Anxiety - a global problem
Anxiety - A Global Problem
Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses and affect over 25% of the population in European Union (EU)? -World Health Organization
Anxiety is actually a very normal and even helpful emotion. It alerts us to danger and helps us react to threats in real time. But when it gets out of control, and we start overreacting to real or perceived threats, it can start to negatively affect our quality of life.
There are many different ways to manage anxiety ranging from deep breathing and meditation to medication and psychotherapy, but there is a new player on the scene and it’s getting a lot of attention due to its fast action and minimal side effects, and that is CBD.
What’s Wrong With Traditional Treatment?
There is a place for all types of treatment and it’s really up to you and your health care professional to decide what’s best for your specific condition.
The most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety disorders fall into two main categories: benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Ativan), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft).
While benzos act fast, they can come with some pretty serious side effects. They can become too well tolerated necessitating a higher dose, they have the potential to become addictive, and getting off of them can cause withdrawal symptoms.
The side effects of SSRIs are relatively minor and include dry mouth, nausea and sexual dysfunction. But, they act much more slowly and can take 4-8 weeks to see any results.
CBDs on the other hand, affect the same parts of the brain as benzos and SSRIs, but they work quickly, have few if any side effects and aren’t addictive.
How CBD Works for Anxiety
The endocannabinoid system or ECS helps keep the body in balance by moderating things like mood, sleep, appetite and immunity. It has a unique capacity to regulate our emotions and “may ensure an appropriate reaction to stressful events.”It can therefore influence how we experience anxiety.
While the body is already regulating this system by producing cannabinoids internally, it can be assisted by taking them supplementally. The research thus far has been incredibly promising.
In one small study where people with social anxiety disorder were given a public speaking test, CBD effectively decreased their experience of anxiety.
Another study found that CBD “significantly decreased subjective anxiety” of participants, and neuroimaging demonstrated its clinical effects on the brain.
We get a better understanding of how this works when we look at the results of animal studies.
For example, we have learned that people who suffer from anxiety and depression don’t generate new neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain as well as others. This area is responsible for cognition and memory. The research suggests that CBD can generate new neural activity here.
Furthermore, a 2016 study demonstrated the ability of CBD to reduce depression and anxiety in rats, and do so more rapidly than traditional SSRI treatment. These results have the potential to fill a massive gap in the current treatment model of anxiety.
3 Reasons to Try It
It’s Safe to Use
Compared to traditionally prescribed anxiety medications, it comes with fewer side effects, it’s not addictive and it is safe to stop using.
As CBD products have no THC they won't invoke a high, nor does it risk having anxiety exacerbated by the presence of THC.
In fact, it is so safe that the World Health Organization released a report supporting its use for multiple medical applications.
It Makes Other Natural Treatments More Accessible
Some of the best things you can do to reduce your anxiety are all natural. These include:
• A healthy diet
• Mindfulness and meditation
• Speaking with a counsellor
However, when you are standing face to face with anxiety, it can be nearly impossible to sit with yourself, let alone go for a run or make a healthy meal. CBD acts quickly and usually without any side effects. When you are feeling clear and energized, you can start using the other tools at your disposal to keep your anxiety at bay and can address any root causes for its occurrence in the first place.
It’s Not a One Trick Pony
Cannabidiol may work wonders for people suffering from anxiety but it has many other applications as well. It can be used for
• Arthritic pain
• Digestive issues
And the best part is that you don’t even need to use it differently for each condition. You reap its multitude of benefits regardless of what particular condition you’re taking it for.
How to Use CBD for Anxiety
There are many different ways to take CBD. The most common methods are under the tongue as an oil or tincture, as a salve applied directly to the skin or inhaled as a vapor.
Using an oil or tincture is the most common method of taking CBD as it is very easy to do, it is easily absorbed, and the dose can be adjusted easily. If you’re working with a set dose that you take at a specific time or times throughout your day then doing so with a dropper is an easy method that makes consistency a breeze.
If you need near instant relief, vaping might be for you. When inhaled CBD works very quickly but its effects tend not to linger as long. This might be a great solution to get you out of the danger zone so that you can employ other anxiety management techniques.
Before you make any decisions about what method to use, always consult with your doctor to ensure that it’s safe to take for your current situation and medical regimen.
While anxiety can be a valuable emotion, helping us reach deadlines and avoid every day dangers, the fight or flight response that was purpose built into our bodies during a time of predator attacks is often over stimulated, despite the lack of actual danger. While getting a little nervous can be normal, when we can’t turn our anxiety off or we are triggered unnecessarily, the results can be absolutely debilitating.
While there still need to be larger scale human studies to validate the preliminary research, the current evidence suggests that CBD has “considerable potential to treat anxiety disorders.”
Compared to traditional anxiety treatments, CBD is incredibly safe, well tolerated and isn’t addictive. It even has the potential to improve memory and cognitive function.
It can give users rapid and constant relief and can be taken by a number of different methods. It helps a broad range of other conditions too!