Can CBD Help With Anxiety?

CBD is now the most popular herbal treatment for anxiety, and if current trends are anything to go by, the general public might altogether stop using pharmaceuticals for stress...

CBD is now the most popular herbal treatment for anxiety, and if current trends are anything to go by, the general public might altogether stop using pharmaceuticals for stress and anxiety. This is important because anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., and although treatment is available, most people prefer to self-medicate with pills and psychotherapy. According to this study published in Cannabis & Cannabinoid Research, at least 60% of CBD users tried to treat a medical condition, and the three main conditions were pain, anxiety, and depression.

Does CBD treat anxiety?

So far, research suggests that it can, and if we go by personal accounts of people who have used it to treat anxiety, it’s safe to conclude that it works for most users. Most people using cannabidiol for hormonal balance or to manage anxiety are usually spurred into action after reading existing case studies and lab experiments such as this one, which all show a significant reduction in stress hormones after consuming CBD.

There are not enough large-scale medical trials to test the use of CBD for anxiety or any other condition, but this is mainly due to the fact that cannabidiol only entered the mainstream market a couple of years ago, and so existing research can only go back so far. But that being said, there are plenty of sources where one can find supporting evidence of cannabidiol being used to treat anxiety.

An estimated 30% of adults in the U.S. experience mental health issues and an even higher percentage of teens and pre-teens have anxiety issues. Not many people associated mental health issues with inflammation, but apparently, there is a close link between conditions such as anxiety, ADD, and autism with inflammation, and reducing this inflammation is the key to managing the conditions.  For more on this, check out this study.

This is where CBD comes in. As an anti-inflammatory and natural anxiolytic, cannabidiol is perfect for treating generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, PTSD, and other forms of anxiety. It treats the condition without presenting any of the side effects you get from anxiety medication. CBD not only reduces inflammation in the body, it also increases prefrontal activity while lowering activity in the amygdala – two parts of the body that are linked to high anxiety levels.  

CBD also triggers hippocampus neurogenesis, meaning it supports the creation of new neurons in the brain. The hippocampus area of the brain is essential to maintaining glutamate and normal stress levels, and a breakdown of the cells in this area almost always lead to cognitive decline, stress, and other dysfunctions.

How much should you take?

A low-to-moderate dose is ideal for treating anxiety, otherwise taking too much will only lead you to sleep. A dose of 10mg is considered a good place to start; however, you can always increase the dosage to get the desired effects. CBD is generally safe so there won’t be any risk of overdose or addiction – but still, moderation is key. The method you chose for taking cannabidiol might also have an impact on its effect. While there are dozens of CBD products on the market, not all of them will be effective at managing anxiety; but this does not in any way suggest that the compound CBD is different in tinctures than in lotions or other products.

It just means some people will like the tincture, while others prefer to inhale the compound for more immediate effects. It’s important to find a product that works for you. Keep in mind that taking CBD just one hour before a public event has been seen to reduce anxiety levels significantly, to the point where you would be able to give a lecture without stressing or trembling with fear.

Safety

Watch out for these potential changes when you first start using CBD. These are just minor side effects and are not guaranteed to affect you.

  • Changes in sleeping pattern
  • Changes in mood
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Change in appetite

Speak with your doctor before using CBD as a treatment for anxiety, and report any side effects, if noted.

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