Does CBD Help Anxiety?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in Hemp and Marijuana plants utilized for its different medical benefits. Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp is traditionally cultivated for seeds, oil and fiber, while Marijuana is cultivated for its high content of THC, utilized for its psychoactive properties. Currently there are 85+ Cannabinoids known to medical science, cannabidiol being the compound prevalent in the best CBD oil for anxiety. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found throughout the cannabis plant which, when ingested or inhaled, can provide a range of beneficial treatments to an array of different symptoms and ailments. Individuals looking for alternative means of relief can find benefits for treating inflammation, pain, helping anxiety, managing psychosis, calming seizures, spasms, and nausea.
Anxiety & CBD
Unfortunately anxiety, and anxiety related disorders, like Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social phobia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Mild to moderate depression are highly common in the United States. Over 18% of the adult population having some anxiety related disorder. Traditional medications for anxiety range with the severity of the disorder from mild blood pressure medications and serotonin re-uptake inhibitors to basic muscle tranquilizers like benzodiazepines or Valium. Though these treatments can be effective, they come with some seriously side effects and can lead to addition and dependency.
Many sufferers of anxiety and depression use CBD as an alternative way to quell their nerves and restore some feeling of normalcy and retain a higher quality of life. Some suffers have found relief in supplementing with CBD oil for anxiety. Full spectrum CBD is able to provide these desired benefits by interacting with our brains endocannabinoid system, which is our vital molecular system for helping maintain healthy homeostasis. This communication between Cannabidiol and our Endocannabinoid system helps our body remedy any deficiencies or fix potential issues in our body’s ability to maintain a healthy balance. While CBD doesn’t bind with our CB1 receptor, it does interact with other receptors to cause its desired effects. Studies have shown CBD to interact with G-protein and CB2 receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems. This is why the best CBD oil is seen to be so beneficial for those dealing with anxiety. By activating receptors called adenosine receptors, which regulate cardiovascular functions, myocardial oxygen consumption, and coronary blood flow, which allow oxygen and blood flow to circulate more effectively and ease many of the symptoms associated with anxiety.
Research Supporting CBD Oil and Anxiety
Studies on how CBD effects the brain go as far back as 1982. These early studies were the first to understand the relationship between tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Their research suggested that while consuming 1mg of CBD in combination with 0.5mg of THC, patients found that their negative anxious symptoms of THC were blocked by CBD. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that CBD has been shown through research in animals to reduce stress. The test subjects were seen to show decreased signs of behavior anxiety and showed physical signs like a decreased heart rate.
Groundbreaking research by Jose Alexandre Crippa and his colleagues at the University of San Paulo in Brazil and King’s College in London have seen strong evidence for CBD and its beneficial effects on Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Throughout their research they site CBD activating 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptors, which are responsible for its anti-depressant effect. These serotonin receptors are responsible for a range of neurological processes, which include anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea and vomiting. The 5-HT receptors trigger chemical messages to produce either an excitatory or inhibitory response. CBD has a strong relation with the 5-HT1A receptor, it triggers an inhibitory response which slows down 5-HT1A signaling. To conduct their research the team used functional neuroimaging to understand the effects on blood flow and other parts of the brain. The test group was administered an oral dose of 400 mg of CBD. According to the results, CBD was associated with a significant decrease in subjective anxiety. The blood flow to the brain was also seen as a strong correlation to that of an anxiolytic. As Dr. Crippa explains, “These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.” The results achieved by Dr. Crippa and his team are exciting, but a larger sample size is needed in order to say definitively that CBD tincture can be used to treat sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder.
Conclusion on CBD Oil and Anxiety
What we can understand from this early work is that CBD is a nontoxic compound which acts very naturally and works with your body through the endocannabinoid system. These early studies represent CBD’s exciting potential and have garnered the interests of the medical community. Animal studies have laid the platform for full spectrum CBD oil to be seen as real possible alternatives for very serious debilitative disorders. As more studies are conducted this will further validate CBD’s efficacy as an anti-anxiety treatment.
The need for wide base human studies is need in order for the medical community to fully get behind CBD as an anxiolytic. As the legal gray area of Hemp based CBD becomes clearer, we will see an increase in well conducted large group medical journals. It is unfortunate that many of the benefits CBD oilprovides are not been taking advantage of by the people who need it most. It is important to educate the benefits of CBD, as some of those who could benefit immensely by supplementing with CBD are automatically put off by its unwarranted negative association with dope culture. Though it is part of the Cannabis and Hemp plant, when separated and condensed professionally can create an abundance of medical benefits.
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