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Benefits of CBD & Hemp Oil for Anxiety

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) estimates that approximately 40 million U.S. adults are afflicted with anxiety in one of its many forms. With about 18.1% of the population affected, many Americans are in search of ways to help manage symptoms naturally. In this article, we discuss the various potential benefits of CBD and hemp oil for anxiety.

WHAT IS CBD?

The hottest health and wellness trend available in the marketplace today, cannabidiol (CBD) is a plant-based chemical compound naturally produced by both hemp and cannabis (marijuana). Scientifically accredited with a vast array of potential health applications, CBD is capable of providing a host of therapeutic effects and benefits. Not to be confused with THC—the compound renowned for the euphoric or otherwise intoxicating effect of cannabis—CBD provides symptom relief with no intoxicating effect.

HOW CBD AFFECTS THE BRAIN

When considering whether CBD is an appropriate treatment for anxiety disorders, it must first demonstrate a direct interaction with highly specialized neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for symptoms of anxiousness. Current research is ongoing, though evidence gathered thus far suggests a link between CBD and serotonin regulation. If this theory is substantiated, then CBD could very well be an appropriate treatment for various anxiety disorders and general symptoms of anxiousness.

CBD AND THE 5-HT1A RECEPTORS

As mentioned above, researchers believe CBD could have a direct correlation with neurotransmitters responsible for serotonin regulation. This is due, in part, to its interaction with the 5-HT1A receptors. When activated, the 5-HT1A receptors aid in the management of the following crucial biological functions:

  • Anxiety
  • Appetite
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Pain perception
  • Sleep

If this theory holds, CBD could directly impact each of these bodily functions upon activation of the 5-HT1A receptors.

EARLY STUDIES & RESEARCH

Researchers began studying the effects of CBD as a potential anxiety treatment with an animal model. After administering a dose of CBD to lab mice, they were monitored for behavioral changes and physical indicators such as altered heart rate, movement patterns, and body temperature. Results demonstrated a direct association with CBD and a noticeably calming effect. They additionally determined that CBD in no way affected the subjects’ ability to perform and complete everyday tasks.

Human trials yielded similar results. For example, a 2011 study concluded that CBD can produce calming effects and effectively reduce anxiety, as well as other symptoms of anxiousness with no impact on the subjects’ ability to function. This evidence suggests that CBD could potentially alter the brain’s response to the stresses of everyday life and common anxiety triggers. Trials such as this may demonstrate the capability of CBD to help alleviate stress and other symptoms of anxiety.

ONGOING CBD FOR ANXIETY STUDIES

Further research into the potential benefits of CBD for anxiety is ongoing. While it may take years to discover evidence sufficient enough to provide definitive conclusions, current studies are analyzing the potential effects of CBD on the following disorders:

  • Chronic depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder (PD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Stress-induced insomnia

The overall majority of the studies mentioned above have yielded favorable results. While researchers have yet to establish definitive proof, various first-hand testimonials vouch for the effectiveness of CBD for symptoms of anxiousness. These highly encouraging anecdotal claims are easy to find and often provide significant insight into the utilization of CBD as a supplemental aid for various symptoms, including anxiety. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Anxiety affects every individual in unique ways, making the overall calming traits of CBD highly favorable. The demand for further research is warranted. However, conclusions gathered thus far demonstrate the efficacy of CBD in helping provide partial (and in some instances total) relief from anxiety disorders and associated symptoms.

For reference, research conducted in 2011 focused on the potential effects of CBD on symptoms of situational anxiety disorders. Results were highly favorable and demonstrated noticeably reduced levels of anxiousness. Additional studies suggest the effects of CBD to be a potentially effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for patients as young as ten years old.

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