40 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 54 suffer from some level of anxiety! That’s nearly 1/5th of the population and the COVID-19 crisis is causing this number to rise. These are uncertain times and we are living in unconventional circumstances which can completely undermine our sense of security. More and more people are feeling the pangs of anxiety, restlessness, depression and having difficulty sleeping.
The Many Faces of Anxiety
Anxiety rears its ugly head in many forms and can often catch you off guard. It can interfere with your sleep, hinder your ability to concentrate, make your heart race, paralyze you, cause exhaustion and basically make every aspect of your life more difficult. Living with anxiety can be completely debilitating.
Your Brain on Anxiety
Anxiety is the result of brain chemistry imbalance. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays an important role in your mental health. Low serotonin levels are commonly associated with people who have depression. In some cases, not having enough Serotonin may result in anxiety as your brain’s reactions to life’s stressors are more severe.
CBD for Anxiety – Promising Research
Recent studies suggest that there is a link between Cannabidiol (CBD) and regulating what triggers and stimulates the brain’s Serotonin centers. This would mean that CBD can help to regulate your conditioned fear responses.
CBD interacts with receptors in your brain that communicate feeling, thus helping reduce feelings of anxiety. In a 2011 study, 400 patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder were given CBD or a placebo. The patients that received CBD experienced reduced anxiety symptoms on both an emotional and physical level compared to the placebo group.
CBD has also been found to have positive effects on people that suffer from social anxiety. In another control-group study, those that took CBD prior to stressful pubic speaking situations found their stress greatly reduced and performed better than the placebo group. The placebo group had higher levels of anxiety, cognitive impairment and higher levels of distress.
Why Does CBD Work For Anxiety?
Anxiety and depression medications are often classified as SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors). SSRI’s are used to help reduce feelings of anxiety and/or depression by balancing Serotonin levels so neurological responses to stimuli are controlled. CBD studies focus on this same kind of reaction. CBD appears to help the brain stabilize responses and process stimuli by activating neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in a reduction of anxiety or depressive symptoms.
What we know is that CBD interacts positively with receptors in the brain to induce a calming effect in anxiety sufferers. This chemical reaction has shown to treat both emotional and physical symptoms of anxiety in test subjects. The bonus is that it does not come with the severe side effects of most prescribed anti-anxiety medications.
Why Choose CBD for Anxiety
CBD research is still in the preliminary stages. We do not yet fully understand the specifics of how CBD interacts with the brain, but it is now being explored by scientists world-wide. The early studies suggest its efficacy and people using CBD to treat their anxiety have largely reported a positive impact in their daily lives.
CBD is non-addictive, unlike most of the popular drugs prescribed for anxiety, such as Xanax and Valium. People build tolerance to these drugs rather quickly and often need to increase their dosages for them to be effective.
If you’ve struggled with anxiety and have an interest in finding safe, affordable treatment options, CBD may be exactly what you’re looking for. If you have any concerns about how CBD may interact with your current health care/ medication regimen, we recommend discussing it with your health care provider.