CBD Oil for Anxiety: A less talked about anxiety-management option that really works
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), over 19% of adults in the U.S., age 18 and above, have suffered from some form of anxiety over the last 12 months or so. That percentage, in terms of gender, was 14% among the males surveyed, and 23% for females. Worse still is the fact that nearly 31% of all adults in the U.S will suffer from an anxiety-related disorder at some point in their lives.
These are indeed startling figures. Obviously, current anxiety-management protocols aren’t very effective. So, isn’t it time to look for an alternate?
Very often, we hear people brushing off anxiety attacks by saying “It’s just nerves…It’ll go away”! That’s just trivializing a situation that impacts almost 1/5th of the population. Anxiety differs from person to person, and from situation to situation. At a very mild level, anxiety can leave us with a feeling of apprehensiveness about unknown situations – a new relationship, an upcoming job interview, changes in he workplace.
Some Symptoms to Look Out For
- Irregular sleep habits
- Fear, panic and general unhappiness with your life
- Restlessness, typically unexplained
- Shortness of breath, nausea, dry mouth or increased heart rate
- Numbness or tingling in your feet and hands
- Sweaty palms
In some forms, anxiety may be viewed as a motivator for us to move forward with our lives. When some people feel anxious about a particular situation – like their jobs or failing grades at school – they might actually resolve to do something about it.
Left unmanaged though, anxiety can lead to a severe degradation of our lifestyle. At its worst, anxiety disorders can lead to severe disruptions to our lives. Severe anxiety can lead us to shun our friends and families, it can cause us to discard school and work responsibilities, and in very extreme conditions, it can be fatal – leading to suicidal thoughts and actions.
CBD and Anxiety
Traditional medication to deal with anxiety attacks, or to treat anxiety disorders, include branded medication like Zoloft and Prozac, which are a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Physicians treating patients suffering from anxiety may also prescribe benzodiazepines, which are a form of tranquilizers like Xanax and Valium.
Drugs like these often mask the underlying symptoms of anxiety. For instance, people who take high doses of Valium might appear “normal” – yet they aren’t able to function normally. It leaves you with a very restricted quality of life. Drugs like SSRIs and benzodiazepines are also highly addictive. So, if you are a long-time sufferer of anxiety-related conditions, it is likely that you might find it hard to move off your current prescriptions.
And that’s where CBD-based products, like CBD Oil, can really help. Cannabidiol (CBD), an extract from the Hemp plant, is fast becoming a viable alternate for treating anxiety disorders. Until just a few years ago, the most common Hemp extract was tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a highly psychoactive strain that left individuals with a feeling of euphoria usually associated with tranquilizers. While THC has its medicinal uses, it’s ability to get patient’s “high” meant that you weren’t able to function normally under its influence.
In contrast to THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, and that means it offers tremendous medicinal opportunities, including as an alternate treatment for depression, anxiety and other related conditions. But not only is it non-psychoactive, epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that CBD products, such as CBD oils, contain certain qualities that enable them to counteract the negative effects of THC-based drugs.
Due to these properties, CBD holds tremendous promise for medicinal use in the treatment and management of anxiety and related disorders such as:
● Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
● Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
● Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
● Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
● Panic disorder
● Social phobia
● …and many others
Products like CBD Oil, which may be available in a variety of forms such as capsules and pure oil form, interact with our 5-HT1A serotonin receptor to help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Like SSRIs, which prevent the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, CBD is believed to aid in boosting signals to our brains through its interaction with our 5-HT1A serotonin receptors. However, unlike SSRIs, CBD is believed to be a quicker acting substance.
What the Future Holds
A growing number of states across the U.S. have legalized the use of CBD and related products, like CBD Oil, for medicinal purposes. Physicians too are increasingly becoming open to prescribing CBD to patients suffering from anxiety and related disorders.
While future research on CBD, and its impact on the human body, continues, current research confirms that CBD Oil has no adverse effect on the body. And because it CBD is known to reduce cognitive impairment and decrease levels of anxiety, it may be a better option than benzodiazepines or SSRIs.