People are spending more time and money seeking relief from anxiety, with some even choosing to use cannabis as a tool in achieving this goal.
A growing number of individuals report experiencing success using cannabidiol (CBD) oil for stress reduction and relaxation. Because it is not physically addictive and does not produce any feelings of euphoria, CBD can be used repeatedly without causing harmful effects.
There have been many reports of people being able to reduce or eliminate their anti-anxiety medications while simultaneously reducing – if not eliminating – symptoms of anxiety. While not every individual experiences reduced symptoms after starting CBD treatment, research suggests that it may be an effective option for some.
This article will discuss the potential benefits of CBD oil for treating anxiety, how to use CBD oil to help you relax, and some tips for beginners.
Helps with sleep
With anxiety, there are typically three main symptoms: worry, fear and stress. When you’re in an anxious state, your body uses more of the hormone cortisol to deal with the situation.
Cortisol is a natural compound that helps us feel stressed or nervous. It can be helpful in situations where we need to have some amount of stress to achieve other goals (such as sleeping) but too much of it can become a problem.
When your body is exposed to too much cortisol for a long period of time, it will start to cause what’s called des-regulation. This happens when different parts of your brain cannot communicate effectively with each other, which results in abnormal behaviors.
Certain areas may not get enough exposure to cortisol, so they work differently than normal. For example, someone who has excessive amounts of cortisol may struggle to relax and handle changes well.
There are several ways our bodies remove excess cortisol — like having a good night’s rest, being able to control emotional responses and practicing relaxation techniques. All of these help reduce the effects of stress.
Because CBD reduces the activity of certain receptors in your body, it can help mitigate the overproduction of cortisol caused by worries, fears and stresses. That means less tension, which allows you to focus better and sleep better at night.
Many people report feeling relaxed after one or two doses of CBD oil.
Enhances your mental focus
When you are stressed out or anxious, your mind becomes distracted by worries and thoughts about the issues at hand. This effect can last for hours, even days.
Regular use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil helps reduce this distraction. By acting as an antagonist to serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter, CBD decreases the amount of stress that you’re experiencing.
By enhancing your mental focus, CBD reduces the amount of time it takes to deal with the underlying cause of your anxiety.
It also helps you get back in control of your emotions, which is another way to help mitigate anxiety.
Has anti-inflammatory effects
Inflammation has been linked to anxiety, stress, and depression. When you feel stressed or anxious, your body is in a state of “fight or flight”. Your blood is pumped through your veins, fuel is provided via glucose, and muscles are activated to prepare for battle or escape.
This can result in more cortisol being produced, which stimulates more inflammation. Cortisol also impacts how well we sleep at night, so individuals with anxiety may experience both poor quality sleep and increased levels of this hormone during the day.
CBD reduces chronic inflammation in our bodies, helping us to relax down into sleep and reduce the production of excess cortisol.
Furthermore, studies have shown that cannabidiol has significant anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation can help mitigate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Can reduce seizures
There have been some small studies that show cannabidiol (CBD) may help decrease the frequency of epileptic seizures in children with epilepsy. A 2018 systematic review determined that CBD reduced total seizure incidence, however this was not specific to any type of seizure.
Another study conducted at two pediatric hospitals found that patients under 18 years old who were given an oral dose of CBD had a significant reduction in overall seizure occurrence. This effect was most notable in those experiencing complex partial seizures, such as psychomotor activity or sensory phenomena.
You should be aware that although there are some studies showing benefits from cannabis oil for certain conditions, more research is needed to determine if it works effectively and safely. Because of this, you should definitely speak with your doctor about whether cannabis oils are appropriate for your child’s treatment before adding it to his/her medication regime.
Protects your nervous system
With anxiety, there are actually three different systems in our body that can become over-working. These include the sympathetic nerve system, the parasympathetic nerve system, and the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The sympathetic nervous system is what we refer to as “fight or flight” mode. This happens when you feel stressed or anxious about something. Your body gets ready to fight or run away from an unknown threat by preparing muscles for action, and then once you have triggered this response, it shuts down other parts of the body to conserve resources.
This can be great if you need to prepare for a potential danger, but things may get out of hand if you’re facing too many challenges at one time. Overactive nerves can lead to symptoms like tingling, pain, trembling, and more.
When stressors no longer seem to affect you and you feel calm most of the time, it’s important to recognize what is happening so you can address it properly. Finding ways to reduce stress and manage your emotions is very important.
Can reduce symptoms of schizophrenia
Emerging research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may help alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression in individuals suffering from psychiatric conditions. There are even some studies suggesting it can be used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.
A study conducted by Gosar et al. found that CBD was effective in reducing overall symptom severity of acute psychosis. Results showed that patients experienced significant reductions in delusions, suspiciousness, hostility, excitement, activity, agitation, irritability, mood disturbance, and cognitive impairment when taking CBD compared to placebo.
Another small preliminary trial administered 6 mg of oral CBD daily to 9 participants with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD). The researchers observed modest improvements in self-reported measures of depression at one week after initiation of CBD therapy.
However, these effects did not last longer than two weeks. Given this short duration of action, there is no clear evidence recommending CBD for MDD at this time.
Furthermore, several studies have failed to find any efficacy of CBD for treating general anxiety or panic disorders. However, many of these studies were limited by small sample sizes and/or inadequate doses of CBD.
Can help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
According to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, cannabinoids may play an important role in reducing inflammation in the brain, which can be linked to cognitive problems such as memory loss.
A review of published studies determined that cannabinoid treatments have been shown to improve cognition and neurofunctioning in people with dementia or early stage dementia.
They also found that cannabis extracts containing both THC and CBD improved sleep quality and night time restfulness in patients suffering from insomnia.
Given that one third of individuals over 65 suffer from mild-to-severe anxiety, these benefits are significant. Moreover, there is some evidence suggesting that CBD may even help treat depression in this population.
Therefore, aside from helping alleviate pain, CBD has potential uses in preventing and treating several diseases and conditions related to aging.
Helps reduce symptoms of depression
Recent studies show that cannabidiol (CBD) may play an important role in reducing anxiety, especially in patients with persistent or recurring anxiety.
A study conducted by Epstein et al. investigated the effects of CBD on twenty individuals who suffered from social phobia. Those participants were given either placebo or 10 mg of CBD per day for two weeks.
At the end of this time period, researchers found that those who received CBD experienced significant decreases in overall anxiety as well as fear of talking to people.
Another study conducted by Kumor et al. involved twelve healthy adults who underwent MRI scans before and after they took CBD oil daily for one week.
The researchers discovered that CBD influenced neural activity in areas of the brain linked to emotional regulation. More specifically, it reduced activation in the amygdala – a part of the brain which becomes activated during stress.
Because CBD is a natural compound, it does not produce any harmful side-effects like pharmaceutical anti-anxiety drugs do. However, there are some reports online about possible gastrointestinal discomfort when taking CBD. This article will discuss these potential problems and how to avoid them if you experience any digestive issues while using CBD.
Avoiding stomach pain due to gut irritation can be done by starting out small with t o use less than a couple drops every few hours and see what feels best for you.