A world of controversy surrounds the medical benefits of CBD. We have been taught that cannabis or marijuana is extremely dangerous to human health. However, traces of evidence show that it was widely used even in ancient times for medicinal purposes. In the US, more and more states are legalizing the use of CBD, resulting in health stores stocking their shelves to meet consumers’ demands. They claim it can help treat a lot of illnesses, including anxiety.
Before we look further into how CBD helps with anxiety, let’s understand what anxiety disorders really are.
First Things First, What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety is a normal response of our bodies to stress. In fact, it’s beneficial in some instances, alerting and helping us prepare for potential danger ahead. Every one of us experiences occasional anxiety, like when there’s a problem at work or before a job interview or taking an exam. That’s okay. But anxiety disorders are not.
Anxiety disorders are among the prevalent mental illnesses involving extreme fear, worry, dread, and nervousness. When it becomes intense, it causes constant fear and makes you avoid things you used to enjoy doing. Sometimes it even makes you feel scared of entering an elevator, crossing the street, or leaving your home.
Five major types of anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social Phobia or Social anxiety disorder
What Is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a type of cannabinoid, which is a chemical naturally found in marijuana plants. It’s one of the most common substances extracted from the hemp used in CBD products, such as oils or edibles. Unlike another type called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t make you “high” or intoxicated.
With CBD’s popularity exploding, manufacturers are now adding and infusing it in many various applications. In short, it’s getting added to anything and everything.
CBD Products List
1. Edibles ( chocolates, gummies, hard candies, mac and cheese, lollipop, hummus, cakes, honey, jelly beans, cereal, cheese puffs, mustard, olive oil, coconut oil, gum, etc.)
2. Supplements ( inhaler, tincture/drops, patch, green superfood supplements, post-workout recovery drink, shatter/isolates, suppositories, capsules/softgels, etc.)
3. Body Care (massage oil, intimate lube, face oil, bath bombs and soaks, lotion, hand cream, balm, face mask, body scrub, eye serum, face moisturizers, beard balm, deodorant, etc.)
4. Smoking (vaping, flowers/joints, etc.)
5. Drinks (seltzer/sparkling water, coffee, soda, beer, water, k-cups, cocktails, energy drink, tea)
6. Pet products (pet tincture, pet tropicals, pet treats)
So, How Does CBD Help with Anxiety?
Though CBD has been clinically used to treat children with seizures, promising preliminary data suggests that it can also help with anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia, cancer, pain, inflammatory diseases, substance use disorders, etc.
On the other hand, studies found out that increased serotonin levels can help treat anxiety. Serotonin or also known as “happy chemical,” is a chemical in the brain regulating mood, digestion, sleep, feeling of happiness, and more. Low levels of serotonin can cause anxiety, sleep trouble, and depression. CBD is thought to work by increasing serotonin levels, similar to how antidepressants function.
What Do Studies Say About CBD and Anxiety?
A 2019 study used CBD to treat people with anxiety and sleep troubles. They found out that nearly 80% of these individuals’ anxiety improved while almost 70% reported that their sleep troubles have improved, both in two months.
In another study in the same year, out of eleven patients with PTSD, 91% experienced reduced symptoms after taking CBD.
On the other hand, a review of 49 studies in 2015 found evidence that CBD could help with panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Though studies are slowly revealing that CBD can help treat a wide range of diseases, keep in mind that it is not a “miracle cure.” Besides, we need more research to prove its efficacy and if it’s safe for many health conditions.
While it’s easy to purchase CBD products, be aware that it’s not well regulated. Meaning, the ingredients and amounts on the bottle may not be the same as inside. On top of these, know the CBD laws in your state or country before purchasing.