For very obvious reasons, we see fear as something undesirable. However, this is an essentially adaptive reaction that can help us deal with our own safety and well-being as well as that of our loved ones. The phenomenon of fear helps us identify and avoid potential threats. But it can also motivate us to take measures that improve our situation. It becomes problematic if we do not control these natural reactions effectively. Then they can affect our relationships and work. This often leads to clinically diagnosed anxiety disorders. But CBD can really help with anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are thought to affect a large proportion of the population. In the United States, about 40 million people suffer from anxiety disorders from the age of 18. Most of them use prescription benzodiazepines like Valium and Xanax. The problem, however, is that these drugs are often addictive and can make people feel foggy and sleepy.
The good news is that early research has shown promising signs that cannabidiol (CBD) can help relieve anxiety. In recent years, CBD has aroused great interest among scientists, consumers and clinics due to its powerful anti-anxiety effects and numerous other health benefits. In this article, we examine exactly what fear is, how to use CBD against anxiety, and what the results of various studies on the subject have been.
Overview of “Fear”
Everyone worries from time to time or is afraid of something. Both are normal emotions. On the other hand, anxiety disorders are something else. They fall into a group of mental illnesses, and the problems they cause can disrupt a person’s daily life. Those with anxiety disorder have concerns and fears that are constant, overwhelming, and very often debilitating.
Anxiety disorder is a term used to describe a number of different conditions. These include, for example:
People who suffer from panic disorders experience terror that strikes by accident. Sweat, chest pain and palpitations may occur during a panic attack. It is also possible to choke or have a heart attack.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Sufferers feel unrealistic, overly concerned, and tense without any real reason.
Patients with phobias feel an intense fear of a certain object or situation, such as heights or spinning. This fear goes beyond what is appropriate and can even make people avoid ordinary situations.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This is also known as social phobia. Those who suffer from this disorder are very aware of themselves and experience an overwhelming worry in normal, everyday social situations. They focus on others judging them or making fun of them.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This form of fear occurs after a traumatic event. The researchers are not yet sure what exactly causes anxiety disorders. However, it is believed that they are based on a combination of different factors. This includes changes in the brain, environmental stress and even genetics.
If you have an anxiety disorder, the feeling of fear can be with you all the time. In extreme cases, you cannot cross the street, enter an elevator, or even leave your home. It may prevent you from doing things that you enjoy. It is an emotional disorder that can affect anyone of any age.
Fear feels different depending on the person experiencing it. The feelings range from butterflies in the stomach to a racing heart. Those affected feel like they have lost control and that there is a kind of separation between body and mind.
The symptoms of general anxiety include rapid breathing, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, increased heart rate and difficulty falling asleep. Anxiety symptoms can differ from person to person. For this reason, it is important to know all the ways in which fear effects people.
How and why CBD could help against Anxiety
CBD is believed to work with a brain receptor known as CB1. Receptors are tiny little proteins that are bound to cells and receive chemical signals from various stimuli that help cells respond.
The exact effect of CBD on CB1 has not yet been fully clarified. It is believed to change serotonin signals. Serotonin is a chemical found in the body that plays a major role in mental health. Lower levels of serotonin are often found in depression patients. For some people, lack of serotonin can result in anxiety.
CBD performs actions in the brain that show why it could be great for treating anxiety. Here are two of the results:
5-HT1A is a subtype of the serotonin receptor. This is important because both anxiety and depression are often treated with drugs that target the serotonin system (such as Prozac and Zoloft). CBD for anxiety works similarly to these drugs by increasing signaling through serotonin receptors.
The hippocampus is an area in the brain that plays a crucial role in many brain functions. It is best known for it’s role in perception and memory function. In patients suffering from anxiety, the hippocampus is usually smaller than average. Studies have shown that CBD can help the hippocampus to regenerate neurons and can therefore be helpful in treating anxiety.
CBD against anxiety interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is present in almost all body cells and manages a number of bodily functions. This includes sleep, appetite, mood, pain sensation and memory. Stress recuperation is one of the main purposes of the ECS.
CBD interacts with a neurotransmitter known as GABA. It ensures the transmission of messages from one neuron or brain cell to the next. GABA informs the body when there is a good opportunity to shut down. Because there are a large number of neurons in the cerebrum that respond to GABA, anxiety can be reduced, recovery supported, and muscles relaxed.
Medical evidence: effects of cannabinoids and CBD on anxiety
So far, most results on CBD against anxiety have come from animal studies and laboratory tests. A report published in the Neurotherapeutics Journal in 2015 described that CBD has promising effects in the acute treatment of conditions such as panic disorder, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.
While there is a lack of large-scale clinical trials to test how CBD works in the treatment of anxiety, a small study published in 2011 in Neuropsychopharmacology found that CBD can help alleviate social anxiety.
As part of the study, the results showed that pre-treatment with CBD significantly reduced discomfort, anxiety, and cognitive impairment while the participants made their speech.
A small double-blind study that Brazilian researchers conducted on patients with general social anxiety found that participants’ anxiety decreased significantly after they consumed CBD. The researchers validated the patients’ reports by performing brain scans to show cerebral blood flow patterns that matched the anti-anxiety effects.
Medical benefits of using CBD to Treat Anxiety
Over the years, CBD has been used as a viable treatment option for depression and anxiety. Medical researchers continuously examined CBD. But to be honest, the effects of CBD against anxiety are currently considered to be outstanding in the most areas of CBD research.
CBD is a fantastic natural way to reduce anxiety for many reasons. You have to be aware that fear is not only in the head, but also causes some physical symptoms such as nausea, headache and muscle tension. CBD is effective in treating all of these symptoms. In addition, CBD improves mood while relieving anxiety symptoms. This is because CBD has antidepressant properties that regulate the emotional response and improve our positive outlook on life.
How to take CBD for Anxiety?
There are several ways to use CBD for anxiety, from oils and sprays to local use CBD products and sweets. We cannot really single out the best way, but CBD oil seems to be the most preferred option. It depends on the disease you want to treat and the person using CBD. It is important that you choose the method of administration that is most suitable for you.
If it is for anxiety, there are three ways people usually use CBD.
Vaping is arguably one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of CBD. This is really important in an acute anxiety situation. As a rule, you consume a small amount in the morning and evening. Of course, you can also use some CBD for anxiety during the day if necessary.
Oils and Tinctures
CBD oils and mouth sprays are very popular among consumers. People can take sublingual oils by dripping or spraying the liquid under their tongue. The mucous membranes are filled with small capillaries, which means that CBD is quickly and directly absorbed into the bloodstream. Tinctures are a good choice for people who don’t want to swallow pills. The CBD oils usually taste a bit “herbaceous”. This can be a disadvantage for some people. However, many companies have recognized this problem and therefore offer their products in different flavors such as peppermint or citrus if you want to try our CBD oil.
One of the most popular methods of taking CBD for anxiety is candy. CBD gummies can be found in many different flavors and they are also no problem in terms of dosage. Many people like gummy bears because the dosage is consistent and is a convenient way to take CBD. You can take them anywhere and no one knows you are using CBD. On the other hand, gummy bears don’t work fast enough, so you have to take them long enough in advance. That’s why they’re not so good for anxiety attacks.
What can CBD do about anxiety?
Animal studies have specifically started to reveal the details of the effects of CBD on the brain. Studies in people with and without anxiety disorders are also beginning to confirm the effectiveness of CBD as an anti-anxiety treatment. While more research is needed to determine the long-term potential and impact of CBD, it has so far proven to be natural solution that is usually much more affordable than medications.