Unfortunately, 12 .5% of Americans struggle with some form of anxiety, which means 40 million people are experiencing intense levels of fear, stress, and worry. When suffering from mild anxiety, you’ll typically feel like you have butterflies in your stomach. This is normal, however, because we all suffer from mild nervousness in certain situations.
On the other hand, when a person suffers from debilitating anxiety it can seriously have a negative impact on their personal, professional, and social lives. Although anxiety disorder is part of an umbrella term, it ultimately describes specific conditions that tend to have a negative impact on their day-to-day experience.
Typically speaking, some of the mainstream and widely recognized anxiety disorders include OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety, and phobias. Symptoms of these forms of anxiety include tingling feet and hands, insomnia, muscle tension, feelings of nausea, shortness of breath, as well as dizziness and panicky feelings.
Many people completely alter the way they live their lives because of anxiety disorder. Some people end up becoming Agoura phobic and shut themselves away completely. Others avoid social situations or circumstances that bring on intense feelings of nervousness and anxiety.
But there is relief in the least expected of places. Many anxiety sufferers have discovered natural remedies including CBD to overcome their anxious and nervous feelings and finally experience a modicum of relief.
Conventional Anxiety Medication
As far as mental illness is concerned, suffering from anxiety is fairly common among adults living in America. It also typically goes hand-in-hand with depression, so pharmaceutical companies continue to develop drugs to help treat these insidious disorders.
SSRIs, also known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, are usually prescribed for depression. These drugs come in the form of Zoloft, Lexapro, and Celexa to name some of the more widespread options.
They are very popular as far as antidepressants are concerned. They can be prescribed for long-term use and anxiety sufferers are also prescribed them too.
Benzos a.k.a. benzodiazepines are antianxiety medications including Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, and other less well-known options. They suppress nerves and reduce the physiological response of the body. Unfortunately, they are habit-forming and should only be taken briefly, although many doctors prescribe them for the long-term.
Conventional Anxiety Treatments
Therapy goes hand-in-hand with treating anxiety. The most common anxiety related therapy is known as CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. It teaches people the skills needed to handle stress and shows them how to cope with anxiety. When you combine therapy with medication, it becomes a very effective way to treat anxiety related disorders.
Is CBD a Beneficial Anxiety Treatment Option?
So far, we’ve learned that CBD has shown positive effects when treating anxiety in animals. There is still limited research on the subject, but the results up to this point are very promising.
When a person experiences GAD or generalized anxiety disorder, they normally suffer from irrational fear and excessive worry. A study performed in 2011 showed us that general anxiety disorder sufferers consuming CBD had decreased their anxiety by a significant amount. They even performed brain scans to back up the results as part of the study.
A different study showed participants battling social anxiety disorder experienced anxiety to a much lesser degree after consuming CBD. They also passed a public speaking test with flying colors after taking this powerful substance. During the study, researchers took heart rate and blood pressure tests to back up their results.
The Effective Ways to Treat Anxiety with CBD
The cannabis plant has more than 80 cannabinoids and CBD happens to be one of them. These chemical compounds known as cannabinoids can have varying effects on the body when they bind to receptors.
Unlike its counterpart THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects so you aren’t going to experience the feelings of being high while taking it. The endocannabinoid structure in the body is a system that biologically contains receptors that regulate physiological and cognitive functions of the body including fetal development, mood, appetite, memory, and pain.
CB1 is a cannabinoid receptor that can be found in the peripheral and central nervous system. It’s credited with homeostatic properties that regulate disease and health. The other cannabinoid receptor is known as CB2 and you can find it in the brain, gastrointestinal system, and the immune system.
A study conducted in 2001 had Vanderbilt researchers discover CB1 receptors that they found in the central amygdala of mice. Ultimately by introducing endocannabinoids to interact with this area of the brain, they determined that brain cells decreased in excitability which cut down on stress and anxiety responses.
Not long ago the FDA approved a drug called Epidolex for seizure treatment. This drug is a synthetic form of CBD used to treat severe seizure disorders, infantile spasms and Dravet syndrome. By approving this drug, the FDA could potentially help usher in further research to discover even greater effects of CBD on the brain.
THC and CBD
Are you familiar with the entourage effect concept? This concept proves that cannabinoids can actually work better by working together. So, this shows us that CBD is much more effective when it’s combined with THC, CBN, CBG, or other cannabinoids.
From a biological standpoint, when THC binds to the CB1 receptor in the brain, a person will experience a euphoric high. CBD, on the other hand, also binds to this receptor. But it can actually block THC activation in the receptor so the person will not get high.
As a matter of fact, the CBD will change the receptor’s shape, which is important because there’s less room for THC to bond to the receptor. This shape shifting property will prevent a person from experiencing the feelings of getting high and it will also help slow down their heart rate, which is perfect for reducing anxiety symptoms. In fact, CBD can positively impact anxiety often produced by the psychoactive effects created by THC.
Is CBD a Good Anxiety Treatment Option for Me?
For many people, CBD is a great option to treat anxiety when they are trying to overcome their pharmaceutical addictions created unwittingly through prescription medication use. Many psychiatrists will prescribe benzodiazepines in an effort to treat anxiety for short-term relief. Unfortunately, they rarely fail to provide options that will help patients for the long-term. CBD products, on the other hand, are low-cost, work naturally, and they really do help.
You can find CBD in hemp plants and cannabis. CBD in hemp-based form is easily found online and it is available nationwide no matter what cannabis laws are in effect in your state. When CBD comes from the cannabis plant itself, the cannabinoid profile is going to be more robust, which means the entourage effect will have a greater impact on your overall feelings of peace and well-being.
Remember to speak to a doctor about your anxiety related issues. There is an anxiety spectrum and various treatment options for individuals suffering from this unfortunate problem.
Veterans in the US are very vocal about the use of medical marijuana. People suffering from PTSD, like soldiers, are known to have endocannabinoid deficiencies. And scientists have learned that traumatic memories can be deactivated by CB1 receptors.
At this time, PTSD sufferers are beginning to realize that medical marijuana is an excellent treatment for this condition and many states are recognizing it as a qualifying condition. In fact, in Colorado in June 2017, they added PTSD to their list making it a qualifying condition to receive medical marijuana treatment. New York even added PTSD to their list this year because of pressure from the governor and other veterans groups. PTSD sufferers typically experience extreme levels of anxiety, so this treatment can help have a positive impact on the way sufferers interact with others and the rest of the world.
As cannabis becomes legalized in more states, information about CBD and its positive effects is becoming more readily available. To enhance your personal understanding of CBD and what it can do for you, remember to talk to others, learn about the products available, and always advocate for additional research.