Another way CBD relieves anxiety is by inhibiting the activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme that degrades anandamide. Anandamide is one of the body’s endogenous cannabinoids that plays a crucial role in pain and anxiety relief. Various studies associate low levels of anandamide with post-traumatic stress disorder. By mediating the effects of FAAH on anandamide, CBD gives the body higher access to its cannabinoids.
What Does Research Say?
The anxiolytic properties of CBD have been widely studied, and the findings are well-documented. A 2011 study investigating CBD’s anti anxiety effects established that the substance was highly effective against social anxiety disorder.
In this study, participants were offered oral doses of CBD or a placebo. It emerged that the group that consumed CBD demonstrated an overall reduction in anxiety levels.
Also, a 2016 research found that CBD might reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the findings, CBD’s effects on PTSD were particularly useful in treating insomnia, a major symptom of stress and anxiety.
Researchers have also tried to examine CBD’s effects on other anxiety symptoms, and the findings have been considerably inspiring. For instance, a study published in the European Journal of Pain confirmed that CBD could help people battling arthritis pain. Although these studies were conducted on animal models, we can extrapolate them to the human population, considering that all animals have a near-similar endocannabinoid system.
Cannabidiol can indeed help to overcome anxiety, and there is plenty of scientific research to back that up. But before you integrate CBD into your lifestyle, remember the cardinal rule – start with small doses and then work your way up gradually. Remember that CBD is ineffective at larger doses. Worse yet, overdosing CBD might come with certain side effects, such as diarrhea, fatigue, and appetite changes.
By: Jessica Smith
Bio: Jessica Smith has been studying the cannabis industry trends from quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, she takes interest in penning down her views providing quality insight on current marijuana trends, particularly medical cannabis (www.cbdoil.co.uk)