If you suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone. According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety affects over 40 million adults in the United States every year. While some people only experience brief instances of anxiety, for others it is an ongoing condition that can negatively affect their quality of life.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to alleviate chronic or frequent anxiety. Traditionally, doctors would prescribe medications such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, many people are now shifting away from pharmaceuticals and opting for more natural remedies like CBD for anxiety instead.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and it is an active ingredient found in the cannabis plant. Scientists have identified at least 113 naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant. These compounds are called cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids. The two major phytocannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.
When most people think about cannabis, they think of it as a drug that gets you high. This is because THC has psychoactive properties that can make you feel euphoric, heighten your senses, and affect your motor skills. However, CBD does not have psychoactive properties, so it does not cause you to get high.
How Does CBD Affect the Body?
Throughout the human body there are molecules called endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps repair and restore balance in the body. Endocannabinoids regulate a vast array of functions including mood, sleep, energy, memory, appetite, pain, metabolism, inflammation, fertility, and motor function.
Studies suggest that some chronic conditions may be caused by endocannabinoid deficiencies. The theory is that if the body cannot produce enough endocannabinoids to perform certain actions, then imbalances may occur. This is where phytocannabinoids like CBD may help. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the body, producing therapeutic effects that mimic what endocannabinoids do.
Can CBD Help With Anxiety?
There is compelling evidence that CBD may be highly effective in managing anxiety and other mental disorders such as depression and PTSD. Numerous scientific publications have presented evidence that suggests that CBD can have a calming effect on the central nervous system and alleviate symptoms of anxiety such as panic attacks, insomnia, and muscle tension.
In 2018, researchers in Colorado assessed the effects of CBD on 72 adults who suffered from anxiety and sleep disorders. For one month, they gave the majority of the participants one 25mg capsule of CBD every day. By the end of the month, nearly 79% of the participants reported a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms and improved sleep.
A 2019 study measured the effects of CBD on 57 healthy male subjects performing a public speaking test. The men were given doses of CBD ranging from 150mg to 600mg or a placebo. The researchers found that the group who took 300mg of CBD reported a significant reduction in anxiety during their speech.
How to Take CBD for Anxiety
Before taking CBD for any condition, it is important to consult with a medical professional. A doctor can advise you on whether CBD is a good option for you, which products are safe to take, and which dosage is right for you. CBD may affect some medications, so it is important to alert your doctor of any medicines you are taking.
CBD comes in a variety of forms including capsules, oils, tinctures, candies, baked goods and teas. You can take it on its own or mix it with food and drinks. It is important to remember that some CBD products may also contain THC. The best CBD products will contain only pure CBD extract.
Like any supplement, there is always a risk of side effects. While severe side effects are not common with CBD, you may experience mild effects such as drowsiness, stomach upset, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, or nausea. Alert your doctor if you experience any adverse side effects.
Holistic Health Resources in Los Angeles
The Holistic Healing Heart Center is Dr. Cynthia Thaik’s one-stop shop for all your health care needs. Often described as one of the best Los Angeles heart specialists, Harvard-trained Dr. Cynthia Thaik is a natural cardiologist and functional medicine doctor who listens to her patients, asking questions about your lifestyle, environmental exposures, and genetic influences that may cause poor health. Many of our patients have asked about taking CBD for anxiety or other health conditions. There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to this question, or to any other medical question. We invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Thaik to discuss your health history, concerns, and the possibility of using CBD of anxiety.
NOTE: This article does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a medical professional before making any changes to your diet, medication, supplements, or lifestyle.