Anxiety disorder is one of the most prevalent mental health issues amongst people. It is a debilitating condition that can adversely impact your social and professional life and anything in between. The World Health Organization states that one in thirteen people suffer from this disorder globally.
There are several lines of treatment available for it today. Amongst them, one remedy, i.e., CBD oil, is rising the popularity charts as a viable means to deal with anxiety. Here we understand all about CBD and its effectiveness in dealing with stress.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. Scientists are fast discovering its medicinal benefits though it is still in its infancy stage. But many people using them are reporting great benefits, including anxiety reduction.
We are all used to a feeling of ‘stress’ before an exam, an important event, or similar situations. But sometimes, these unexpected events of life feel like a continual test, and the impending sense of disaster never leaves a person; it is an indication of chronic anxiety. It is primarily of five types:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
All these conditions are debilitating and prevent you from leading a healthy life.
Traditional methods of treating anxiety
Generally, talk therapy with a licensed counselor is often the first port of call. Anxiolytics medications like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opioids, and antidepressants are prescribed in extreme cases to tackle anxiety disorders and depression.
Side-effects of anti-anxiety drugs
Anxiolytics, like most medications, have some potential, unpleasant side-effects like:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Dependence and associated withdrawal symptoms
- Heart disease
- Digestive problems
- Muscular tension
- Endocannabinoid imbalance
These side-effects have turned the attention towards a more natural remedy, i.e., CBD oil.
How is CBD oil consumed?
Because of its therapeutic benefits, CBD oil is consumed in various forms, namely, edibles, gummies, capsules, drinks, tea, oil drops, etc. However, vaping is touted as the fastest and most effective way since it yields the maximum bioavailability of the compound. It implies that you need a smaller dose of CBD for maximum effects.
Also, vaping helps in the fastest effect of CBD on our body and brain. Moreover, you get the vaping CBD oil e-juice in super-quality and various delicious flavors like top nic salts brands.
How CBD oil helps in anxiety relief
Several studies suggest multiple mechanisms inside our body due to CBD oil to bring about anxiety relief. A few of them include:
Most people know of serotonin as the happy neurotransmitter. It regulates our mood, happiness, and anxiety. Low production of it can cause depression and anxiety disorders. However, it is far more complex, and its effect depends on its location and what it binds to. For it, it has 14 different receptors.
Studies indicate that CBD specifically increases binding at the 5- HTIA receptor, which plays a decisive role in manifesting anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. CBD can activate the 5-HT receptor levels that, in turn, may increase the presence of serotonin transmitters in the brain.
Traditional anti-anxiety drugs like buspirone, Prozac, etc., also function similarly, but they also pack several adverse side effects. In contrast, CBD has a much less adversely impacting side effects profile.
Scientists have discovered an endocannabinoid system in our body that naturally produces cannabinoids. This system starts malfunctioning under anxiety and chronic stress. CBD can restore the system’s balance by boosting the body’s endocannabinoid production and preventing overstimulation of the CB1 receptors.
CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system and helps in processing and forgetting our fears to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. It alters the human normal-fear-extinction response.
Chronic stress and anxiety can easily damage the brain neurons and shrink brain size. An area of focus is the hippocampus. It is a seahorse-shaped area of the brain that primarily controls our emotions. Anxiety and stress make their size shrink.
However, this part of the brain is also capable of regeneration. Several studies suggest that CBD encourages neural regeneration of neurons, brain size, and particularly the hippocampus. By increasing its size, CBD helps combat anxiety and brings about better emotional response management.
Decreased activity in some brain-part
Amygdala is another brain part that plays a vital role in controlling our emotions. Various researches suggest that CBD lowers the activity of this area by increasing prefrontal cortex activation. It helps the body respond better, fear-related behaviors.
Evidence that CBD helps combat anxiety
Several users state anxiety-relief with the use of CBD oil. Fortunately, scientific evidence is also proving it. Studies and tests are conducted primarily on rodents and less on humans due to the expense and legal complications. A few noteworthy tests and studies are:
- A 2010 study revealed that CBD helped in combating social phobia.
- A 2011 study proved that CBD helped in reducing social anxiety, like in public speaking.
- A 2015 study conclusively demonstrated the efficacy of CBD in dealing with anxiety disorders like SAD, OCD, PD, PTSD, etc.
- In 2016, a report was published that suggested CBD as a safe treatment for PTSD.
Several studies suggest that CBD oil can be an effective remedy for dealing with anxiety. However, a more holistic approach will yield better results. Furthermore, it takes time and patience to get the desired results. Finally, you must always consult a doctor, especially if you are taking anxiety medications.