CBD For Anxiety: How Does It Help?
With the rise of the CBD industry both on and offline, many sellers and users are shouting about the benefits of CBD products. And one of the most common of these benefits surrounds positive mental health and wellbeing, including reducing symptoms of anxiety. But does taking CBD for anxiety really work? Here’s some of the most recent science behind CBD and anxiety to help you stay informed.
We live in a world that’s more stressful than ever before! Modern political, social and economic stresses seem to bombard us at every turn. And we live with devices in our pockets that constantly alert us of all of these issues whilst showing us all of the “perfect” lives of our friends on social media.
These stresses manifest themselves in our daily lives in the form of, well, stress! And as many of us know, stress is one of the leading causes of neurotic health problems such as anxiety.
So, how common is anxiety?
Well, according to MHFA England, there were 602,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2018/19 in Great Britain alone. And in the UK population as a whole, there are upwards of 8 million cases of anxiety each year.
CBD and anxiety
With levels of anxiety on the rise, both the medical and recreational worlds are marketing a variety of coping mechanisms.
Many sufferers turn to drugs and alcohol to manage their anxiety, whilst many others turn to pastimes such as exercise. And of course, many choose to treat their anxiety medically, via medications or psychological therapy.
However, recent reports show that more and more people are turning to CBD to help with anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, PTSD and OCD.
Recent CBD trials and studies
So, let’s take a look at some of the science behind using CBD for anxiety. Of course, the CBD industry is still relatively new, and there’s new research happening all the time. But there is growing evidence to suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) can help to reduce anxiety without any known side effects.
CBD oil is rich in chemicals called cannabinoids, which bind to specialised receptors in the brain. The best-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what makes people “high” after using marijuana. CBD, however, binds to these receptors without producing a psychoactive effect. That’s because CBD oil is derived from hemp, a type of cannabis plant grown for industrial use that has not been bred specially to produce significant levels of THC.
When it comes to using CBD specifically to help manage anxiety, the evidence is positive from a number of different studies. One found that CBD oil could reduce symptoms in people who have social anxiety disorder. Brain scans of participants who had taken CBD oil revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain that are linked to feelings of anxiety. Tests proved that CBD oil reduced symptoms of anxiety in participants, but also interestingly, that it changed the way their brains responded to anxiety.
Another study found that CBD oil helped to treat public speaking anxiety. An analysis of studies to-date concluded that CBD oil can help treat anxiety in various forms. They include social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Why is CBD great for anxiety?
So why is this? We’re still finding out, but it’s all to do with how cannabidiol interacts with the nervous system. Specifically, CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system respectively. This interaction may alter serotonin signals. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays an important role in your mental health. Scientists associate low serotonin levels with depression symptoms. In some cases, not having enough serotonin may also cause anxiety.
And here’s the really interesting part. The conventional treatment for low serotonin is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Such as sertraline (marketed as Zoloft) or fluoxetine (better known as Prozac). These SSRIs are drugs that are only available by prescription. Yet some people with anxiety may be able to manage their condition with CBD instead of an SSRI, feeling the same beneficial effect.
Importantly, studies into CBD oil have found few or no negative side effects – which certainly isn’t the case for the well-known pharmaceutical tranquilisers. This makes CBD a great potential option for people looking for relief from the symptoms of anxiety without unwanted side effects like addiction.
Want to learn more about taking CBD for anxiety?
Of course, if you’re suffering from anxiety or another mental health disorders, you could try CBD for yourself. Or, if you have more questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to get in touch with ULU. We’re always happy to inform and help!
And if you want to know more about the benefits of CBD, check out our blog post: ‘3 Surprising Ways CBD Can Benefit Your Wellbeing.’
Whilst CBD does not have any known negative side effects for those with anxiety, you should never use it to entirely replace prescribed medication without first consulting your GP.
3 Surprising Ways CBD Can Benefit Your Wellbeing
The CBD industry is one of the fastest growing industries within the health and wellness sector. CBD consumers have claimed a number of benefits including positive impacts on both physical and mental health. So, to help you learn more about the benefits of CBD, here are 3 surprising ways CBD can benefit your wellbeing.
1. Anxiety and depression
Many CBD consumers report using CBD products to help with symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Both have pharmaceutical treatment options that, while often effective, also come with several common side effects. A study by the University of Auckland, New Zealand, showed that withdrawal symptoms, sexual dysfunction, weight gain and emotional numbness were all reported by more than 50% of participants taking prescribed medication. Addiction was also somewhat common, present in 43% of cases.
But CBD is now showing promise in clinical trials as a natural alternative to synthetically manufactured drugs.
A study by the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School in Brazil tested four type of CBD dosage in treating anxiety: 600mg, 300mg, 150mg and a placebo. It observed that animals had shown anxiety reduction matching a bell curve relative to dosage. And the 300mg dosage proved to “significantly reduce anxiety”.
There was similar positive news for CBD’s antidepressant properties, with trials showing it had a similar effect to imipramine, an anti-depressant drug, in animal testing.
If you’re looking for more information about CBD and anxiety, check out our recent article, ‘CBD For Anxiety: Does It Really Help?‘
The second reported way that CBD can benefit your wellbeing relates to skincare.
Acne is every young adult’s worst nightmare: a skin condition that even modern medicine can’t quite get on top of. And despite being a physical skin condition, suffering from acne can take its toll on wellbeing and mental health, especially when treatment options are limited.
Two of the long-standing treatment options for acne that come in gel or cream form, benzoyl peroxide and topical retinoids, can take around two months to work. Two months! And this can be made worse for summer acne, as both options cause skin sensitivity to sunlight and UV rays.
So, how can CBD help with acne? Well, one of the main causes of acne is sebum overproduction. A recent Hungarian study showed that CBD was able to reduce sebum production, whilst also acting as an anti-inflammatory agent – Thus helping to keep acne under control. Plus there’s no need to worry about sunshine-related side effects, putting a trip to the beach back on the agenda. And a relaxing sunbathing session is definitely good for well-being!
3 High blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common physical symptom of high stress. As our lives get busier and faster-paced, our risk of developing life-threatening conditions triggered by high blood pressure grows. It is becoming vital to keep our blood pressure in check.
However, initial research has shown that CBD has a positive effect when it comes to reducing both resting and stress-induced blood pressure levels.
One of the secondary factors that help CBD’s acne-tackling properties is also a key factor in its ability to tackle cardiovascular issues. As mentioned above, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. And research has shown that this makes CBD an excellent tool for combating cardiovascular disorders, especially those associated with diabetes.
Learn more about how CBD can benefit your wellbeing
Of course, the world is still learning about the benefits of CBD. CBD’s emerging status means that new trials assessing its properties as a health and wellbeing tool are still on-going. However, there has been clear scientific evidence that CBD can benefit your wellbeing in a number of ways.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of CBD, make sure to read more of our blog content! Here’s an article to learn more about how CBD can help with anxiety, and another about the types, uses and benefits CBD.