In this article, we’re going to talk about CBD oil for anxiety. Anxiety is a modern-day epidemic, with 60 million people alone in Europe suffering from it. Also, in the United States, anxiety affects 20 percent of the whole population.
So, What is Science Saying About the Relationship Between CBD and Anxiety?
Let’s look at some research. CBD for anxiety is one of the few fields where studies have actually gone on past mice and onto human models.
Despite the fact that the trials haven’t gone up to that double-blind placebo-controlled kind of studies, the studies are there. A number of studies have actually been conducted in particular to do with CBD and social anxiety.
When researchers were studying the relationship between CBD and anxiety, they did a test. They got two groups of people up on stage to kind of fake a public speaking assignment.
Now, obviously, one group took CBD and one group didn’t and their findings were pretty interesting. They found CBD significantly reduced the feelings of anxiety, cognitive impairment, and speech problems. The placebo group that didn’t take CBD had accelerated anxiety and discomfort.
CBD Interacts with the Serotonin Receptors
CBD has also been found to interact with serotonin receptors that are responsible for our mood and stress levels.
Cannabidiol also works with anxiety by boosting our own endocannabinoid levels, our main endocannabinoid responsible for “runner’s high” and our feelings of happiness is anandamide. This means that we can naturally produce more of the things inside of us that put us in a good mood.
CBD Improves the Anandamide Level
Scientists have actually noticed depleted levels of anandamide in people with depression and anxiety. Anandamide is only produced by the body when it really needs it.
And when anandamide is produced, it gets broken down quickly by an enzyme called the faah enzyme. Now, the interesting thing about CBD is that it actually blocks the production of the faah enzymes. This means our natural anandamide has more time to hang around the body and do those wonderful things we were discussing.
Scientists aren’t sitting here saying that CBD cures anxiety. Rather, science and research are suggesting that CBD is a fantastic way to mitigate the symptoms of anxiety and perhaps make it less cumbersome on the people that are experiencing it.
In the following lines, we will go into more detail on how anxiety develops and how CBD can help with anxiety. We will also take a closer look at the current studies.
How Anxiety Develops and How CBD Can Help
It is normal to feel anxious in certain situations, but when anxiety occurs on a regular basis and for no apparent reason and alters the quality of our lives, then we can say that we have a serious psychological problem.
When someone experiences anxiety during daily tasks, the health and well-being of that person can be severely affected as excessive anxiety can actually disable a person. In other words, that person will not feel capable of performing his or her usual tasks and lead a normal life.
In America alone, 40 million people suffer from anxiety disorders, a situation in which each of these people needs medical attention. When a person receives such a diagnosis, the regular treatment involves antidepressants, like Prozac, anxiolytics like Xanax and or psychotherapy.
CBD for Anxiety: How Do You Get Anxiety?
We’re going to talk about anxiolytic activity decreasing anxiety. Anxiety is modulated through our limbic system located in our brain and it’s made up of the amygdala, basal ganglia, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and the neocortex. What happens with anxiety depending on how your amygdala is perceiving what’s going on is It attaches emotion to situations, to events, to words that are said and to looks that are given.
If the amygdala and this whole limbic system are off, then that would be a trigger to increase anxiety.
So, what CBD has been shown to do is:
- Reduce anxiety in social situations
- Reduce hyperactivity (through this action in the limbic system),
- Activate adenosine receptors (which are calming)
- Activate adenosine, the 5HT1 receptors (which again help with serotonin and they’re sort of the happy modulating neurotransmitter)
The Role of the Limbic System in Anxiety
The activity in the limbic system influences emotional learning, while the amygdala attaches emotion to situations and ideas. It modulates stress reactions through the hypothalamus. By reacting in the hypothalamus, it’s actually helping to control your pituitary and then all of your hormonal systems.
Not only is it helping at the brain level, but it’s also helping the endocrine system in modulating and reducing stress response, that fight or flight we hear about.
And then it helps with emotional regulation, learning, and extinction of fear. When you talk about that, actually all anxiety is based on fear. And it’s just in different levels and different pieces but it’s really an excess of fear which creates anxiety.
Something That Did Not Cause Fear Before Now Leads to Anxiety
It can be actually something that’s threatening or something that potentially can threaten you. On the other hand, it can be a real situation that’s ongoing or it can be what’s perceived to be threatening.
It doesn’t have to be being chased by a bear. It can be, they see a particular situation as stressful and so now it induces anxiety. And as this loop stays, you can get those triggers that spread.
So, you may have one thing that starts to create anxiety but over time if it stays there, the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex can start to build a pattern. Now other things can trigger that fear that wasn’t really creating fear before. So, the idea is to really get this modulated so you’re not having big issues.
Prolonged Stress & High Level of Cortisol
We think of prolonged stress as something that affects the hippocampus. What’s going to happen is what may not have created fear or issues before will now start to create fear and issues.
In the hippocampus, these high cortisol levels developed from that fight or flight mode have actually started to deteriorate the hippocampus. As a result, you get atrophy, meaning you don’t get new cells being formed because every cell in us is replaced. So, if your cortisol stays high, you’re under extended stress for an extended period of time.
It now affects your hippocampus, so now it’s affecting what’s going on with your ability to control your anxiety. And as it continues to escalate, there’s a decrease in synaptic plasticity, so the ability to start to modulate things gets reduced.
Are you someone who withdraws from society because of social anxiety disorder?
Then know that you do not have to continue sitting in your bedroom wishing that you could join in on all the fun around you. While psychotherapy is not harmful, as it involves counseling, antidepressants and anxiolytics have a wide range of unwanted side effects and risks. Regardless of consequences, the people that suffer from anxiety need medical help to keep this health problem under control and get a chance at leading a normal life.
Recently, new hope emerged for all the people that have to deal with anxiety every single day, in the form of a treatment that is highly effective and extremely safe. The answer lies in CBD oil. CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the cannabinoid that is extracted from the cannabis plant.
CBD for Social Anxiety or Even a Phobia
Social anxiety disorder is a condition that induces irrational fear within a person of being among other people because he/she is afraid of what others may think or say about him/her. If this description suits you or someone close to you, then read on.
The role of CBD in the treatment of a great variety of mood disorders has been studied for quite a while now. This enables medical scientists to know that Cannabidiol could be quite effective in the treatment of many of these conditions.
Studies on CBD for Social Phobia
Do you know what frequent occurrence creates the largest amount of anxiety? Believe it or not, it’s having to speak in public that triggers high levels of anxiety. And, in many cases, this fear impairs the ability of people to get this task done. Cold sweat, dry throat, elevated pulse, trembling knees — these are all signs that anxiety got installed before the moment of having to give a speech in front of an audience.
The same can happen in the case of people with social phobias. These people don’t feel comfortable being surrounded by people they don’t know. According to studies, with the purpose of finding out if CBD can help reduce anxiety triggered by public speaking, some amazing things were uncovered.
Researchers discovered that administering CBD prior to the event significantly diminishes the presence of any discomfort, anxiety, and impairment in cognitive skills, allowing the subject to proceed with her public speech with minimum difficulties. The results were compared with a group of people that had placebo treatment, which showed much higher levels of anxiety and discomfort. So, the group that received CBD managed to remain calmer and complete their task in a more normal fashion.