Anxiety affects more than yearly. Despite a variety of treatment options, too many people still consistently struggle with anxiety, stress, and depression on a regular basis. But there’s a new solution in town. Growing evidence is showing that cannabidiol (CBD) may be able to reduce anxious thoughts and restore emotional balance in those dealing with anxiety.
In fact, of CBD users found that anxiety is one of the top three reasons people consume cannabis, along with depression and pain. CBD users are fervent about the benefits of cannabidiol for minimizing anxiety – and more and more medical literature is coming out to speak to that effect as well.
So can CBD actually help improve symptoms of anxiety?
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is generally considered “restlessness and excessive worry,” but it’s slightly more complicated than that. Anxiety is a blanket term that can refer to panic, social anxiety, specific phobias, OCD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, stress, and general anxiety. Anxiety in its many forms can also have other serious impacts on the body including sleep disorders, IBS, substance abuse, chronic pain, headaches, mental disorders, and even increased risk of suicidal thoughts.
There are a number of treatments for anxiety like therapy, medications, and other alternative treatments. While therapy has seen a lot of success (especially in conjunction with CBD), a lot of anti-anxiety medications prescribed have major side effects. In fact, some of these meds can actually worsen anxiety and suicidal thoughts!
Furthermore, unfortunately only about a third of people with anxiety receive the necessary treatment. Whether that’s because of social stigma, inaccessibility, or other reasons, it’s critical for people with anxiety or depression to seek relief. No one deserves to live with anxiety looming over them.
That’s where CBD comes in. While other forms of anxiety treatments can have side effects or associated stigmas, CBD oil is an effective, safe, and natural way to see relief from anxiety.
How does CBD reduce anxiety?
There is a lot of anectdotal evidence of the anti-anxiety effects of CBD. Hundreds of thousands of anxiety sufferers swear by the positive impacts of CBD.
But this evidence is not just anectdoal anymore. There are a number of studies and research pointing to the anti-anxiety effects of cannabidiol. Here are some examples:
- that CBD could help reduce anxiety and negative self-statements, like “I’m not enough” or “I’m not good at this.”
- A found that CBD has strong effects in managing generalized anxiety disorder.
- An found CBD had an impact on fighting symptoms of anxiety, panic disorders, and even PTSD.
- A concluded CBD could be a safe treatment for anxiety and insomnia associated with PTSD.
How does this actually work? What’s the science behind CBD’s awesome impact on reducing anxiety levels?
Some studies suggest that cannabidiol functions similar to SSRIs, which are the most common form of anti-depression and anti-anxiety meds.
Here’s how it works. People with anxiety or depression generally have lower serotonin levels. Serotonin is the hormone neurotransmitter that helps regulate emotions, especially the feelings of “happiness” or “euphoria.” Less serotonin often leads to mood swings, restlessness, and irrational thoughts.
SSRIs work to fix this by targeting the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor. This receptor increases the availability of serotonin in the brain, which helps improve mood and regulate anxious feelings.
A found that cannabidiol may actually enhance this same 5-HT1A receptor. Researchers saw a reduced incidence of anxiety in rats associated with an increase in serotonin levels. They concluded that cannabidiol had the same sort of effect as SSRIs, but without the potential negative side effects.
CBD may help boost serotonin levels to improve mood.
A suggested that cannabidiol may trigger hippocampal neurogenesis, aka the growth and regeneration of neurons in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for cognition and memory.
Research has found that individuals suffering from anxiety and depression often have smaller hippocampuses than average. This can lead to irrational thinking patterns and strained cognition, which may play a role in feelings of anxiety. Researchers believe that improving the strength and quantity of neurons in this area may be able to restore hippocampal function towards healthier thought processes.
CBD may strengthen neurons in hippocampus to enhance thinking processes.
Keeps endocannabinoid system healthy
The endocannabinoid system helps maintain your body’s homeostasis and inner balance. that the endocannabinoid system may be a regulatory buffer for emotional responses, like anxiety, fear, and stress.
Cannabidiol helps amplify and healthify the endocannabinoid system by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors that manage homeostasis. Thus, exerts believe CBD may help regulate emotional responses and improve mood by maintaining the health of the endocannabinoid system.
CBD promotes the endocannabinoid’s emotional balancing and buffering response.
Using CBD for anxiety
If you’re dealing with some form of anxiety, know that you are not alone. If you aren’t receiving treatment or if you’re still not seeing results from your treatment, it may be time to try out a new natural and safe method. Since CBD has no proven serious side effects or incidence of overdose, it’s one of the healthiest ways to regulate your anxiety and emotions.
Talk to your doctor to see if CBD could be a useful treatment method for your anxiety. It’s not right for everyone, especially those on blood thinners or anti-seizure drugs, so you’ll want to consult a doc before changing your regimen.