CBD for Anxiety: Can It Really Help?

July 12, 2019

Some 284 million people throughout the world live with some type of anxiety disorder. That's a group larger than the entire population of Brazil. Many more cope with depression on a daily basis. The overall impact on people's quality of life is substantial. Clearly, humanity as a whole has a pressing need to find safe, accessible support.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the major non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis sativa plant. As social acceptance of CBD increases internationally, help may be at hand for many. This is because our bodies have built-in systems for processing cannabinoids. And the human endocannabinoid system plays a big role in our ability to maintain inner balance and well-being.

Anxiety-Related Issues and CBD

People who look to CBD for support might have one of these prominent anxiety-related issues:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, or Panic Disorder

Preclinical evidence "strongly supports CBD as a treatment" for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder. Studies show this to be the case for acute treatment. In the future, we'll learn more about regular dosing with CBD and the long-term responses of people suffering from these conditions. Already, the research looks promising.

For example, panic disorder, or PD, can disable the person who suffers from it. Worldwide, 5% of people do. Could there be CBD oil benefits for this population? It seems so. While more studies are needed, researchers state: "CBD seems to be a promising drug for the treatment of PD."

People living with social anxiety disorder, sometimes called social phobia, suffer greatly in social situations. Everyday gatherings are extremely difficult for such people as they become anxious and self-conscious—even panic-stricken. They may fear that other people are judging their every word and move. Social life becomes debilitating and exhausting.

A neuropharmacology study published in 2017 indicated that CBD oil may ease social phobia and other panic-related symptoms, by lowering the release of serotonin in the brain.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

PTSD and OCD are no longer categorized as anxiety disorders. Nevertheless, the experience of anxiety is at the core of these conditions. Both also correlate with job and relationship problems and self-harm risks. Together, these mental conditions impact more people than any other.

Human experimental findings are showing support for the use of CBD to treat compulsive disorders, safely and without side effects. Emerging research also showing CBD's potential to alleviate PTSD symptoms, including harmful and long-term stress, fear memories, arousal and avoidance. One case report indicates that CBD can safely improve sleep patterns of a person suffering from PTSD.  

Mild to Moderate Depression

CBD has been found to be effective in easing the symptoms of depression. It engages the natural cannabinoids in our bodies (endocannabinoids), helping to regulate mood and appetite, and reduce stress.

CBD oil may be taken as a tincture or a capsule. People suffering from depression can start at a dose of 5 to 10mg and increase daily to achieve the desired effects. The CBD, as the Depression Alliance explains, will be able to connect with the brain receptors that form the body’s response depression, or to anxiety.

How CBD Works for Treating Anxiety: Neurochemistry and CBD

How can CBD help anxiety? Basically, by stepping in for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SSRIs are psychiatric drugs designed to address anxiety and depression. Like SSRIs, CBD can balance your serotonin levels and dispel discomfort or terror.

Serotonin forms in the amygdal. Deep in the brain, the amygdal holds a collection of neurons that form emotional experiences and your response to threats. When aroused, it can shift your mental state into panic and overwhelm your physical systems.

Pharmaceutical answers to anxiety are known as anxiolytic drugs. Not surprisingly, these can come along with various unwanted side effects. Take, for example, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors prescribed to people with panic disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, the possible side effects of SSRIs can include an upset stomach or dryness in the mouth. SSRIs can throw off regular sleeping patterns. They can cause headaches or a dizzy feeling, even blurred vision. Most ironically, they can cause agitation or restlessness.

CBD oil does not come with these issues. If you take CBD, you may safely drive or run machinery. In many contexts, hemp-derived CBD oil for anxiety and depression makes sense. If you've tried to cope with anxiety or depression and cannot tolerate—or wish to avoid—psychiatric drugs, CBD oil may be a viable alternative for you.

Organic CBD Oil For Anxiety