Though more and more scientific research on CBD is coming out every day, growing anecdotal evidence (which is slowly being backed up by science) shows it could possibly treat everything from aches, to trouble sleeping, to even things like side effects induced from chemotherapy One of the most widely recognized things CBD may help with however, is anxiety.
Based on a study from 2018, the top 3 reasons that people used CBD were anxiety, depression, and pain. CBD, derived from both marijuana and hemp is a close relative to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that delivers the high sensation. The difference, is that CBD does not contain enough THC to result in you getting high, which is a plus for many of the users who use CBD for anxiety. For many trying to treat anxiety, this comes much needed.
How else is Anxiety treated?
In the United States alone, there are around 40 million adults who suffer from anxiety, making it the most common mental illness in the United States. Of people suffering however, only around 37% are ever actually treated for their anxiety. But why is this? Currently the main treatment for anxiety is benzodiazepines which are essentially tranquilizers. Of these the most common are Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.
These work in your body by slowing down the nervous system of the body, allowing relaxation both mentally and physically. This however does not come without it’s own risks and side effects Depending on your level of anxiety, or how much of a tolerance to the drugs you have built up you will be forced to take higher dosages. These can lead to issues with school, work, or even day to day tasks like driving a car. Additionally, benzodiazepines to treat anxiety however is that when used regularly, thy can result in addiction if not managed properly.
How does CBD treat Anxiety?
Though the science behind CBD’s ability to combat anxiety is growing almost daily, there is more than just anecdotal evidence to back up the fact that CBD is an effective treatment for anxiety. It is also noteworthy that almost all studies being released on this issue are showing that CBD is useful for treating anxiety.
CBD assists your body in producing serotonin, which can boost your mood and improve symptoms related to many types of anxiety. In fact, one study reviewed over 49 different types of anxiety and concluded that CBD would be an “excellent way to combat anxiety, panic disorders, and perhaps post-traumatic stress disorder.”
In another study scientists took people with public speaking phobias, and gave them either CBD, nothing, or a placebo at random. Those given the CBD were shown to have lower stress levels both before and after public speaking, as well as giving themselves positive reinforcement as to how well they had performed.
All of these studies would suggest that CBD is indeed an effective method of treating anxiety, in most forms.
Yet another study showed that CBD can reduce symptoms of social anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Brain scans of participants in the study revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to feelings of anxiety.
In this study, CBD not only made participants feel better but also changed the way their brains responded to anxiety.
All of these studies would suggest that CBD is indeed an effective method of treating anxiety, in most forms. As more studies continue to get published it will become clearer which forms of anxiety CBD treats best if such a thing is applicable, however at this time there is nothing indicating that there is forms of anxiety that CBD cannot treat.
Could anyone use CBD to treat anxiety?
Just like in any treatment, you should contact your doctor before using CBD to treat anything, as it can interfere with different drugs you already might be taking such as anti-seizure medication can come in many forms, from oils all the way to gummies which you can eat to extract CBD. All of these methods of delivery are effective ways in which CBD can be used. It is also worth noting that despite research on CBD still coming out, the World Health Organization say there is there is no evidence of abuse potential or harm associated with the use of pure CBD.
The Future of CBD and Anxiety
In the 2018 Farm Bill Hemp was moved off of the controlled substances list and is now a crop that can be harvested by farmers and companies for many uses, especially CBD. For now, there are restrictions in place as states are running licensing programs to allow for growing hemp.
As the number of farmers growing hemp increases, there will be significantly more amounts of CBD on the market. This coupled with the anticipated demand increase as CBD becomes more available to consumers, it is estimated that many more people will begin to use CBD to treat anxiety.
It is also likely that with scientific advances in CBD continue a drug will be created for anxiety based off of CBD. Compared to alternative treatments for anxiety, it is seeming like CBD might be a better treatment for anxiety than current drugs on the market.
It also remains to be seen if large medical companies will not only take interest, but produce drugs based off of CBD for anxiety now that it is legal. Conservative estimates for CBD place it on a trajectory to reach billions of dollars in sales by the year 2020.
Overall, it’s clear that CBD has at least some benefits when it comes to treating anxiety. Research will continue to be released on the subject as studies are completed, but for now, it looks like the future for anxiety relief may be here.