Could CBD Be the Answer for Anxiety?

Could CBD oil help treat anxiety?

Image Credit: Joanna Nix on Unsplash

If you suffer from anxiety, finding a treatment that works for you can be a struggle. Click here to learn how using CBD for anxiety can help! Anxiety affects many people on a daily basis. For some, it can affect their quality of life, making normal situations and activities stressful and challenging. The use of CBD for anxiety is a fairly new, promising treatment. It naturally helps regulate the mind and body.

Anxiety is not uncommon. In the U.S. alone, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults every year, or a little over 18 percent of the population. These disorders are, in fact, the most common mental illness. Anxiety is difficult to live with. Sufferers are more likely to seek medical treatment for multiple mental health issues. They’re also more likely to be hospitalized for other psychiatric disorders. There are many pharmaceutical drugs that have been developed to treat anxiety. These often fail to treat the problem and bring their own unwanted side effects. To learn more about this incredible compound and how it can be used to treat anxiety, read on.

What are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety manifests in many ways, impeding and destroying lives in the process. It’s also frequently accompanied by depressive disorders. Anxiety and associated depressive disorders include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which is characterized by ongoing anxiety, excessive worry, and tension, most often without provocation
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), which presents as intense anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in ordinary social situations
  • Panic Disorder (PD), which is characterized by unexpected, repeated episodes of extreme fear and is accompanied by actual physical symptoms
  • Specific Phobias, which is characterized by intense fearfulness of objects, animals, certain people, characters, or scenarios
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder, in which a person is inappropriately fearful about separation from others with whom they are close
  • Agoraphobia, which is characterized by a fear of going out in public
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which is characterized by recurring, unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviors
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), which is responsible for many disability cases in those who are between 15 and 45 years old
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is often triggered by traumatic events

Feeling nervous or anxious in certain situations isn’t necessarily abnormal. However, feeling excessively nervous, fearful, and anxious is not normal. An anxiety disorder diagnosis usually requires that a person’s anxiety or fear is:

  • Not age-appropriate
  • Is out of proportion to situations
  • Hinders their ability to function normally

Experiencing anxiety that is beyond the scope of a normal response indicates disorder.

How is Anxiety Usually Treated?

Anxiety is generally treated in one of the following ways, depending on triggers and disorder types:

  • Therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Medication such as benzodiazepines, SSRIs, SNRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, and ketamine
  • Residential rehabilitation treatment
  • Alternative and complementary treatments such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques

For some sufferers, these treatments can work fairly well. But there are plenty of people who don’t respond to these treatments and stand to benefit from CBD for anxiety. CBD is usually extracted from industrial hemp plants. Hemp contains a large amount of the compound. Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive, unlike the well-known cannabinoid THC. THC is the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. THC has medicinal and analgesic properties.

The 5-HT1a Receptor and CBD for Anxiety Treatment

The neurotransmitter serotonin binds to this receptor type and has an important role in anxiety disorder. It also ultimately affects the treatment of anxiety. In some studies, patients who had 5-HT1a receptors that were less sensitive to serotonin had increased anxiety.

Serotonin influences parts of the brain that control mood regulation, appetite, libido, sleep patterns, memory, learning ability, temperature regulation, and social interaction. It also influences body systems outside of the brain, including the cardiovascular, endocrine, and muscular systems. All of these functions and processes are affected by anxiety.

Since CBD activates serotonin receptors, those with less sensitive 5-HT1a receptors stand to benefit from additional receptor stimulation. This stimulation has the ability to calm these people naturally, without drug side effects.

Popular pharmaceutical drugs for anxiety, like SSRIs, target these 5-HT1a receptors as well. They restrict serotonin absorption in the brain so that more of it is available. While both influence serotonin activity, using CBD for anxiety stimulates the 5-HT1a receptors instead of blocking serotonin reuptake.

CBD for Anxiety

Regulation of physiological responses to certain situations reduces feelings of anxiety and panic. Using CBD for anxiety carries far less risk than other anti-anxiety medications. These risks include increased chances of suicide and severe depressive symptoms. These symptoms can accompany antidepressant withdrawal. Safe and Effective: CBD for Anxiety Treatment

The evidence backing the effectiveness and safety of CBD keeps building. In a world where anxiety and depression are commonplace, CBD offers hope for normalcy and mental health.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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