What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. Everyone feels anxious at times. However, when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it can become a medical disorder and prevent them from carrying on with life normally.
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” There are a number of different symptoms from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), including:
- Excessive nervousness
- Uncontrollable feelings of worry
- Concentration difficulties
- Panic and uneasiness
- Sleeping problems
- Being cold, sweaty, or numb
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Tense muscles
CBD for anxiety
CBD has been gaining attention in the medical industry for its effectiveness as a treatment for anxiety. It’s believed that CBD affects the way the body processes serotonin, a chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Research suggests that serotonin levels influence mood, which connects to anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. As such, CBD is able to combat anxiety disorders by interacting with the neuroreceptor, CB1, which is thought to alter serotonin signals to the brain.
There are a number of studies and research papers supporting this claim, including:
- A 2010 study found that cannabidiol could reduce symptoms of social anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder (SAD). In this case, the participants not only felt better, but brain scans revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to feelings of anxiety. (Source)
- A 2011 study also found that CBD oil could reduce social anxiety. In this particular study, the researchers focused specifically at cannabidiol being used to treat anxiety associated with public speaking. The CBD significantly reduced the participants’ anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance. In contrast, the placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels. (Source)
- A 2015 study observed CBD’s interactions with several brain receptors that are known to regulate fear and anxiety-related behavior. After clinical trials in both animal and human models, it concluded that CBD as a treatment is highly effective for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress. (Source)
Due to cannabidiol’s therapeutic properties across a range of neuropsychiatric disorders, a significant number of medical studies have supported CBD as a treatment. Additionally, CBD has little to no side-effects in most individuals, which presents itself as a favorable option when compared to traditional treatments. Standard medications for anxiety, including sedatives and antidepressants, will often have unpleasant side-effects.
Anxiety and depression are serious pathologies that negatively impact a person’s quality of life. It can affect your social life and productivity, leading to long-term health issues. If you are someone who struggles with anxiety disorders, it’s crucial to seek help and find proper treatment. Ask your doctor for more information about CBD oil, and whether it’s right for you.