Can Cannabis Help You Cope with Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are the most well-known mental illness in the U.S., affecting over 40 million adults, or 18.1% of the population. Heightened by the recent pandemic, the World Health Organization in a published report highlights dim prospects for mental health and likely fallout of mental health-related crisis in the near future.
Most anxiety-related disorders have been traced to psychological stress. Psychological stress is noted to increase anxiety that can have an adverse effect on the immune system of the body and the mental health of the individual. So, in these stressful times, it is not impossible for an increased number of individuals to experience heightened anxiety and mental health-related symptoms.
Mental health challenges are a real problem, and while many solutions including therapy, regular exercise, dieting and supplements have been advised, there is another solution that is fast gaining traction across a broad base of individuals, and that is CBD!
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the substances that is extracted from the cannabis plant. It is the second most prevalent substance found in the plant, and it is highly regarded for its therapeutic benefits. Being a phytocannabinoid, the substance interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, supporting it to perform its function of balance (homeostasis) effectively.
CBD is noted to offer stress relieve, relief from pain, is clinically indicated to stop or manage severe seizures and is noted as a potential therapeutic solution for anxiety, depression and anxiety-related symptoms.
While there aren’t enough scientific reports to support this stance, partly owing to the nascent nature of research into the efficacy of the substance, early results show sufficient prospects on the efficacy of CBD to proffer a potent intervention for a broad range of medical conditions including anxiety, and anxiety-related conditions.
To draw a relationship between anxiety and CBD, we have dug a little deeper into the effect CBD has on anxiety and depression, and the clinical studies supporting these results.
Without much ado, let’s dive in.
CBD and Anxiety
There is an increased interest in clinical research on the relationship between CBD, anxiety, and fear. Researchers have sought to define the relationship between anxiety and fear, and how CBD can affect the hormones that influence these reactions associated with the different responses – Anxiety and fear.
In laboratory settings, CBD has been shown to decrease experimentally induced anxiety and lessen fear memories in healthy adult participants. Clinical trials in patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have demonstrated that CBD based anxiety medications can reduce their symptoms.
Although the trials have shown limited results, it is evident that CBD reduces experimentally induced anxiety and fear. For example, one study in healthy participants and those suffering from social anxiety disorder found that CBD decreased task-related anxiety and has significant anxiolytic effects.
How does it do this?
Because CBD is able to influence the ECS, it causes it to increase secretion levels of the hormones that control mood and emotions. This way, the body is able to better manage the stress arising for anxiety-prone situations.
Several persons have reported feeling better and more confident after several doses of CBD. A regular health care regime including CBD can help you feel better and less moody.
While more is to be learned about CBD’s anxiolytic effect, but with clinical research moving at a slow pace, it might be a while before official approval of CBD as an anti-anxiety solution. However, going by the relative success in clinical trials and in-person reports, it wouldn’t hurt anyone to incorporate high-grade CBD oil into their self-care regimen for better mental health wellbeing.
How to Use CBD for Anxiety
If you’re curious about using CBD oil as an alternative intervention medication for anxiety, understanding the pros and cons of the various ingestion methods can help you determine which form of consumption best suits your needs.
Tinctures and oils
CBD tinctures and oils represent a quick, easy, and accurate way to consume CBD. While most tinctures contain CBD in an alcohol base, CBD oils contain CBD extracts infused into a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil.
Tinctures and oils are taken using a dropper, which allows you to easily measure intake. The cannabinoid rapidly enters the bloodstream when taken sublingually—results can kick in as quickly as ten minutes and may last up to three to four hours.
CBD vape oils
CBD can be vaped using a special pen that vaporizes the oil. At present, the safety of vaping has come under intense scrutiny as several hospitalizations for lungs related ailments owing to vaping has been recorded. However, the federal Center for Disease Control has found that most cases have been linked to the use of illicit-market THC vape cartridges tainted with vitamin E oil (tocopheryl-acetate).
CBD vape cartridges purchased in legal state-licensed cannabis stores are highly regulated. Proceed with caution when considering any vaping product in an unregulated environment.
CBD, while super easy to consume in this form, may take some time for the effects to kick in. This is as a result of the limited bioavailability of CBD passing through the gastrointestinal tract.
Using edibles makes for inaccurate dosing. Use wisely to avoid cases of adverse reactions owing to over consumption.
Smoking provides an almost instantaneous method for enjoying the effects of CBD. Smoking sends the cannabinoid directly to the alveoli of the lungs, and from there, CBD molecules enter the bloodstream for rapid absorption. However, measuring your CBD intake can be tricky when you smoke, and the act of smoking itself can cause lung inflammation.
General Dosing Tips
Some basic factors that you should consider when devising a CBD dose include:
- Concentration of CBD
- The severity of your anxiety
Your unique body chemistry affects how you respond to CBD.
The concentration of CBD varies between products and is generally expressed as milligrams (mg) per container.
Once you know the potency of the CBD product you hold, you can use a dosage calculator to help settle on your perfect dose.
CBD is inevitably a multifaceted supplement that’s becoming well established by research. We are hopeful that with more evidence emerging that shows real therapeutic benefits, that the substance would enjoy full legality for pharmacological use.