CBD and anxiety: can it help?

Anxiety can be a debilitating condition, but one that many people live with from day to day. Even if you do have anxiety, you know there will be good days and bad days – so what can you do to help yourself?


You may have tried different ways of controlling your anxiety, but you want to explore other options that might be available to you. One of those you may have heard about is CBD, but what is it, and how can it help treat your anxiety?


CBD vs. anxiety

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and CBD oil has become a favoured remedy for anxiety. Some people may use it to soothe everyday worries, others for more serious conditions (such as generalised anxiety disorder). CBD is a compound found in the marijuana plant and extracted from hemp plants supplied by brands like Cope CBD. However, CBD doesn’t produce a ‘high’ when consumed, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another compound that’s found in these plants.


Anxiety (as opposed to stress) is a feeling of excessive worry or existential dread that is caused internally. Anxiety lingers with concern or distress even though there’s no reasonable threat. This is often brought on by stress, yet its side effects exceed those of normal stress levels.


Anxiety and stress are created chemically in the brain, and overactive levels of some hormones can intensify feelings. The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) can help to regulate these hormones, particularly those related to stress.


Endogenous cannabinoids are produced by the body. The ECS responds to these cannabinoids, as well as those from external sources. So when CBD enters the bloodstream, it can indirectly interact with brain receptors to promote hormone balance. This may counteract the person’s feelings of worry and anxiety.


CBD and its effects

Research is still in its early stages as to whether these treatments are a viable option for treating anxiety, stress, and depression. There are other treatments available – such as therapy and medications – yet some experts believe CBD can have a beneficial effect on the brain, such as reducing the symptoms.


Many sufferers who use CBD do so to sleep better and to deal with the worry-filled thoughts associated with this emotional issue. One case report from 2016, for instance, revealed that CBD might be a treatment for anxiety and insomnia linked to post-traumatic stress disorder. As poor sleep can exacerbate the anxiety and stress someone may feel, ensuring you get enough rest is essential in beating the symptoms and feelings associated with it. 


Cannabidiol works like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which is a category of psychiatric drugs that have been specifically designed for anxiety and depression. CBD can affect your serotonin levels – which is the neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood disorders – so, by bringing serotonin to normal levels, CBD products can reduce the symptoms of anxiety.


However, make sure that you speak to your doctor before starting to take products that contain CBD for anxiety or any other condition. This is because it may affect everyone differently, and you should talk to a doctor before changing your current health regime.

Written by Monella

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