CBD or cannabidiol is one of the many cannabinoids or naturally occurring compounds in the hemp and marijuana or cannabis plant. In the past several years, CBD has been gaining traction as an alternative to traditional medicine for an array of conditions. Research, even though it is still in its early stages, shows promising therapeutic effects of CBD, and one of them is helping alleviate stress and anxiety.
Unlike THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD is not psychoactive, the high feeling you get when you consume weed. This has allowed many people to enjoy the benefits that marijuana has to offer without having to cope with the highness. In this read, we are going to take a more in-depth look at the potential benefits of CBD for anxiety, and if it could be a possible treatment option.
So, How Does CBD Work?
Your body and brain are full of varying receptors. These are protein-based chemical structures attached to the cells and responsible for receiving signals from various stimuli.
According to studies in the past decade, CBD has been seen to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors, primarily found in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system. The precise manner in which cannabidiol affects these receptors is yet to be fully understood, but it can alter serotonin signals. This is a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in an individual’s mental health. People with depression usually have low serotonin levels, and an inadequate amount of the same hormone can lead to anxiety.
The traditional treatment for low serotonin levels is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI, like fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft). These are only available by prescription and may not be ideal for everyone. Prescription medication for anxiety also has unappealing side effects, and that’s why more and more people are turning to natural solutions like CBD oil.
Research & Evidence
An array of studies show that CBD may have an array of benefits when it comes to treating anxiety:
CBD Oil for Generalized Anxiety
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), CBD has been seen to alleviate stress in subjects like rats, which a positive sign for treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
The test subjects were seen to have lower behavioral anxiety signs. Ideally, anxiety physiological symptoms like increased heart rate improved. These studies are inconclusive, and when it comes to humans and GAD, more research needs to be conducted.
CBD Oil for Other Forms of Anxiety
CBD can also benefit individuals battling other forms of anxiety, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). CBD can also help alleviate insomnia caused by anxiety.
Back in 2011, a study took a closer look at the effects of cannabidiol on individuals dealing with social anxiety disorder. The participants were given either a 400mg CBD dose or a placebo. Those who took cannabidiol experienced an overall reduction in anxiety symptoms.
Numerous studies in the past several years have shown that cannabidiol can help with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. These include replaying negative memories and experiencing nightmares. This research has looked at CBD oil as both a supplement to conventional treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication as well as a standalone treatment for PTSD.
CBD Oil for Other Neurological Disorders
Cannabidiol has ideally been researched on other neurological disorders. In a 2017 literature review on cannabidiol and psychiatric disorders, there is no adequate evidence to show CBD’s efficacy on depression treatment.
The authors found some evidence suggesting CBD like Loveburgh cbd oil could aid in anxiety disorders. However, most, if not all, of the studies were uncontrolled. This simply means that the candidates were not compared to a control group, one that received a varying treatment or even none.
Based on the authors’ review, more human tests are required to better comprehend how cannabidiol affects the body, what the ideal dosage should be, and whether or not there are potential side effects.
A study conducted in 2016 showed that cannabidiol could have antipsychotic effects in individuals who have schizophrenia. In addition, CBD does not cause substantial debilitating side effects compared to some antipsychotic drugs.
CBD Oil Dosage
If you want to try CBD oil for anxiety, it is important to first consult your doctor. Your practitioner can help you figure out the best dosage for your situation, as the right one depends on an array of factors, making it hard to recommend a general ideal dosage.
More research is needed on the best dosage for treating anxiety with CBD. However, you can start small and gradually increase until you hit the right spot.