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Cannabidiol (CBD) and the Impact on Anxiety

By Dan Putnam September 05, 2016 0 comments


Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the main components of the cannabis plant. And while many people still think of cannabis as a recreational drug that can give you a high as well as the munchies, paranoia, or a stoned zombie kind of appearance. However, the truth is that all of these qualities ae actually connected to THC, not CBD. For that reasons, medical research and trials are now being conducted on the use of Cannabidiol for a whole host of conditions, as it is the component of cannabis that is completely safe, and doesn’t cause any altered cognitive function. One of the many uses of CBD, is for treating anxiety.  

What Is Anxiety As A Medical Term?

While we all feel anxious or nervous from time to time, an anxiety disorder is entirely different. There are many different kind of anxiety disorder, however the overall effect of all of them can be totally debilitating, with fear and worry leaving the sufferer feeling constantly overwhelmed. General anxiety disorders can be hard to deal with, as the terror people feel isn’t actually targeted at anything specific, there doesn’t need to be a particular catalyst to spark the feeling of fear and nervousness. This by no means that anxiety only happens to weak or timid people-this is a legitimate mental illness that requires treatment. While external factors like stress may contribute, changes in the brain are also a factor.  Symptoms of anxiety include panic, trouble sleeping, sweating or clamminess, heart palpitations, and dizziness, amongst many more.

How Does CBD Help Anxiety?

It may seem bizarre to suggest using a cannabis extract to treat anxiety, with all the reports on paranoia and social isolation seeming to indicate that using cannabis could worsen the symptoms of an anxiety sufferer. However, by using only the calming Cannabidiol component rather than THC which is the component that causes all of the negative side effects, people with anxiety disorder can go back to leading their normal lives, uninhibited by panic and fear. While CBD is generally an appetite suppressant, it can actually help anxiety sufferers to eat again, not by increasing their appetite, but by relieving their nausea, and removing the sick feeling that is commonly felt in the chest or stomach, meaning they can go back to enjoying all aspects of life including food.

A paper in the 2013 International Neuropharmacology Journal reported on research done on CBD. While the exact functions of Cannabidiol were unclear, they could confirm that CBD is anxiolytic – in simpler words, it is definitely an anti-stress agent. This means it would succeed as a treatment for anxiety, and while much research still needs to be done, as a totally safe component with no side effects, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give CBD a try when dealing with an anxiety disorder.

Why Is CBD Better Than Other Remedies For Anxiety?

While in the early stages of anxiety hypnosis and therapy are a viable option for treatment, and should always be pursued as a way of truly solving the root of the issues and helping the sufferer regain control over their lives, when anxiety becomes crippling, medication is often prescribed alongside this treatment. The side effects from these medications are scary enough, for example drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, vomiting, and restlessness, there is also something far more sinister patients need to worry about. Most anti-anxiety drugs belong to the benzodiazepine family – and these drugs are highly addictive. People who would never abuse drugs easily become hooked, and while the anxiety might be gone, addiction has taken its place.

A study in 2004, published n Chemical World suggested that a drug which could increase the body’s production of anandamide would help deal with anxiety. Anandamide is naturally produced in the body, and taking CBD increases this production, meaning your body can heal itself. While a synthesized chemical that increases anandamide production could be patented by pharmaceutical companies, CBD can’t be subject to patent, as it’s natural, not synthetic, so will remain a low cost option. And it’s non-addictive with no harmful side effects.

In summary, Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural, risk free, non-addictive natural substance, which is currently being explored to treat a variety of conditions, that were previously only combatted with synthetic drugs. While cannabis may sound scary to some, the fact is that CBD, also known as hemp, is full of healing properties. Research is ongoing, and human clinical trials are in progress, but in the meantime trying hemp oil or any form of CBD could drastically improve the quality of life for sufferers of anxiety. It is without doubt worth a try.

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