Does CBD Help Anxiety?

CBD | CBD and Anxiety
Does CBD help Anxiety?
Yes CBD is scientifically shown to lower anxiety and many people swear by its benefits too. Cannabinoid also helps to reduce a wide range of related negative psychological symptoms adding to the effectiveness.

Cannabinoid, also known as CBD, is rising in popularity and this has led to extensive research on the substance and what it may treat. Anxiety and CBD have been the focus of many extensive clinical studies, so what is the outcome?

Does CBD help anxiety? Yes, CBD is scientifically shown to lower anxiety and many people swear by its benefits too. Cannabinoid also helps to reduce a wide range of related negative psychological symptoms adding to the effectiveness too.

The list is extensive, from treating symptoms of anxiety and depression to opioid addiction, there is an abundance of ailments that CBD can help with.

But it’s vital you know what CBD does and doesn’t do, what’s true, what’s not, as there are many common misconceptions and also to take CBD safely if you’re taking it for anxiety – that’s what you’ll find out here.

But it’s vital you know what CBD does and doesn’t do, what’s true, what’s not, as there are many common misconceptions and also to take CBD safely if you’re taking it for anxiety – that’s what you’ll find out here.

Early research into CBD has suggested it can help in relieving symptoms of anxiety.

However, CBD is still a relatively new and understudied product (even with daily research taking place), a lot of the studies that have found CBD to help with anxiety have been done on animals and not humans.

That said, many users of the substance – specifically for anxiety – swear by its benefits CBD has delivered and impact on their life, including celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Kristen Bell.

Many variables have to be considered with CBD because it depends on the product, the quality of it and how some people metabolize CBD differently, just as with any biohacking supplement.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from the leaves, stalks, and flowers of industrial hemp plants. CBD is a cannabinoid, these are compounds found in the cannabis plant species.

Unlike the similarly prominent cannabinoid, THC. CBD is non-psychoactive meaning it does not produce a ‘high’.

Because CBD is extracted from industrial hemp plants, it contains less than 0.2 – 0.3% THC content. So long as the product abides by this content level, it is legal in the US, UK, and Canada.

THC is the main psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant species, it is responsible for the ‘high’ that cannabis gives you.

Many variables have to be considered with CBD because it depends on the product, the quality of it and how some people metabolize CBD differently, just as with any biohacking supplement.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a condition in which sufferers feel unease, worry, and fear constantly.

Once one anxious thought is solved, another comes up relating to a different issue.

Feelings of anxiety are not uncommon, everyone experiences them, that feeling before an exam or before an interview is what anxiety feels like.

Sufferers of anxiety have this feeling constantly with issues that may seem insignificant to others. It can severely affect people’s well-being.

Anxiety also relates to other conditions like:

  • PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Phobias
  • Social anxiety disorder

Degrees of anxiety can vary, people with a general anxiety disorder (GAD) feel anxious most days and can’t remember ever feeling relaxed.

Symptoms can include:

  • Constant restless or worried feelings
  • Trouble concentrating or sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations

Traditional remedies

  • Psychological therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Medications such as a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Some suggestions for self-help are:

  • Cutting down on or stopping smoking
  • Cutting down on or stopping drinking alcohol and caffeine
  • Regular exercise
  • Self-help courses

How does CBD help?

CBD (unlike THC) does not trigger cannabinoid receptors, what it does do is improve the body’s usage of the endocannabinoid system.

It inhibits the degradation of the endocannabinoid anandamide. This endocannabinoid releases endorphins and leads to anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects on the body.

Alongside this, CBD affects the 5-HT1A receptors.

These Serotonin receptors are the same ones affected by antidepressant medication, as CBD also affects these receptors this may show where its antidepressant and anxiolytic benefits come from.

That said, the way CBD helps with anxiety is still not fully understood or known.

Overstimulated neurons cause a person to suffer racing thoughts, fear and an overcharged sensation within the brain and body.

Research has found that CBD is a natural anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) that connects to the CB1 and CB2 receptors producing homeostasis between GABA and Glutamate levels.

The anxiolytic in CBD increases prefrontal cortex activation and reduces activity in the amygdala. In addition, CBD can activate hippocampus neurogenesis, which is the regeneration of neurons and cells within the body and brain.

CBD calms the distress response of the sufferer’s neurological system, thus freeing them from the constant focus on a pathological feeling of being rushed and the fear of a potentially negative outcome.

A 2017 study on anxiety and public speaking found that those who took 300 to 600 mg of CBD experienced anxiolytic effects from the CBD.

How to Take CBD and How Much To Take For Anxiety

CBD comes in a variety of forms, these include:

  • Oil in sprays and tinctures
  • Capsules
  • Topicals/creams/balms/lotions
  • Vaporizers/vape oils
  • Edibles/gummies
  • Infused water
  • Infused coffee
  • Tea
  • Shower gels/bath bombs/bath salts and shampoos

There is no scientifically outlined dosage of CBD for all ailments.

People follow guidelines that vary depending on where you look, but you need to be aware of the following information if you take it for anxiety as CBD dosage is not a “one size fits all” solution, despite what others advise.

The dosage depends on weight, how you as an individual react to CBD, and the ailment you are trying to treat.

For anxiety, between about 10 to 50 mg of CBD should lead to reduced symptoms, but start with a smaller dose and build up, this way to take the minimum effective dose and reduce risk.

This table gives an outline of body weight relating to dosage, for anxiety look to the lower dosages.

Misconceptions Surrounding CBD

Does CBD get you high?

CBD does not get you high. Legal CBD extracted from industrial hemp plants are legally required to contain less than 0.2 % in the UK, and 0.3% in the US, THC content.

This amount is insignificant and presents no risk of getting ‘high’ from taking any CBD products.

Legality of CBD

USA

In the United States, some states have legalized recreational marijuana use while some outlaw CBD as they do not differ it from marijuana itself, check here for a state by state guide on the legality of CBD in the US.

In federal law, CBD is legal so long as it is extracted from industrial hemp plants and contains less than 0.3% THC content.

Canada

In Canada, CBD along with recreational marijuana use is legal, however individual provinces have their own laws so check here for a more detailed outline on the legality of CBD in Canada.

CBD products from Canada may contain more than the legal amount of THC (as there is no limit) than other countries allow, so be cautious in transporting or trying to import CBD products from Canada.

UK

In the United Kingdom, CBD is legal as long as it is extracted from industrial hemp plants and contains less than 0.2% THC content.

Australia

In Australia, CBD and other ‘medicinal cannabis’ products can only be prescribed by a registered medical practitioner following an in-depth assessment of the patient’s condition and individual, outside circumstances.

Side effects and risks of CBD

Side effects of CBD are largely uncommon and insignificant.

Short term side effects include:

  • Tiredness + mood changes
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite change

Long term side effects are unstudied as studies have only recently begun on CBD.

Failing a drug test because of CBD

Drug tests look for THC and its metabolites.

Because CBD contains trace amounts of THC a false positive can result from taking CBD so be cautious when taking CBD before a drug test.

Another issue is the quality of the CBD and what it actually contains, according to the Centre for Medical Cannabis, in the UK CBD bought in retail stores and online and tested found that 45% of it had THC in making them technically illegal.

It was also noted, even more worryingly, that one sample tested out of 30 had no CBD in it at all and 62% of products tested had CBD levels more than 10% different to the advertised level, so even well-known brands and retailers are not doing what they should.

Both the Hemp and Marijuana plant, which CBD can be derived from, contain THC.

Industrial Hemp is legal because the amount of THC is limited to 0.2 – 0.3%, where Marijuana plants have no limit, which is why the plant is illegal.

CBD can interfere with your body’s ability to process certain pharmaceutical drugs; specifically, it inhibits cytochrome p450.

As with some other medications, CBD is metabolized in the body by the enzymes in the CYP450 system.

So, in competing for these enzymes, CBD can reduce the metabolism of other drugs, raising their blood levels and having the inhibitor effect described above.

This means that lower dosages are more likely to be required without knowing so. This could lead to the potentially harmful levels suggested above.

Clinical trials have shown this where CBD is provided in hundreds of milligrams (mg) daily. The average CBD supplement pill can range from 10 to 40 mg, therefore the effect may not be as strong in smaller doses of CBD.

Drugs which are affected by grapefruit do have warnings so watch out for these and avoid CBD when seeing this warning.

CBD For Anxiety

Users of CBD for anxiety swear by its positive effects and impact on their well-being.

Dosage is important, even if it is unclear.

Too much can lead to drowsiness and mood changes along with an increased likelihood of the other side effects listed above, but it’s virtually impossible to overdose on CBD based on how it’s sold.

The science behind CBD’s anxiolytic is unclear at the minute with research being done every day.

This research is promising however, studies on humans have shown anxiolytic effects from taking CBD in various situations, with animals the same is true.

With more research a greater understanding of CBD’s relationship with anxiety will become clear, dosage recommendations are likely to be published.

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