Does CBD lower anxiety?

Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Anxiety

CBD has been used for many years to alleviate anxiety, find out how CBD relieves anxiety, studies to show it does relieve anxiety and follow our CBD buyers guide to find what strength CBD you should use to help anxiety. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common mental illness in the US affecting more than 18% of the population every year.

The common treatments for anxiety disorders are medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. However, with more research being carried on marijuana and CBD oil, more and more people are opting to forgo these traditional treatments in favor of CBD oil.

According to a 2018 publication by the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, more than 62% of cannabis users confessed to have used CBD oil to treat medical conditions such as pain, depression and finally, anxiety. This begs the question, what the heck is CBD oil and does it really treat anxiety? Well, read on and get your questions answered!

What is CBD Oil?

CBD or Cannabidiol is one of the 113 cannabinoids (chemical compounds) found in the marijuana plant. Another popular cannabinoid is THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive effect in cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD cannot get you high. This makes CBD an appealing option for people seeking relief from pain and the various medical conditions without experiencing the mind-altering effects of different pharmaceutical drugs or marijuana.

To make CBD oil, CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and then diluted using a carrier oil such as hemp seed or coconut oil.

Over the last decade, CBD oil has really gained momentum in the wellness and health world with several studies suggesting that it may help treat several ailments including cancer, chronic pain, and anxiety.

CBD Oil and Anxiety

Although much progress has been witnessed as far as research on the marijuana industry is concerned, it is crucial to note that most of these studies have focused generally on marijuana rather than CBD oil as a standalone product.

While most studies have confirmed that CBD may help treat anxiety, some suggest that recreational marijuana may make you more vulnerable to anxiety.

Thinking of using CBD oil to treat your anxiety? It is crucial that you exclusively analyze research on Cannabidiol, rather than the generalized studies on medical marijuana.

Here are some  studies regarding the use of CBD oil to help treat anxiety:

  • Research carried out in 2010 concluded that CBD could help reduce the symptoms of social anxiety in people suffering from social anxiety disorder (SAD). According to the study, CBD altered the way the brains responded to stress in addition to making participants feel better. Brain scans carried later revealed some changes in blood flow to the vital brain regions concerned with feelings and anxiety.
  • In 2011, research findings were published showing that CBD could eliminate social anxiety. In this study, the researches focused explicitly on how CBD could be used to reduce or eliminate anxiety associated with public speaking.
  • In 2014, a research was published indicating that CBD oil had anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties. An animal model was used in this study.In 2016, a case study revealed that CBD could help eliminate the effects of anxiety-provoked sleep disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder or the PSTD in kids. According to the study, CBD helped reduce the symptoms of anxiety in a young girl with a history of trauma and helped her sleep.
  • These are just some of the studies suggesting that CBD may help treat anxiety. However, most researchers agree that more research still needs to be done to find out the suitability of CBD oil as a long-term treatment plan for anxiety.

How Exactly Does CBD Treat Anxiety?

It seems that after all, CBD can be used to treat anxiety. The question is, how exactly does it achieve this?

CBD works by activating receptors found in the endocannabinoid system within our bodies (comprised of receptor sites). The sites which are located throughout the body are known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD is able to interact with the receptors since they are similar to endocannabinoids (molecules found within the body). Although CBD has a low affinity for both CB1 and CB2 receptors, it enhances the transmission of the 5-HT1A receptor.

The 5-HTIA receptor is involved during serotonin neurotransmission (a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in feelings and mood) It is believed that CBD’s influence on this receptor may play a role in reducing anxiety. This is because, the 5-HTIA receptor site plays a significant role in mediating depressive behaviours, moods, and anxiety.

CBD is also known to have some effect on hippocampal neurogenesis. The hippocampus is a critical brain region responsible for cognition and memory formation.

Brain scans often reveal a smaller hippocampus in patients suffering from depression or anxiety. Neurogenesis refers to the formation of new neurons in our brains. Both CBD and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are known to boost neurogenesis. This is very important as increased neurogenesis helps reduce anxiety and depressive behaviours.

Benefits of CBD Oil over Other Anxiety Treatment Options

Most people suffering from anxiety disorders are usually prescribed Benzodiazepines which are similar to Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. What most people don’t know is that these drugs are very addictive and may make users feel fluffy and dormant.

In addition, most of the anti-anxiety drugs have severe side effects such as sleeplessness, psychological shortages, weak pulse as well as hypersensitive responses.

Unlike these drugs, CBD has little to no known side effects since it is a natural compound. Also, CBD lacks psychoactive properties and hence suitable for anyone. However, just like any other medication, you must observe the right dosage when using CBD oil for anxiety. In Case of any complications, it is crucial that you see your doctor for guidance and direction.

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