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Anxiety has become an epidemic in the modern world. In a recent New York Times article, author Alex Williams details the broad outbreak of anxiety in our culture. Williams asserts that “anxiety has become our everyday argot, our thrumming lifeblood.” Williams also addresses the fact that anxiety has moved beyond the definitions of individual disorder and into the sphere of societal eruption:
“While to epidemiologists both disorders are medical conditions, anxiety is starting to seem like a sociological condition, too: a shared cultural experience that feeds on alarmist CNN graphics and metastasizes through social media. As depression was to the 1990s — summoned forth by Kurt Cobain, “Listening to Prozac,” Seattle fog and Temple of the Dog dirges on MTV, viewed from under a flannel blanket — so it seems we have entered a new Age of Anxiety. Monitoring our heart rates. Swiping ceaselessly at our iPhones. Filling meditation studios in an effort to calm our racing thoughts.”
Williams goes on to note that the fidget spinner is a perfect image of the anxious nature of the rising generation—a toy that offers constant application of nervous energy without the cerebral, mind-focusing properties of something like a Rubik’s Cube. As the anxiety epidemic affects increasing numbers of children as well as adults, effective treatment options become an overwhelming necessity.
Growing disenchantment with pharmaceutical companies has caused many to seek out alternative anxiety treatment options for the first time. Everything from vitamins and supplements to essential oils are being marketed as viable anxiety medications. Of the many popular alternative anxiety treatment methods, CBD oils and other hemp products might be the most effective.
What is Anxiety?
In the simplest terms, anxiety disorder is a mental disorder characterized by fear, anxiousness, extreme worry, and other potentially debilitating mental roadblocks. Physical symptoms may include everything from a faster heart rate to gastrointestinal issues.
Anxiety disorder covers a broad range of more specific disorders. Some of the most common are generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and separation anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by insatiable worry, irrational fear of upcoming responsibilities, and extreme health concerns; whereas social anxiety disorder primarily involves debilitating fear of social situations. No anxiety disorders are mutually exclusive, and many of them can be experienced at once by a single person.
We all experience anxiety in some form or another, but anxiety disorders typically affect people in more extreme ways than average anxiety. Usually, anxiety disorders impair a person’s ability to perform adequately at work, school, or maintain healthy relationships. In a nutshell, a person can be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder if their anxiety regularly hinders daily functionality, or is higher than what is age or demographic appropriate. Diagnosis can be a huge part of the battle for many who suffer from an anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, figuring out how to treat it can be a huge uphill climb with plenty of detours.
How Is It Normally Treated?
No disease or disorder has a one-size-fits-all treatment option, and anxiety disorders are no different. However, most anxiety disorders are typically treated with some combination of therapy, medication, and complementary alternatives. As the typical medicative avenues become less and less desirable to anxiety disorder patients today, the alternative medicine route becomes more attractive. That’s where U.S. marijuana legalization and the advent of cannabidiol (CBD) comes into play.
Individual results of treating anxiety with CBD oil will obviously vary, but the individual stories of CBD treatment that exist online are undeniably powerful. One individual from Los Angeles who suffers from both anxiety and epilepsy reported promising results after treating their disorders with CBD oil. While it didn’t appear to alleviate epilepsy symptoms directly, the hemp oil did manage to almost completely alleviate symptoms of stress, moodiness, anxiety, and sleep deprivation over the course of a few days:
“I feel like I was able to focus and accomplish more in a shorter period of time. The real test, though, was when I had to drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic in downtown LA in order to get to the Indie Beauty Expo—and I was able to do it with absolutely zero road rage … a big thing for me!
“As for my epilepsy, I can’t conclusively say that CBD oil cured or healed me. I’ve lived a very particular lifestyle for a long time, which is how I’ve been able to treat my condition. That being said, stress is a huge trigger for many people with epilepsy—and I know that using CBD helped me manage my stress in a more healthy way.”
Author Jenni Miller reported similar findings when treating her anxiety with CBD oil. The difference in Miller’s story is that CBD oil worked in conjunction with her regular medications:
“While I tinker with my meds with help from my own psychopharm, looking for the ideal dose and balance that won’t tip me into an insomniac mess or a snoozy lump on my couch, CBD is, at the very least, an interesting way to spend a few hours chilling out without getting the munchies or spinning out in my own brain. It’s definitely not a magic bullet, and I wouldn’t use it if I were in crisis or about to get on an airplane, but I’m glad I found it.”
How It Works
Studies of CBD oil and its effects on anxiety, while not conclusive, definitely corroborate success stories. Widespread success has even allowed doctors to comprehensively list the mood disorders that might be treatable with CBD hemp oils. In addition to negating unwanted effects of THC—marijuana’s psychotropic chemical—CBD oil may reduce anxiety symptoms by affecting blood flow to anxiety-related areas of the brain. CBD oil isn’t a cure for anxiety, but there’s little reason to doubt that it’s a powerful treatment option.
You can read more about using marijuana products to treat epilepsy here.