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CBD oil for anxiety

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CBD Oil for Anxiety: The Benefits You Need to Know

Anxiety, the most prevalent mental illness in the United States, affects 40 million people every year.[1] If you're one of the many people suffering from anxiety, you know how debilitating it can be. This chronic condition[2] can interfere with your work, school, and personal life. While many prescription medications are available to treat anxiety, they often come with a long list of unwanted side effects,[3] including drowsiness, fatigue, and slower thinking. For this reason, many people are turning to CBD oil for relief. This article will explore the benefits of CBD oil for anxiety and how it can help you live a better life.

What exactly is anxiety? 

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear, or unease that can interfere with your daily life. It's different for everyone and can manifest in many different ways. Some people experience anxiety attacks, which are intense episodes of fear or panic. Others may feel constantly anxious and on edge. The symptoms of anxiety can vary from mild to severe and can include:

  • Racing heart
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness

What is CBD oil? 

To fully understand CBD oil benefits for anxiety, we must first look at what CBD oil is. CBD oil is made from cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Unlike THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants, CBD does not make you feel high.[4] CBD oil can legally be obtained in all 50 states[5] and is non-addictive.[6]

In other words, CBD is a natural compound used to treat various medical conditions, including anxiety. According to a 2019 survey by Gallup, one of America's oldest polling firms, 14% of people in the U.S. use CBD oil. 60% of CBD users[7] say they use it to treat anxiety. 

CBD is often extracted from hemp plants, which are high in CBD and low in THC. The process of extracting CBD involves using a solvent such as ethanol or CO to dissolve the CBD from the plant. The CBD is then purified and distilled to create an oil that is high in CBD and low in THC. 

CBD oil benefits for anxiety

Now that we know what CBD oil is, let's look at some of its benefits for people suffering from anxiety. A major 2015 review [8]of the scientific studies found that CBD oil has "considerable potential" as a treatment for anxiety symptoms such as panic attacks, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

"Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD's efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviours relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD, with a notable lack of anxiogenic effects," the authors from the New York University School of Medicine wrote. 

"CBD's anxiolytic actions appear to depend upon CB1Rs and 5-HT1ARs in several brain regions; however, investigation of additional receptor actions may reveal further mechanisms."

The study added that human experimental and preclinical findings show CBD oil has "an excellent safety profile."

In another study[9] published in 2018, male participants were given CBD before taking a simulated public speaking test. The researchers discovered that a dose of 300 mg administered 90 minutes before the test was enough to reduce anxiety in the speakers significantly.

How does CBD oil reduce anxiety? 

The reason CBD oil is so effective in treating anxiety is still being studied, but scientists believe it has to do with the way CBD interacts with the brain.[10] CBD seems to help reduce stress by affecting serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate moods and emotions. By increasing serotonin levels, CBD oil may help reduce anxiety. CBD oil may also help regulate the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to play a role in anxiety.

Is CBD Safe?

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers CBD "generally safe." The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved CBD oil as a treatment for anxiety. Last year, it published a warning about purchasing over-the-counter CBD products,[11] as they may not be safe. Studies have shown some potential side effects[12] of CBD oil, including fatigue, diarrhoea, appetite changes, and weight changes. 

"It's important that consumers understand that the FDA has only approved one drug containing CBD as an ingredient," said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernethy, M.D., PhD in the statement referring to a prescription CBD product that FDA approved in 2020 to treat seizures.

"These other, unapproved, CBD products may have dangerous health impacts and side effects. We remain focused on exploring potential pathways for CBD products to be lawfully marketed while also educating the public about these outstanding questions of CBD's safety."

How can I start using CBD oil for anxiety? 

With those safety concerns in mind, if you are thinking of trying CBD oil for anxiety, you must speak with your doctor first. You can ask your doctor to recommend a CBD oil that is right for you and monitor your health while taking it. There are many different ways to take CBD oil, including capsules, tinctures, liquids, and vape oils. You can also find CBD in foods, such as chocolate bars and gummy bears.

Whether you use a CBD vape pen or another form of CBD oil, it is vital to start with a low dose and increase the amount gradually if you do not experience any side effects. Despite the lack of FDA approval, many preclinical and human studies have shown CBD oil to be a safe and effective treatment for anxiety. 

When choosing a CBD oil product, there are a few things you need to know. First, not all CBD oils are created equal. It's crucial to find a high-quality CBD oil that has been tested by a third party. Look for an oil that is organic and THC-free. Be sure to buy from a reputable company with good reviews.

Finally, the way you take CBD oil can affect how it works. Some people find that taking CBD oil sublingually is the most effective way to reduce anxiety. Others prefer to vape or eat CBD oil. It's essential to find a form of CBD oil that works best for you. 

Apart from anxiety, what is CBD oil good for?

Last year, Forbes[13] magazine published "9 science-backed benefits of CBD oil." The article cited studies to back up claims that CBD oil can be used to treat various conditions, including chronic pain, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Epilepsy syndromes, opioid addiction, PTSD, and ALS symptoms. 

For PTSD, for instance, the article referenced a small 2018 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 11 individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were given CBD in combination with standard psychiatric therapy for eight weeks in an outpatient mental health centre. The study found that 10 of the 11 patients reduced their PTSD symptoms. 

In conclusion, CBD oil is a natural product that has been used for centuries to treat various conditions. More research is needed to determine the full range of benefits CBD oil may offer, but scientists believe it can help with a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety. CBD oil is considered "generally safe" and effective for most people, but it is essential to speak with your doctor before trying it. 

 

 

[1]  Adaa.org. (2021). Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. [online] Available at: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics#:~:text=Did%20You%20Know%3F.

[1] Rynn, M.A. and Brawman-Mintzer, O. (2004). Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Acute and Chronic Treatment. CNS Spectrums, 9(10), pp.716–723.

[1] NeuroSpa. (2020). The Side Effects of Anxiety Medications. [online] Available at: https://neurospatms.com/the-side-effects-of-anxiety-medications/#:~:text=The%20side%20effects%20of%20anxiety%20medications%2C%20also%20called%20anxiolytics%2C%20include.

[1] Grinspoon, P. (2018). Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t - Harvard Health Blog. [online] Harvard Health Blog. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476.

[1]  Cherry, K. (2021). Can You Get Addicted to CBD? [online] Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/cbd-addiction-can-you-get-addicted-to-cbd-5211798#:~:text=Unlike%20THC%20(tetrahydrocannabinol)%2C%20CBD

[1] MacKeen, D. (2019). What Are the Benefits of CBD? The New York Times. [online] 16 Oct. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/style/self-care/cbd-oil-benefits.html.

[1] Blessing, E.M., Steenkamp, M.M., Manzanares, J. and Marmar, C.R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, [online] 12(4), pp.825–836. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13311-015-0387-1 

[1] Carter. A. (2020). Can CBD Oil Help Reduce Anxiety? [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-anxiety#dosage.

[1] De Gregorio, D., McLaughlin, R.J., Posa, L., Ochoa-Sanchez, R., Enns, J., Lopez-Canul, M., Aboud, M., Maione, S., Comai, S. and Gobbi, G. (2019). Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain. PAIN, [online] 160(1), pp.136–150. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319597/#!po=41.2500.

[1] Commissioner, O. of the (2021). FDA Warns Companies Illegally Selling Over-the-Counter CBD Products for Pain Relief. [online] FDA. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-warns-companies-illegally-selling-over-counter-cbd-products-pain-relief.

[1] Chesak. K. (2021). Best CBD Oils for Anxiety: Top Brands, Products Reviewed. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/best-cbd-oil-for-anxiety#safety-and-side-effects [Accessed 24 Jan. 2022].

[1] Acosta, K. (2021). 9 Science-Backed Benefits Of CBD Oil. [online] Forbes Health. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/health/body/cbd-oil-benefits/.

 

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