Anxiety, CBD And You - In The Age Of Coronavirus
Full Disclosure. I suffer tremendously with anxiety.
I have a child with a chronic respiratory illness, and since she was six months old I have read endless papers on her illness. The majority of which were not filling me with hope.
In the end I was diagnosed with Situational Anxiety. Years of therapy and CBT training did help me get a handle on it, and I learned how to mainly control the beast with breathing techniques. I was put on Beta Blockers for a while, but the side effects were almost worse than the anxiety.
I only started using CBD Oil to control the symptoms in the last three years and I have to say that anecdotally, for myself, the results have been fantastic.
However, in this blog we examine the science, so lets get started.
Many factors can cause anxiety. These include:
- Drug and alcohol abuse. Although anxiety can be bad whilst on the drug, it can get even worse when you stop taking it. Anxiety can be a huge withdrawal symptom. Some psychiatric medications can also have the side effect of anxiety. Nicotine and caffeine can be bad for your mental health.
- Childhood experiences: being bullied, excluded or abused. Childhood abuse can lead to longstanding mental illness.
- Other mental health illnesses. If you are suffering from an illness like depression, anxiety often accompanies it.
- Living with stress, pain or having recently experienced intense grief.
- Genetics. There is evidence to suggest that if one of your family members experiences situational anxiety disorder, you are at risk of suffering also.
Worlwide, health professionals often respond to patients suffering with anxiety by prescribing anti-anxiety medications like Xanax, Paxil, and Zoloft.
Cumulatively, prescription rates for anti-anxiety medication increased by more than 65% from 2002 to 2015 in the United States, which has contributed to a 400% increase in deaths caused by overdosing on benzodiazepines(the group of medications used to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression, and phobias).
How CBD Oil Works for Anxiety
Example: You are in a situation that you find uncomfortable and obviously undesirable. In response, your brain activity adapts to the situation. Depending on the intensity of your emotions at this time, your body releases a variable amount of cortisol — the hormone related to stress and fear.
Being in this undesirable situation, you wish the encounter to end. If your anticipation and discomfort are excessive or intense, you begin to feel anxious about it, as your body releases another dose of cortisol.
This can quickly become a vicious cycle that leads to severe mental disorders.
By interacting with the Endocannabinoid System, CBD can help regulate anxiety with the following mechanisms:
- CBD can directly activate the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, a protein receptor directly involved in anxiety, addiction and more. When activated the 5-HT1a receptor can activate other 5-HT receptors, leading to a cascading effect that directly moderates anxiety
- CBD moderates the stress signals by dampening down the neural activity in stress circuits within the brain
- CBD can regulate the HPA axis, which governs the secretion of glucocorticoids, an important group of hormones responsible for moderating stress response.
The Benefits of CBD Oil for Anxiety
Anxiety can come in many forms. CBD may be able to help.
Based on the findings from numerous research studies, CBD has shown the potential to alleviate a variety of anxiety-related disorders:
General anxiety disorder (GAD) By influencing the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, CBD has exhibited anti-anxiolytic properties and can help alleviate GAD.
Social Anxiety Disorder: A type of anxiety triggered by social interactions and can have a negative impact on an individuals ability to socialise. CBD alleviates this form of anxiety by influencing the serotonin receptor and moderating stress response. See this 2011 study
Anxiety can be caused by pain and inflammation. CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidative agent – relieving neuropathic, muscular and inflammatory pain. In addition, CBD help individuals manage pain by binding to the TRPV1 receptor, allowing you to percive pain in a different way.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occurs after a traumatizing event or situation, such as witnessing an act of violence.
Individuals suffering from PTSD can experience flashbacks, stress, anxiety, fear, mood swings. CBD can help manage PTSD by alleviating the symptoms associated with PTSD and modulating how the brain responds to these triggers
The elimination half-life of CBD in human beings ranges from 18 to 32 hours. Meaning that once you take CBD, it can continue to affect you for days.
That said, the active life of CBD—the duration for which you’ll truly feel the effects—is much shorter.
Inhaled CBD typically has an active life of around two hours, while ingested (eaten) CBD lasts for upward of four hours.
Remember this if you decide to try out CBD products for your Anxiety