Does CBD Oil Work for Anxiety?
There are few more exciting up-and-coming industries than the legal cannabidiol (CBD for short) industry, especially in the United States.
While ancient peoples have long been using cannabis for rituals, medicine, and recreation, the CBD floodgates have really opened in the U.S. since the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018.
The legislation cleared the way for hemp-derived CBD to be produced and sold in the U.S., opening up the massive U.S. economy to the possibilities of CBD as medicine.
Since those floodgates have opened, experts estimate the CBD market could pull in as much as $16 billion by 2025, mostly due to CBD’s potential to be used as a medicine, pain management and helpful for a wide variety of uses.
That valuation is a key reason why so many companies from all over the world have invested in CBD-infused products.
According to a recent report from Consumer Reports, an estimated 64 million Americans have tried CBD products in the past 24 months.
A full fourth of those people who’ve tried CBD reported it helped them deal with mental or physical issues.
In fact, one out of seven of those people says they use it every day.
While CBD comes in many different forms, one of the most popular options is CBD oil. But how exactly does CBC oil work, what can it do for someone dealing with anxiety and does it really help those struggling with issues like that?
We’re going to break that all down here and go into detail about the uses and effectiveness of CBD when it comes to treating anxiety. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
So What Exactly is CBD and How Can It Help You Manage Anxiety & Stress?
CBD is just one of the 400 different chemical compounds present in the cannabis plant, probably the most well-known aside from its botanical cousin, THC.
Unlike THC, the psychoactive chemical component of cannabis that gets people high, CBD is used for a wide variety of other uses like soothing minor aches and pains from working out, helping users sleep more easily and even has been shown to be helpful for treating a wide variety of anxiety issues and disorders.
That means you’ll never have to worry about failing a drug test or impaired driving while using CBD oil — certainly a huge benefit considering the side effects that come along with most prescribed pharmaceutical drugs.
As for addressing mood disorders, there’s no shortage of people looking for relief when it comes to their anxiety either.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 18 percent of the American population deals with anxiety issues every year.
That’s a lot of people looking for relief from a condition that can be annoying at best and totally debilitating at worst.
While anxiety disorders have typically been treated with either psychotherapy, medication or some combination of the two, many patients have recently opted out of both conventional options and instead treated their anxiety with CBD products.
It’s true that we are in the beginner stages of proving CBD effective treatment option for anxiety, patients have responded quite well to the cannabinoid.
In fact, nearly 62 percent of cannabidiol users reported that CBD was helpful to their treatment, with one of the top three categories being anxiety.
These particular benefit patients are seeing likely has to do with the profound impact that CBD can have on a patient’s serotonin levels.
While researchers still don’t have an answer set in stone as to what exactly CBD does to the brain to get the many benefits, but what researchers do know if compelling.
They know that CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors, mostly found in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. That interaction boosts serotonin levels, a feat that’s normally only possible from SSRI’s like Zoloft and Prozac.
For many, it makes more sense to opt for the natural, pharma-free option when seeking treatment.
However, it’s essential that patients take this on a case-by-case basis and always consult with their physician first when deciding the treatment.
A Deeper Look At the Research Surrounding CBD and Anxiety
Among CBD’s many studies benefits, the links between the cannabinoid and anxiety seem to suggest the cannabinoid may be useful for addressing the condition.
One of the earliest studies on the topic was published in Neuropsychopharmacology way back in 2011 showed early promise about the link between social anxiety relief and CBD products.
The study gave 24 participants diagnosed with social anxiety disorders either 600 milligrams of CBD or a placebo an hour and a half before being asked to speak publically.
Those who had taken the CBD reported being more relaxed, less uptight and performed better during the public speaking test.
Today, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that CBD could be a real relief for those suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) judging from lab tests on animals.
Although more research is needed to prove a definitive link, those suffering from related symptoms of anxiety such as agitation, restlessness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and insomnia have reported lower levels when using CBD-based products.
Another compelling example is the way those suffering from PTSD have benefitted from CBD use.
Several recent studies on the subject showed patient improvement when it came to better cope with and controlling nightmares and negative memories often experienced in PTSD episodes.
Along with a mix of both cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmaceuticals when necessary, researchers have been able to identify and isolate CBD as an effective treatment option for those dealing with some of the worst of anxiety disorders.
Another recent study from 2018 showed how important proper dosing needs to be for CBD to be as effective for patients.
During the study, participants were given either a placebo and a 300-milligram dose of CBD 90 minutes before another public speaking test.
The study again found that those who had been dosed with CBD benefitted in terms of calmness, lower anxiety, and better speaking performance.
However, the researchers added an important wrinkle this time around. They then gave subjects either a placebo or a smaller 150-milligram dose, along with a higher 600-milligram dose.
Those subjects who received either the lower or higher CBD dosages saw little to no impact on their testing.
Those findings tell researchers exactly how important getting the proper dosage is per patient when it comes to best deal with their anxiety with CBD-based products.
The Bottom Line
From these findings, it seems that CBD oil can do wonders to reduce their anxiety. According to Consumer Reports, about 37 percent of people using CBD do so to relieve symptoms of anxiety and 63 percent of those people considered their CBD treatments to be extremely or very effective.
While researchers might not be able to tell us exactly why CBD oil can help people manage their anxiety, the fact that CBD can play a major role in someone’s treatment is undeniable at this point.
As we said before, make sure you consult your doctors and mental health professionals before going with an all CBD approach to dealing with your anxiety and always source your CBD for the best possible product.