CBD For Anxiety and Depression: Does it Work?

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With all its purported benefits, it’s no big surprise that cannabidiol has been thrust into the wellness and health spotlight. This non-psychoactive compound is derived from cannabis plants, and it can potentially be used to treat several conditions. Though more research is needed, mounting anecdotal evidence proves that it may help users with everything from insomnia to aches, pains, and chemotherapy-related nausea. One of the most well-known things it may treat, though, is general anxiety.

According to a recent study of cannabidiol users, anxiety is a top reason for the consumption of the cannabis derivative, along with pain and depression. When we consider that almost 20% of American adults suffer from anxiety in some form, CBD may offer significant relief. Before you purchase or use these products, however, you should do some research and consult your physician. To begin, here’s a guide on how to use CBD oil for anxiety.


Anxiety Explained

Anxiety is the human body’s natural stress response, and it typically involves feelings of apprehension about future events. Symptoms might include faster breathing, elevated heart rate, fatigue, and sweating. For most users, anxiety isn’t socially or personally debilitating, but it may still cause occasional discomfort. Stress may accumulate with time, causing sadness, irritability, and physical symptoms.

In some people, however, anxiety can be overwhelming, intense, and all-consuming. Everyday occurrences may induce fear and panic, making the condition a real challenge to treat. Typical signs of general anxiety disorder include worry, excessive anxiety, and emotional distress. Social anxiety disorder, a condition in which ordinary social situations induce anxiety, is another common condition that brings symptoms such as fear, depression, irrational thoughts, and heart palpitations.

Finally, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a frequently overlooked type of anxiety. Here, patients experience obsessive or excessive thoughts that lead to impulsive and repetitive behaviors. OCD can be very debilitating as intrusive thoughts may overwhelm a person’s normal behavior patterns.


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Are Anxiety and Stress Harmful?

While a small amount of the stress hormone cortisol is necessary, the human body wasn’t designed to be under constant stress. A continually high cortisol level can be debilitating, creating consequences such as heart disease, depression, diminished immune function, digestive issues, headaches, endocannabinoid imbalances, and weight gain.

For low-level anxiety, meditation, exercise, therapy, and other coping strategies may work. However, for some users, that’s not enough. If you suffer from a chronic anxiety condition, there’s mounting scientific evidence that CBD oils may help.


What Is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is just one of over 100 chemical compounds derived from cannabis plants, which produce industrial hemp and marijuana. CBD is a close chemical relative of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, with the two chemicals separated by the placement of one atom. Despite their similarities, there’s a notable difference: THC provides a high, while CBD does not. Products sold in dispensaries and in other places are derived from hemp, which can legally contain 0.3% THC or less. Therefore, you won’t get high, no matter how much CBD oil you consume.


How CBD Helps to Treat Anxiety

While much more research is needed, cannabidiol is thought to lessen anxiety by helping our bodies process serotonin, a neurotransmitter and hormone that helps to regulate emotions. The process is believed to work much like that of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a group of depression and anxiety medicines.

SSRI drugs target receptors known as 5-HT1As, working to increase serotonin availability within the brain and boost the user’s mood. A 2019 study done on rats found that cannabidiol enhanced the transmission of 5-HT1A, reducing anxious behavior. Now, researchers are performing clinical trials to see if the CBD and anxiety link works the same way in humans.


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Other Research on Anxiety and CBD

While much of the positive proof for low-dose, daily pure CBD oil is anecdotal, the medical community is starting to discover cannabidiol’s anti-anxiety properties. For instance, a 2011 study involved participants with a fear of public speaking. It found proof that cannabidiol may reduce users’ anxiety and negative self-dialogue. A review of almost 50 other studies found that CBD may work to reduce symptoms of panic disorder, PTSD, and anxiety.


How To Use CBD for Anxiety

CBD isn’t right for every user. It may interact with anti-seizure medicines and blood thinners, so it should be used with caution in those taking such drugs. With that said, regardless of your condition, it’s crucial to consult your doctor before using CBD products.

Once you’ve received medical clearance, consider starting with a CBD tincture. These products are highly bioavailable, which means they’re easily absorbed by the body. If you’ve never used CBD products before, keep these tips in mind.

  • Start slowly and carefully. Begin by taking a dropper full of liquid and putting it under your tongue. This approach is known as the sublingual method. Let the tincture or full spectrum CBD oil sit for several seconds so it’s absorbed into the bloodstream before it’s swallowed.
  • Calculate the appropriate dose. This step is a bit tricky. There’s no dosing recommendation for cannabidiol, which means it’s a matter of trial and error. Every person is different, and you’ll likely have to try a few different dosages before finding one that works for you.

Many experts suggest beginning with a low-strength product, taking a one-millimeter dose about an hour before bedtime. In most cases, this works out to be a dropper full, but it’s important to read the product’s packaging to be sure. When starting a routine with the best cbd oil tincture, you may have to stick with it for a few weeks before seeing and feeling its effects.


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Finding High-Quality Cannabidiol Products

After you’ve done some research on CBD oil for sale, it’s important to find a company that shares its third-party testing results. With this documentation, you’ll be able to see exactly how much cannabidiol is in each product and ensure that they contain no harmful additives. If you want to play it safe when you buy tinctures and other products, find out where the company’s hemp is cultivated, produced, and processed.


In Conclusion

Using CBD oil for anxiety is a popular treatment method for people suffering from these debilitating conditions. The oil’s effects on general health are potentially tremendous, which means that more people are turning toward it as a natural remedy. Finding the right CBD dosage for anxiety can be tricky, and it’s important to discuss the benefits and risks with a doctor before starting. With proper use, CBD can safely and effectively treat these conditions.