Does CBD Oil Help With Anxiety Disorders?
Cannabis, and its other mainstream incarnations such as hemp and marijuana, is predominantly known for its infamous reputation a recreational drug. However, contrary to the opinions of many, cannabis has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties and health benefits. Did you know that cannabis – especially in the form of cannabis oil – can also help people who are suffering from anxiety?
Yes, you’ve read that right. The chemical components present in CBD actually help the human body manage chronic stress and anxiety. I’ve heard plenty about wonders of CBD oil when it comes to treating and alleviating the symptoms of anxiety disorder. However, before going into more detail about CBD oil’s benefits for people suffering from anxiety, here is a little more information about CBD oil.
Some background on CBD oil
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the 113 naturally-occurring, active compounds in the cannabis plant. The hemp variety of the cannabis plant is the most cultivated, and is also the main source of CBD used to develop medicine.
CBD should not be mistaken as an addictive drug. Most of the CBD products that are in the market today are confirmed as addiction-free, and do not contain cannabis’ psychoactive chemical Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC causes the “high” that is commonly associated with marijuana.
Researchers and scholars have found CBD and its molecular components have a lot of medical and health benefits. Aside from helping anxiety, it is proven to be useful to people suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and insomnia, due to its calming and relaxing effects. It is also used as a pain reliever for patients who have been diagnosed with childhood epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
CBD oil is often used as tinctures that could be directly taken by users. I have also heard of individuals who have been using CBD oil by mixing a few drops of it into their favorite beverages and smoothies. You can also find CBD oil in the form of capsules, sprays and creams. Another popular form and method of usage is through vaping, where CBD oil can be purchased as e-liquid for vapes.
What is anxiety and what causes it?
With the world becoming increasingly fast paced and technology driven, daily life can become stressful to a lot of people. I used to think that being stressed was normal – that it could even be a healthy source of motivation, forcing you to work harder every single day. However, prolonged stress and worry can cause high-strung individuals like me to develop anxiety disorders as well.
These kinds of disorders can become very disruptive in daily life. I have a friend who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and it’s often very distressing for them. OCD is a kind of anxiety where sufferers constantly have loud, repetitive and persistent thoughts and behavior that distracts them from performing everyday tasks properly.
Another kind of anxiety is often experienced by veterans and survivors from accidents – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), where the person becomes constantly angry and irritable while feeling detached from their mind and body. Others also carry the burden of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder, where they are plagued by excessive and uncontrollable worry about daily events.
One of the side effects of anxiety disorders is developing insomnia –when you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. There are two types of insomnia: ‘acute’ and ‘chronic’. I have sometimes experienced acute insomnia, which is described as brief and only occasionally happens under stressful conditions.
The more severe and onset type is chronic insomnia, which occurs at three times a week for at least three months. Medication is required for this kind of insomnia and it is often caused by severe changes in your environment, unhealthy sleeping habits and other clinical disorders.
When I was experiencing insomnia, I noticed that I was constantly tired and had low energy, which affected my performance at work. Since I lacked sleep, I found it hard to concentrate and manage my rapid mood swings. Anxiety and insomnia really take a toll on your everyday life because they hinder you from giving your best performance.
What are symptoms of anxiety?
Your body will be able to tell you if you are suffering from anxiety. Some physical symptoms of anxiety disorder include the following:
- Dizziness and headaches
- Muscle aches and tensions
- Stomach aches and the constant feeling of being sick
- Fatigue, rapid breathing and excessive sweating
- Irregular heartbeats or palpitations
Anxiety disorders could also lead you to experience psychological symptoms like:
- Moodiness and irritation
- Constant feelings of worry and dread
- Lack of focus and concentration
If anxiety is left untreated, it can take a great toll on work and family life. It can affect your ability to perform in school or at the office, and can also negatively impact your professional relationships. Worst of all, it can also affect your relationships with friends and loved ones. Being preoccupied with distressing thoughts and emotions can make talking with and relating to people much harder.
Does CBD oil help reduce anxiety?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, up to 18% of the US population suffers from anxiety. Those with severe cases often have to buy expensive medication or seek costly professional help.
However, many documented cases have shown that CBD could a cheaper and efficient way to treat the symptoms of anxiety. CBD oil can help you become calmer and more relaxed, and is also proven to help you sleep. Having enough sleep is very important in helping you manage stress levels and emotions better.
The components of CBD have a profound effect on the human body’s endocannabinoid system. This part of the body is in charge of the neural receptors of the nervous system – making it related to the overall mental health of individuals. This links CBD to medicinal benefits that could aid people with depression and anxiety disorders.
How does CBD oil help anxiety?
Unlike some of the other medications used to treat anxiety, taking CBD oil with your favorite smoothie could help calm you down faster when your anxiety is at its peak. You will be able to sleep better and have less mood swings because the CBD can stabilize your mental and emotional faculties.
Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues are connected with abnormalities in the endocannabinoid system (as mentioned above). Stress is also connected to this system. The 5-HT1A strand found in CBD oil serves as a powerful mood regulator so you can experience more positive emotions and less stress and anxiety.
Studies have also shown that individuals who had taken a dosage of CBD oil before a stressful event were able to counter their anxiety by exhibiting signs of less mental disturbance and emotional discomfort. CBD components can also positively affect the production of serotonin, a compound that plays a big role in the regulation of stress and anxiety.
CBD oil dosage for anxiety
Unfortunately, I haven’t found much information that could help me determine the best dosages for specific kinds of anxiety. However, most sources have determined that the dosages for taking CBD oil as an alternative medication may rely on several factors such as age, weight, diet, metabolism and the environment where you live.
The CBD Oil Review (COR), however, suggests taking the minimum dosage advised by the CBD oil product that you have bought. Later on, you can gradually increase the dosage in order to help you relieve more of your anxiety symptoms. The COR says that you can increase your CBD oil dosage by 25 mg for three to four weeks until it becomes effective for your anxiety.
The Mayo Clinic offers a list of CBD dosages depending on the illness. For example, they diagnose people with disorders to take 40 to 160 mg of CBD orally. While those who are suffering from chronic pain could take 2.5 to 20 mg of CBD.
Does CBD oil have side effects?
Even though CBD oil has a lot of benefits to people with anxiety disorders, it can also have some side effects. Since everyone’s physiology varies, CBD oil can have mixed effects on your mood and anxiety levels. It can also cause changes in appetite, diarrhoea and vomiting. In varying doses, it might also cause low-blood pressure and increased heart rate levels.
Since CBD medicinal products are sometimes not properly regulated, some products can still be unsafe as they may still contain the psychoactive THC compound, which can sometimes worsen anxiety. Since the proper dosage of CBD is not yet perfected nor have the CBD formulas been optimized for medicinal use, researchers and bureaus are still in debate with regards to the effectiveness and safety of CBD oil medications.
Now it’s your turn
It seems that using CBD oil for treating anxiety could be hugely beneficial, but is not without its risks – especially with substandard CBD products. Have you suffered from anxiety and tried taking CBD oil to help? Please share your story in the comments section below. Your testimony and experience can benefit others who are considering CBD for their anxiety. Your story can also be of aid to researchers who are still looking into perfecting CBD and its medicinal properties.