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Cannabidiol (CBD) and its Powerful Calming Properties: How do they Work?

By Dan Putnam November 17, 2017 0 comments

When cannabis is mentioned, the first thing that comes to the mind of many individuals is the psychoactive compound THC. However, cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has recently come into the spotlight as the next popular cannabis substance that is proving to have remarkable medical efficacy in treating several ailments. There is much misinformation, confusion, doubt, promise, and research surrounding CBD. Its popularity is rising rapidly as the need for alternative forms of medication increase where conventional medicine has failed thousands of patients. The exact benefits of CBD are still a hot topic, but CBD has shown to have powerful calming and relaxing properties.

The Benefits of CBD Oil

Unlike THC that interacts strongly with one or both CB receptors, causing euphoric effects and feeling “stoned,” CBD has fewer direct effects on the endocannabinoid and can regulate mood, promote concentration and relaxation, decrease stress levels, and improve sleep quality. These and many other potential benefits is why CBD is widely being researched to uncover and understand its health benefits. When administered alone, CBD lacks noticeable effects, but it produces a calming, sedative effect in combination with THC. The anxiety, paranoia, and memory impairment that is often associated with high THC levels in marijuana, which many users find unpleasant or debilitating, is not a reaction linked to CBD. As such, CBD-rich strains of cannabis have particular appeal to medical patients and older cannabis users who dislike the high feeling.

CBD Manages Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety is a normal emotional feeling that is often characterized by anxiousness in situations such as a problem in the workplace, before taking an exam, or making an important decision.  Anxiety disorders on the other hand, can cause such distress that it interferes with your ability to lead a normal life. The constant worry and fear can prove to be overwhelming and disabling. There are different kinds of anxiety disorders, but there are several general symptoms, including feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness, sleep deprivation, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweaty palms, nausea, and muscle tension, among others. Medications such as anti-depressants, as well as psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and relaxation therapy are some of the conventional forms of treatments that are administered to treat varying forms of anxiety. Today, though not widely recognized, CBD oil has been demonstrated as being effective at calming the nerves, which aids in reducing feelings of paranoia and anxiety.

Most evidence indicates that CBD effectively reduces anxiety in users; it is likely to provide benefits when ingested at a sufficient dosage (600 mg – orally) on an acute basis. Source This suggests that CBD is likely to provide immediate relief from anxiety after oral administration of CBD. CBD, via cannabinoid receptors, relieves anxiety by calming down the amygdala, the part of your brain that controls fear. In other words, the amygdala is responsible for triggering the body’s fight or flight response, and CBD administration appears to attenuate this phenomenon to physical and mental stress. One of the added benefits of using CBD oil as an alternative is that, unlike the pharmaceutical drugs that are used in treating this condition, there is no risk of CBD oil becoming additive or harmful to organs such as the liver and kidneys, even when administered for a long period of time. Furthermore, evidence in mice and other animal models have demonstrated that activation of cannabinoid receptors within the brain lowers heart rate and blood pressure responses to stress and reduces panic and anxiety behavior. Source Additionally, there is some evidence suggesting that CBD yields a combination of anxiolytic and antidepressant effects and improves mood, but severe depression cannot be treated with CBD. Source This animal model only lends to the possibilities of CBD in treating anxiety and cannot be generalized to humans.

Evidence has shown that CBD oil with THC has powerful calming and relaxation properties, and at the same time, is not known for triggering a euphoric high. One of the biggest limitations associated with CBD and anxiety research is that studies have largely focused on generalized anxiety and has not been tested extensively among patients experiencing a specific type of anxiety disorder. However, the available studies indicate that CBD is efficacious in treating several of the general symptoms of anxiety, including depression, uneasiness, and fear. CBD is effective by causing a reaction in the amygdala that conditions fear and processes emotion. More research into CBD and anxiety, particularly disorder-specific studies, could possibly provide more information into the full scope of CBD’s ability to treat varying anxiety disorders.

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