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To properly address if CBD can treat or aid anxiety, the reader needs to know a few things about CBD, its effects, and how it can be procured and used. It looks like quite a complicated issue, but rest assured, everything you need to know will be fully explored in this article. First CBD will be discussed, then anxiety, and then how CBD might work for anxiety, and finally the different types of CBD available and how to use them.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the best studied cannabinoids found naturally in the cannabis plant. “Best studied” is a relative term because cannabinoids remain poorly understood and poorly researched. For reasons of its illegality, it has been almost impossible to study cannabinoids on a large scale and with the scientific rigour found with other drugs like opioids and cocaine.
CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system, a vast array of receptors across the human nervous system that has a role in everything from metabolism to mood. It is a early biological system, common to most complicated creatures, and is completely vital to survival. CBD does not interact with the nervous system in the way serotonin or other commonly used brain drugs do; it mediates and regulates the interaction of other cannabinoids. It seems to be particularly effective in this role when combined with THC, its psychoactive cousin from the cannabis plant.
Brains are complicated mechanisms that only now are being understood at their basic level. Fundamentally, nobody really knows how they work. Our knowledge of the brain and the endocannabinoid system is a little like seeing the Mona Lisa with only a telescope and a microscope. You know it is a great painting, but you cannot see the whole picture, regardless of how you are looking at it.
In these times of nonsensical governance, irrational prohibition, and commercially motivated science, it is difficult for CBD to get the attention it deserves. All the data used in this article comes from relatively small studies, sometimes with questionable methodology. The majority of the data are from preliminary studies, not scaled up cohort studies man you would find with other drugs. This will change sometime in the near future, but right now, it is almost impossible to make clinical decisions based on the data available.
Cannabidiol has shown in tests that it has antidepressant, anxiolytic (anxiety calming), mood stabilizing, neuroprotective, anti-tumour, anti-epilepsy, and antipsychotic effects. For a drug that the American federal government considers having “no medicinal value”, this is a remarkable list of possible effects.
The reason that cannabidiol is so widely effective is that it interacts with almost the entire nervous system. SSRIs, the most commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs, are more specific. The broad-spectrum effects of cannabidiol are both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantages are clear: cannabidiol has broad, mostly beneficial effects. The disadvantages stem from the same cause, the broad nature of its interaction means that if you are seeking anti-anxiety treatment, by using CBD, you are affecting things like your heart and metabolism.
These risks are hypothetical; the real risk profile of CBD cannot be established until there are more high-quality data. However, it seems that the vast majority of people who take CBD, in controlled trials or from anecdotal evidence, find it tolerable and with few side effects.
Consumption of CBD can result in a dry mouth, nausea, diarrhoea, and/or tiredness. Usually less than 10% of patients have any noticeable side effects, and these effects usually go away if they continue with the treatment.
CBD is a naturally occurring metabolite – it is found in the body and is a part of the body’s natural processes. This means that it is non-toxic to the body. Because the human body is familiar with CBD and its metabolites, it can easily digest it when there is too much of it around. This familiarity also lets it pass unhindered through the blood/brain barrier, which can stop some drugs from reaching the brain in sufficient quantities. Because of this, relatively small quantities are needed.
There are no recorded cases of toxic overdose in medical literature for CBD. Cannabinoids in general are basically impossible to overdose on, and CBD is no exception.
Another advantage of using CBD is that it very rarely has any noticeably psychoactive effects. Some people report a minor and temporary shift in perception, but the overwhelming majority of people who have taken CBD in studies report that it does not alter perception, cause hallucinations, or modify behaviour, other than occasional tiredness. This lack of psychoactivity combined with the broad spectrum effects and high tolerability makes CBD a prime candidate for medical exploration.
Industrial hemp will not contain huge quantities of CBD, but specially grown hemp can contain significant enough quantities that it is the major constituent of CBD oil.
Cannabidiol is legal in some states in the United States, in Canada, Uruguay, and available on prescription in some of Europe. This confusing legal status does not lend itself to scientific investigation or the safe use of the drug. It is recommended, therefore, that the reader finds out as much about the legality of CBD in their state or country before even thinking about obtaining some for their own personal use. Regardless of the rationality of the law, the punishments are real enough for the possession, use, and sale of CBD.
Many people suffer from anxiety at prime moments in their lives. It is a universally human thing to worry about the future. Other animals might get a little anxious, but the imagination afforded to humans takes anxiety to another level. An anxiety disorder is more than just concern about real things that might happen in the future but have not happened yet; people with anxiety disorders can feel constant, immediate and overpowering feelings of anxiety and fear that often have no identifiable cause. Over thinking, recursive and repetitive thoughts, intense feelings of dread, pain, fear, terror, or worry can have devastating effects on the lifestyle, job prospects, confidence, achievement, and attainment of an individual.
Anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorders. Nearly one third of the population will develop one at some point in their lives. The social and economic costs are staggering, with an estimate from 2006 putting it at close to $43 billion.
The causes of anxiety are complex and poorly understood. Alcohol and drug abuse, trauma, other mental disorders, physical injury, disability, loss of livelihood, and childhood abuse are all known to contribute to or trigger anxiety disorders. There also appears to be a strong genetic link, but as usual, this is not well understood.
While the causes of anxiety are hard to pin down scientifically, the effects are more obvious. The most immediate results of anxiety disorders are anxiety and panic attacks. The longer term effects can be high blood pressure, chronic inflammation leading to dozens of diseases, social impairment and isolation, harmful behaviour and more.
Anxiety attacks are what are better known as the fight or flight phenomenon. When someone is in a life-threatening situation their body pumps adrenaline throughout their bloodstream. When someone has an anxiety attack and panic disorder, they experience this bodily response with seemingly no life-threatening trigger necessary.
How can CBD Work for Anxiety?
The current treatments to reduce anxiety involve talking therapies and medications. Unfortunately, talking therapies only work for some people, leaving a substantial portion of the anxious population unsuccessfully treated. Medications are of doubtful efficacy, with competing claims as to whether they work in the long term or not. It seems that overall, the effect is positive, but there are some serious side effects and it is currently impossible to determine who will benefit and who will not from the drugs before the patient takes them.
Side effects are common with the drugs used to treat anxiety disorders and many refuse to take any. Because of this, many people are not getting adequate treatment. The hope is that CBD could present an anxiolytic effect without the side effects of other drugs.
So far, there has been very little proper scientific investigation into this possibility. However, there is enough to get patients and doctors excited. Several studies on animals found that CBD helped reduce depressive and anxious behaviours significantly. The issues with animal studies and mental health are obvious: we cannot tell exactly how a mouse is feeling, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to extrapolate animal behaviour to our own in a reliable way.
It was found that CBD did not interact with the two major endocannabinoid systems’ receptors, CB1 and CB2, instead it seemed to interact with the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, one that is strongly believed to be related to anxiety and mood in humans and animals. It is easier, therefore, to see how these results can carry through to humans.
Disorders like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) have shown promise when treated with CBD. Anxiety-induced insomnia is one of the most debilitating effects of anxiety disorders, and in one small study CBD was found to improve sleep substantially.
That is the extent of scientific knowledge regarding CBD in relation to anxiety treatment. It presents a hopeful profile for the drug but no concrete evidence it can be effective for anxiety disorders.
Is there a Best CBD Oil for Anxiety?
Finding the best CBD oil for anxiety is more complicated than you might expect. It would be reasonable to assume that CBD oil is CBD oil, but there are some significant differences in what are called CBD oils for anxiety. If you want the best treatment, getting the right one is essential.
Pure CBD Oil
Pure CBD oil contains, predictably, only CBD. This is for people who want just the effects of CBD and nothing else. Pure CBD oil tastes vaguely unpleasant but is not intolerable. The benefits of CBD can sometimes be augmented by other cannabinoids, so if pure CBD is not the best CBD oil for anxiety, you might try the next option.
Full Spectrum Cannabis Oil
A full spectrum is everything that can be squeezed out of hemp plants. This includes psychoactive THC, so using it might be problematic if you have to drive, look after children, or do anything mechanical. Because it is being discovered that cannabinoids can work best when the “entourage” effects, or the combined effects of lots of cannabinoids, can be employed, some people are opting for full spectrum CBD as the best CBD oil for anxiety.
In your state, CBD might be legal but THC is not, so be very sure to check before you buy.
A choice blend of your favourite cannabinoids, partial or specific spectrum CBD oil products can be fine-tuned to your condition with a little experimentation, time, and money. For you, the best CBD oil for anxiety might be a certain ratio of cannabinoids, like higher or lower amounts of THC, and these are becoming increasingly available on the burgeoning cannabis market.
At this time, there are too few data to be able to make recommendations about which is the best CBD oil for anxiety. It is therefore recommended that the reader consult their doctor about the benefits of CBD for their anxiety symptoms.
CBD dosages vary and are safe even at high levels, but the effective dose is currently very difficult to ascertain without some experimentation. Your doctor will help you to determine the best CBD oil for anxiety and how to use it.
A medical condition like anxiety needs effective treatment, and while it could be the case that the best CBD oil for anxiety is out there, it is very difficult to know.
Usually, CBD is eaten or vaped for mental health conditions. CBD vapes are easily purchased. Usually effective doses range from around 50mg CBD to 600mg CBD.