The number of people suffering from anxiety is increasing ever day. Most people who have anxiety tend to steer clear of cannabis due to its apparent paranoia side effects which can make their condition worse. Although what they don’t understand is that hemp oil CBD (cannabidiol) from the hemp plant does not contain any of the psychoactive cannabinoid (THC) which causes the high in traditional recreational cannabis use. Further to this cannabis CBD oil while it may contain trace amounts of THC there will never be enough to cause the psychoactive THC effects either. There are in fact many health benefits to using CBD oil as a treatment for a whole host of medical conditions.
In recent years there has been much more research into the uses of CBD oil as an anti inflammatory and when treating pain, including chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and other forms of pain. Patients across the United States have begun using CBD oil for pain relief with only positive (anecdotal) feedback to share. However there is growing interest in the effects of CBD (cannabidiol) oil for anxiety disorders. In relation to using CBD oil as a treatment for anxiety, we must first understand two of the main findings relating to its use. The first one being that CBD can act as an aid for THC when it is being used because CBD stops the psychoactive high from taking place as well as other side effects (increased anxiety).
Based on the huge potential medical benefits of being able to use THC without any of its side effects means more research is needed to figure out how this reaction happens and how it can be implemented in the future. Secondly, it has been found that CBD can also reduce anxiety even when not used with THC. This is great because it means that conditions such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) and other mental disorders can be treated using CBD from either cannabis or hemp. That means more positive treatment with less potential side effects.
CBD may accomplish its anxiolytic effect by acting on the limbic and paralimbic parts of the brain, where important learning, memory, emotion and motivation functions take place.
Severe Anxiety and PTSD
In a study in 2016 which demonstrated the benefits of CBD oil in cases of extreme anxiety it highlighted how a young girl who was suffering from PTSD due to serious abusive experiences regulated and brought her symptoms under control using CBD. According to the study traditional medications were attempted but only provided a short term solution to a long term problem.
Also they brought along a number of severe side effects because of their medication type and the fact that they are usually catered towards adults. As we can see from this case CBD was successfully used to treat serious symptoms of PTSD in a positive way with zero negative side effects while also improving the life of a young girl.
Social Anxiety Disorder
In another study, published in 2010, a small group of 12 people with SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) and 12 healthy controls were given a public speaking test along with other testing. The 12 healthy controls performed all the tests without medication, the 12 SAD test subjects were divided into two groups of six, with six given a placebo and six given 600 mg of CBD an hour and a half prior to testing.
The CBD group showed significantly less anxiety, discomfort and cognitive impairment during the speech, similar to the healthy controls. The placebo group had higher anxiety, discomfort and impaired cognition. As a part of the testing, a negative self-evaluation test was applied to all of the subjects. Negative self-evaluation virtually disappeared in the CBD group.
In other words, the use of CBD reduced anxiety levels to within the range of healthy individuals for people with social anxiety disorder and did so with a single dose taken shortly before testing. These results hold promise for CBD oil as an anxiety treatment.
Importantly, as pointed out in the same study, CBD does not appear to develop a dependence i.e. no addictive symptoms. It also doesn’t appear to develop a tolerance, requiring the need for higher and higher doses to be effective. Further study needs to be done to confirm these apparent findings – with a sufficiently large number of subjects over a sufficient period of time.
A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology looked at the potential uses of CBD to help reverse anxiety disorders that are caused by traumatic memory and learned response as well as potential treatment for addiction.
Humans have an adaptive response to threats and rewards that have helped our species survive. It is when these responses go “overboard” that they result in anxiety disorders and addiction. These emotional memories tend to persist much longer and without treatment, can lead to relapse.
While researchers have discovered that CBD reduces anxiety, they have also discovered that CBD also calms reactions to threats, including reducing the intensity of fear memory development. CBD does this by reducing the fear response in the moment but also by interrupting fear memory development. It also helps to extinguish fear over time (as the memory is recalled).
The data while still early, suggests that using CBD oil for anxiety arising from trauma may also significantly reduce the lasting effects of remembering or reliving that trauma by dulling the response to the memory. Further studies are required to help understand how CBD helps to regulate emotions and the formation of emotional memories, so that specific treatments for substance abuse and anxiety conditions can be developed.
Based on the fact that THC can induce anxiety, it is important to look for an industrial hemp CBD oil that has no THC or a cannabis based CBD oil which has trace to no elements of THC in it. Inhaled marijuana is not recommended because of the THC content and smoking is still bad for your health.
When its comes to choose the best type of CBD oil the only thing you need to worry about is its quality. Brands can differ here and add their own twist i.e. flavors etc but overall you need to make sure your CBD is sourced from good suppliers, is produced in a high quality manner (laboratory tested) and you take the proper precautions when using it.
The best CBD oil for you and your own individual needs will all depend on what dosage you need and what dosage your condition requires. Finding out this information will be down to consultations with a proper medical professional along with trial and error testing with different dosages and concentrations of the CBD oil. Full spectrum organic CBD oil is always a good place to start with different dosages and it will always be void of harmful pesticides and chemicals.
Talk to your health care professional about using CBD oil for anxiety and whether it can treat your form of anxiety disorder. Talk to them about whether CBD could have any interactions with any other medication that you are taking. For example, CBD can counteract the effects of THC. There are few if any side effects from CBD according to the studies to date. However, should you experience any side effects, you should discuss these with your health care professional as well.
According to the literature, CBD is generally safe to use at low to high doses but standardized dosage parameters have yet to be set. Talk to your health care professional about the dose that is right for you. Your health care provider may suggest a higher dose that tapers downward or a lower dose that increases until the anxiety is controlled. Some adjustment may be required to achieve the correct dose for any individual situation.
CBD oil may take more or less time to work for you, though generally the studies suggest that its effects are relatively fast-acting. Follow the instructions for use on the label carefully and any directions provided by your health care professional for best results.