Around 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety on a daily basis – that’s 18% of the population. More than one in six take a psychiatric drug, costing American citizens an average of $80 a month.
This being said, there’s no surprise that people are looking for an alternative. The Farm Bill passed in the USA back in 2018 has opened a brand new kind herbal remedy which seems to help with a myriad of conditions, including arthritis, acne, and now, anxiety.
It was thought to be an effective treatment way before the Farm Bill was passed, too, with a report published by The Permanente Journal in 2016 claiming that cannabis oil could be advantageous for people suffering from post-traumatic stress.
A 2013 study conducted on mice found that taking CBD regularly could regenerate neurons in the hippocampus, the region responsible for cognition and memory.
Not only could CBD lower the anxiety levels of millions of patients, but it could also directly impact the functioning of various brain areas and neurotransmitter receptors.
Here’s the science.
What is CBD?
CBD is derived from the hemp plant and is usually taken via CO2 extraction. A carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil is then added to the Sativa material.
CBD will not make a user high in the way cannabis does, as it doesn’t contain half as much THC. In fact, any CBD product containing more than 0.3% THC is actually illegal.
The natural remedy is now worth around $270 million according to Healthcare Weekly, and the number is only expected to increase in the future.
Although people who take CBD for anxiety will not see miracle results, it’s thought the oil can gradually relieve symptoms and the user’s condition will drastically improve as time goes on.
Therapeutic benefits usually take anywhere between 1 and 6 hours to work and it is perfectly safe to take in small doses in most working environments.
Thanks to the Farm Bill, CBD is legal in most states but can still be viewed as illegal on a federal level. You should make sure to check your state’s laws before purchasing, and the laws of any areas you are traveling to.
Types of CBD oil
The process of extracting hemp can make for a variety of products: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, CBD isolate, CBD-Rich Oil/Phytocannabinoid-Rich (PCR) and CBD-infused oil.
CBD Kyro claims that CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD which, at room temperature, forms a solid crystal, but does not contain any of the beneficial terpenes and other cannabinoids.
Full-spectrum oils, on the other hand, contain multiple cannabinoids and substances that are similar to CBD but do not quite have the same properties.
CBD-rich oil is generally used to describe products that have been through a few of the initial filtration and distillation processes to remove unwanted substances and impurities.
It has a much higher concertation of CBD, compared to the original product.
CBD and anxiety
If you are finding the symptoms of anxiety overwhelming of struggle from the side effects of psychoactive medicines, the CBD oil may be an effective alternative for you.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that CBD can reduce stress in animals, so there’s no reason to say it would not have the same effect on humans.
More research, however, is required on the effects of CBD on generalized anxiety before it is officially approved by the FDA.
It could also prove to be effective for insomnia, social anxiety disorder, and PTSD. The endocannabinoid system, the body’s central function system which regulates functions including motor control, pain, memory, mood variations, and immune functionality, is positively affected by CBD.
According to Daily CBD Mag, there are two types of cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2, which are responsible for producing and releasing cannabinoids around the body. CBD works by triggering the body to use and produce more of its own natural cannabinoids.
The website added: “The CB1 receptors are known as peripheral receptors, which means they are primarily found in the brain and spinal cord. The CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are mostly found in the white blood cells and are responsible for maintaining the immune system.
“Initially, it was thought that CBD attaches itself to these receptors to enhance the natural release of endocannabinoids, but this is no longer believed to be the case.”
It’s important to note that if you’re looking to take CBD for anxiety, you should speak to your doctor first so they can set a dosage that is most appropriate for you.
A 2018 study noted that an oral dose of 300mg was enough to reduce symptoms of anxiety – but you should remember that everybody is different and the study was only conducted on 57 male subjects
CBD side effects
People who take CBD regularly tend to experience very little side effects, but those that do seem to find them much less bothersome than the effects of other medication.
For example, some people may experience diarrhoea, fatigue, changes in appetite and changes in weight, all of which tend to settle down with regular CBD use.
You should also speak with your doctor if you already take medication which could interfere with CBD, including blood thinners.
You could experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking CBD, including dizziness, irritability, nausea and brain fog.
Where to buy CBD
As of 2018, CBD is now legal across most American states. In some parts, however, CBD is only allowed for use to treat epilepsy, the only FDA approved use of CBD. In such a case, you would need to get a license from your doctor to be able to buy CBD products.
If CBD is approved for medical use in your state, then you should easily be able to purchase it online or at a specialist CBD dispensary.
You can purchase CBD in a whole range of forms, including vapes, gummies, face creams, body lotions, and even face masks.