As the laws surrounding medical marijuana are relaxed, more and more CBD products are hitting the shelves. It’s a popular health supplement that is purported to offer a range of health benefits, from pain management to more rewarding exercise.
But CBD is also beneficial to treating anxiety too. It’s a great natural alternative that is well worth considering if you suffer from some form of anxiety disorder.
Read on to discover more about CBD and why it is the perfect natural anti-anxiety solution:
What is CBD?
The cannabis plant contains a range of different chemical compounds, referred to as cannabinoids. These compounds are 100% natural and occur organically in marijuana.
Cannabinoids can be taken into the body in a variety of means, from swallowing as a tablet, absorbing under the tongue as an oil, and of course smoking, to name but a few. When ingested, these cannabinoids impact the body in different ways.
There are two primary types of cannabinoids in marijuana: tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) is the cannabinoid that causes people to feel stoned or high when they smoke cannabis. It is a psychoactive chemical that affects the mind and can make the user feel anything from happy and giggly to paranoid and anxious.
Until recently, THC was the most well-known chemical compound. However, since the relaxing of the laws around the growth, use, and sale of marijuana, another compound has been thrust into the spotlight: cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol (or CBD) is nonpsychoactive. Rather than feeling giggly or anxious, users often feel relaxed or peaceful. In essence, while THC gets you high, CBD does not.
Many brands offer tinctures, oils, capsules, balms and gummy sweets — you can even buy CBD products for your pet! Each product has its pros and cons, with some (such as oils or vape liquids) providing fast relief, while others (such as capsules) have a more gradual effect.
While the way you take CBD varies, its benefits are the same. It can help you manage chronic pain, improve your gut health, reduce inflammation and, of course, help you cope with anxiety.
How does CBD help with anxiety?
Research suggests that CBD can help treat a range of anxiety disorders. But how does this work?
Serotonin is a chemical that occurs naturally in the human body and is responsible for regulating our mood and emotions. Those suffering from anxiety often have low levels of serotonin.
Sufferers often take a type of antidepressant known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are designed to boost serotonin levels. SSRIs impact certain receptors in our body to help them produce and process serotonin better.
While research on this is small, CBD is thought to work in the same way as these SSRIs. They target serotonin receptors to help us regulate our moods and reduce anxiety.
Why should I look for a natural anti-anxiety solution?
If SSRIs already exist as an anti-anxiety solution, why bother using CBD?
Like most medications, antidepressants have a range of side effects. Some are minor, such as a dry mouth or drowsiness. However, some are more severe — for example, insomnia, diarrhoea, nausea, and even sexual difficulties such as erectile dysfunction or reduced libido.
CBD provides a natural alternative to antidepressants without these unpleasant side effects. While high dosages of CBD can result in side effects in some patients, the dosage recommended for anxiety management falls well below that threshold.
Consequently, CBD is a great natural anti-anxiety solution that sufferers should consider.
How to take CBD to help manage anxiety
CBD can be successful at reducing anxiety and helping sufferers better manage their condition. However, it’s worth bearing a few things in mind before using CBD to treat your anxiety.
Start on a small dosage and only increase if necessary
If you suffer particularly badly from anxiety, you might want to hit the highest dosage as soon as you start. But it’s recommended that you start off small at first.
CBD can be effective at treating emotional disorders like anxiety, but the condition varies from sufferer to sufferer, so it’s important to find the dosage that suits you.
Start on the lowest dosage available from your chosen supplier and monitor your mood over the next week. If you don’t feel any improvement, gradually increase your dosage until you do — simple.
Remember that CBD is a treatment, not a cure
There’s a lot of hype surrounding CBD and its many benefits. And while there’s a lot to be excited about, it’s important to temper this. CBD is not a miracle drug that will cure your anxiety. As such, it should be used to supplement a healthy lifestyle to really get the anti-anxiety benefits.
Good sleeping habits, regular exercise, moderate consumption of alcohol and caffeine — these are all elements of a healthy lifestyle that will help you get the most from your CBD product.
Find the right time to take it for you
As I said earlier, everyone suffers from anxiety in different ways. Some sufferers experience anxiety in social situations, while others feel anxious on a regular basis.
If your anxiety is triggered by specific events, such as social situations or before a big presentation, you should take CBD oil before such an event. If, however, you feel anxious generally throughout the day, consider taking it first thing in the morning on a regular basis.
How your anxiety affects you dictates when you should take your CBD. Consider your own anxiety and determine when is best for you.
CBD is no miracle cure — but it’s no snake oil either. Its benefits for treating and managing anxiety are there, and it’s a natural alternative to antidepressants that is well worth considering. Use the advice above to help inform your decision and start enjoying the benefits of CBD today.