40 million adults in the US suffer from anxiety disorders each year. In recent years, many people have started turning to CBD for anxiety management.
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in cannabis plants such as marijuana and hemp. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive which means that it doesn’t give a ‘high’ feeling to the user. Most CBD in the US is produced from hemp plants which contain less than 0.3% THC.
CBD has been gaining popularity as a remedy for a number of health issues, such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and eczema. Research on CBD oil for anxiety relief has been promising. Here’s what we know about CBD and anxiety so far!
CBD for Anxiety Research
Several studies have indicated the potential therapeutic effects of CBD oil for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). In animal models, CBD has shown a reduction in stress levels along with improvement in the physiological symptoms of an anxiety-like increase in heart rate.
CBD also showed considerable potential for the treatment of other forms of anxiety disorders, such as SAD (social anxiety disorder) and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). A 2015 review of research on CBD and anxiety disorders concluded that ‘evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely’.
In a 2011 study on social anxiety, the researchers found that individuals who received an oral dose of CBD before undergoing a public speaking test were significantly calmer than those who received a placebo.
How Does CBD Oil Work for Anxiety?
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The endocannabinoid system plays a major role in regulating a variety of functions, including pain, sleep, mood, immune response, and appetite. CBD attaches to receptors in this specialized system and influences our body’s response to stress, fear, pain, inflammation, etc.
CBD is also known to interact with the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. Low levels of serotonin may cause anxiety, depression, and sleep issues.
CBD Side Effects and Interactions
Evidence has shown CBD to be well tolerated and safe, though some people might experience side effects such as diarrhea, fatigue, and reduced appetite. In most cases, these symptoms are mild and transient.
CBD has known to interact with some medications such as blood thinners. It is important to consult with your doctor if you want to start taking CBD oil for anxiety .
How to Take CBD for Anxiety
CBD oil is a popular product choice for people looking for a remedy for their anxiety disorders. You can use the CBD oil by dropping a few drops of the liquid under your tongue. This helps CBD get absorbed quickly and transported directly into the bloodstream by a mushroom of tiny capillaries found in the mucous membrane. CBD oil for anxiety is a great alternative for all who find it difficult to swallow capsules. If you don’t like the earthy taste of CBD oil, you can always mix the product in your favorite beverage.
Another popular way to consume CBD is in the form of edibles. CBD candy, popularly known as gummies, is the edible of choice. CBD gummies are affordable and available in the market in a number of flavors. Besides they are discreet and would not raise questioning looks especially in a professional environment.
Will CBD Make Anxiety Worse?
Studies conducted on CBD for anxiety have shown that CBD makes anxiety better and not worse. Yet some people have claimed that CBD worsened their anxiety. If you are experiencing a worsening of symptoms, stop using CBD and consult your doctor.
There might be three possible reasons for what you experienced:
- You might have an allergy or sensitivity to CBD
It’s always best to start with a microdose of a new CBD product to rule out sensitivity issues before gradually ramping up the amount being consumed to recommended levels.
- THC might be present in the CBD product you are using
THC is known to aggravate anxiety and increase the heartbeat rate. While CBD is easily available in the market, at present it is not well regulated. You might end up buying a CBD product that is not as pure as stated on the label. Always buy CBD from a reliable source!
- You might be taking the wrong dosage of CBD
CBD dosing can be quite tricky. For many people, a lower dosage of CBD is more effective than the recommended amount. Start low and go slow is an adage frequently used by CBD users.
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