CBD and Anxiety
Updated: Mar 4
CBD oil for Anxiety. Do you know someone who has anxiety? Have you had or suffer still from anxiety or stress-related disorder?
If so, there is help! We are understanding more and more every day about what it means to have and live with anxiety, however, it doesn't have to be a life sentence.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense, stressed, or afraid. These can be normal responses to certain situations, for example, you might be worried about paying a bill on time, doing a speech, or you have a job interview coming up. Anxiety is a natural human response when we perceive that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations.
These feelings can give you an awareness of immediate risks and tell you what you need to do in a difficult or dangerous situation. This reaction is commonly known as ‘fight or flight’. ‘Fight or flight’ is a natural and important part of our human body’s chemical processes and can save our lives in certain situations. However, if you remain in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’ then it can cause a host of long-term issues.
Your brain responds to a threat or danger by releasing certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones make us feel more alert so we can act faster, make our heart beat faster, and quickly send blood to where it’s needed most. Even if you have only imagined the danger, these hormones cause the physical symptoms of anxiety.
If you have an anxiety disorder these feelings of fear and danger can be ongoing and interrupt your daily routine long after the threat has gone. They can make you feel like things are worse than they actually are. Everyone’s experience of anxiety disorders is different. Not everyone who has an anxiety disorder will experience the same symptoms.
No one fully understands what causes anxiety disorders as the research is constantly being revised, but it is thought that the following factors may have a part to play:
• Genetics: Some people seem to be born more anxious than others. You may get anxiety through your genes.
• Life experience: This could be bad experiences such as being bullied or losing a loved one. It could also include big changes in life such as moving home, losing your job, or pregnancy.
• Drugs: Caffeine in coffee and alcohol can make you feel anxious. Illegal drugs, also known as street drugs can also have an effect.
• Circumstances: Sometimes you know what is causing your anxiety. When the problem goes, so does your anxiety.
Anxiety is a key part of several different disorders, these are some of the most common types of anxiety disorders:
• Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), Panic disorder, Social anxiety disorder, Phobias, Agoraphobia, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Skin picking, Hair pulling, Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Living with anxiety can be very difficult, but there are steps you can take that might help. Here are some suggestions for you to consider.
Talk to someone you trust, Try to manage your worries, Look after your physical health, Try breathing exercises, Keep a diary, Try peer support.
Let’s have a quick look at currently prescribed drugs for anxiety from the NHS :
Escitalopram – Common side effects: diarrhea, drowsiness, ejaculatory disorder, headache, insomnia, nausea, and delayed ejaculation. Other side effects include anorgasmia, constipation, dizziness, dyspepsia, fatigue, decreased libido, diaphoresis, and xerostomia.
Paroxetine – Common side effects include changes in vision, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, sweating, shakiness, anxiety, sleep problems, appetite problems and decreased sex drive.
Sertraline – Common side effects: drowsiness or tiredness, insomnia or agitation, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, sweating, tremors or shaking, sleep problems (insomnia); or decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve any CBD-based medications for anxiety. However, many studies indicate the substance can be an effective anxiolytic.
One in 13 people around the world lives with an anxiety disorder, making anxiety the most common mental health disorder worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For those living with anxiety, finding a safe method for managing symptoms is a critical concern.
Quick-acting anti-anxiety medication, such as Xanax and Valium, may offer instant relief but can become addictive. Long-range anxiety medications, such as Prozac, may help reduce symptoms over time, but don’t work for everyone and come with a range of known side effects.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and its supporting chemical constituents have recently captured the spotlight as an alternative or complementary treatment for anxiety.
A study in 2010 found that cannabidiol could reduce symptoms of social anxiety in people with a social anxiety disorder (SAD). Brain scans of participants revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to feelings of anxiety. In this study, cannabidiol not only made participants feel better but also changed the way their brains responded to anxiety.
A 2011 study also found that cannabidiol could reduce social anxiety. For that study, researchers looked specifically at cannabidiol to treat anxiety associated with public speaking.
Research published in 2014 found that CBD oil had anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in an animal model (In Vivo).
A 2015 analysis of previous studies concluded that CBD oil is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The report cautioned, however, that data on long-term use of CBD oil is limited. While research strongly points to the role of cannabidiol in treating short-term anxiety, little is known about its long-term effects, or how it can be used as a prolonged treatment.
A 2016 case study explored whether cannabidiol could reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety-provoked sleep disorder in a child with a history of trauma. Researchers found that cannabidiol reduced the child’s anxiety and helped her sleep.
Can we help you?
The role of cannabidiol as a treatment for anxiety disorders remains unclear, as more long-term studies are required to assess the benefits and risks.
For people with anxiety who have gotten no relief from other treatments, CBD oil offers a potential and hopeful alternative solution.
It is important to remember that everyone is unique too their individual CBD journey! Our friendly team is always on hand to answer your questions so please get in touch with us if you would like any more information on CBD and our products!