CBD and Anxiety
Posted on April 18 2019
Depending on who you are, you might have heard that CBD has a wide array of health benefits. There has been a recent surge of interest in the cannabis-derived compound named CBD, and it is only now that this interest is being backed and investigated by students in universities and scientists in laboratories all over the world.
At first, many were sceptical. People thought that a natural compound, let alone a cannabis-compound, could effectively treat such a wide range of conditions. But as the years went on, medical researchers learned more, and the success stories of tens of thousands of users stacked up. The truth was undeniable, CBD truly can work!
In this article, we will be exploring one of the many issues CBD can help with - anxiety.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety is one of the most common emotional and behavioural problems in our society. In fact, a 2017 report released by the World Health Organisation suggests nearly 264 million people are living with anxiety worldwide.
To put it simply, anxiety is a condition characterised by restlessness and excessive worry. Those of us who are dealing with it usually have a hard time making decisions, speaking in public, tolerating criticism, or asking our boss for a raise. If this sounds familiar to you, you, like many others, have suffered from anxiety.
As you can imagine, researchers and healthcare professionals from all around the world are in a constant search for new ways to help people manage stress and anxiety.
However, it is not just those in the healthcare sector that are keen to explore these new avenues of medication. Small-scale enthusiasts and even big corporate companies are also looking for their share of this new and exciting industry.
This has created an open market with a plethora of opportunities available, making the choices present to consumers, quite frankly, daunting.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE CBD HELP WITH ANXIETY?
When we become stressed, our brain releases cortisol, which is the compound responsible for how we feel when we are stressed. Cortisol can be helpful when we need to react quickly to a dangerous situation, however too much disrupts the natural balance of our body and mind which can result in serious health problems.
When certain endocannabinoids, like those in CBD, are introduced into the body, it not only helps provide anxiety relief, it helps us manage our perception of anxiety so that we can look at the situation with a clear mind, and make the best decision.
On a personal note, I experienced the benefits of CBD for around 15 years, but it had always been tied with the benefits (and hindrances) of THC. THC rich breeds of cannabis have been known to make some people feel anxious, I was one of those people. When CBD products exploded in 2016, I started vaping CBD e-liquid and I instantly fell in love with the plant, all over again.
The first time I tried CBD was in e-liquid form. I had a few good blasts on my vaporiser and my anxiety dissolved in a matter of minutes.
I could feel the CBD relax my body and mind without the disorientating head fog that I was normally used to when smoking cannabis containing THC.
Most importantly; Zero anxiety. Subtle waves of relaxation flowed over my body from head to toe. I could feel my mind take a sigh of relief.
An hour before I started vaping the CBD e-liquid, I was somewhat anxious about my impending job interview the next day. It was an important interview that I knew would challenge me. All of my anxieties transformed into a quiet confidence. Even the next day at my interview, I was surprisingly calm. I think that was down to my CBD session the night before. And yes, I got the job!
NO THC, NO PROBLEM
In the medical world, “getting high” from the effects of THC is often classed by many as a negative side effect. In medical terms, “getting high” is no different to the side effects of strong painkillers or anti-anxiety medication because the side effects are surprisingly similar; Drowsiness, restlessness, impaired mental functioning, and anxiety to name a few.
Driving is out of the question when under the influence of THC, as is operating machinery or anything that requires a moderate amount of responsibility.
With CBD products, these negative effects are absent. There are no nasty side effects, nor are there impaired mental functions, yet all the medicinal properties of the plant are present.
Typical anti-anxiety drugs like Valium and Benzodiazepines that are prescribed to patients come with a long list of side effects; Anything from drowsiness and dizziness, to intense nightmares and weight gain. CBD, on the other hand, seems to have very few negative side effects. Because it’s natural and less intensive in comparison to chemical-based drugs often prescribed for anxiety, the body responds to CBD in a way that makes it easier for the consumer to deal with.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT ALL
Now is a good time to look at the facts...
There has been a recent surge in scientific publications that have found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system. Interest in CBD as a treatment of a wide range of disorders has exploded.
In a significant study; CBD was shown to be helpful for decreasing anxiety through a simulated public speaking test at doses of 300 mg to 600 mg in single-dose studies. The results are in agreement with evidence from preclinical studies and support the view that CBD induces acute anxiolytic (a drug that reduces anxiety) effects in humans. However, these findings stress the importance of the careful choice of dose ranges when investigating the potential therapeutic effects of CBD. (1)
To be sure of its effects, arterial systolic and diastolic pressure, and heart rate was analysed with a repeated-measures analysis of variance.
So, to break that down into an easily digestible sentence. CBD is proven to reduce anxiety (and lower the heart rate), as long as the dose is right. The sweet spot seems to be around 300mg.
A small conducted in 2010 study found that CBD could reduce symptoms of social anxiety in people with a social anxiety disorder (SAD). Brain scans of participants revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to feelings of anxiety after consuming CBD. (2)
Also, a 2015 analysis of previous studies concluded that CBD is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Human experimental findings support preclinical findings, and also suggest a lack of anxiogenic effects, minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile. (3)
THE BEST WAYS TO CONSUME CBD FOR ANXIETY RELIEF
The most effective ways to consume CBD :
- by using a tincture (an oil-based product that is dropped under the tongue).
- by vaping CBD infused e-liquid.
Tinctures take a while to have an effect, sometimes up to an hour. This is because when it’s ingested, it takes time to be absorbed into your bloodstream from your stomach. Once it starts to work, however, the effects last substantially longer due it’s time spent in the digestive system
Vaping CBD e-liquid is the quickest form of delivery, sometimes only a few minutes. This is down to your lungs processing the CBD and sending it into the bloodstream almost instantly. The effects come quicker, however, don’t last quite as long as ingesting it.
Using vaping as a method of delivery is perfect for those people that need a fast-acting solution to an anxiety-related problem, be it at home or on the go. People often have a few puffs on their CBD e-liquid before business meetings or social events to quickly take the edge off their anxieties. Because CBD e-liquid doesn’t smell any different to other e-liquid, it can be discreetly consumed without any concern or worry.
It seems clear that CBD can help with anxiety. First-hand experiences from people that suffer from anxiety issues show that CBD helps them. The research and experiments also show that CBD consumption changes the function of the brain as well as lowering the heart rate, which in turn facilitates the reduction of anxiety.
It is a safe and natural alternative to the strong chemical-based medication being prescribed to millions of patients. Nature is nicer in this case!
CBD shots can be bought in a variety of strengths which allows you to control your dose depending on your situation. 250mg is a great starting point for everyone.
(1) Zuardi AW, Rodrigues NP, Silva AL, et al. Inverted U-shaped dose-response curve of the anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol during public speaking in real life. Front Pharmacol. 2017 May 11;8:259. DOI: 10.3389
(2) The neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report:
José Alexandre S Crippa, Guilherme Nogueira Derenusson, Thiago Borduqui Ferrari
Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders: Esther M Blessing