According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental complications in the United States affecting more than 40 million adults in the U.S. or at least 18% of the population every year. Although anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only about 36% of anxiety patients receive treatment.
Several factors can lead to anxiety. Some of
these factors include brain chemistry, genetics, personality, and drastic life
changes. We are all, therefore, prone to anxiety.
Anxiety affects us differently. Some people
might feel unprepared, unsure, or nervous when trying something new or before
giving a speech. These feelings may manifest in physical symptoms such as
headaches, shortness of breath, or clammy hands.
Anxiety is actually an adaptive response that
can help us cope with challenges or day to day threats. These responses can
help identify and avert potential threats, encourage us to work harder, etc.
However, when we don’t respond well to these triggers, they can become
maladaptive leading to clinical anxiety disorders.
There exist many medications to deal with this
condition. Some of the common drugs include tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax
and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft and Prozac. While some
of these drugs may work, some people may not respond well. There have been
cases where patients fail to see any changes or are unable to tolerate the side
effects. Also, drugs such as Xanax and Valium can be highly addictive.
For this reason, more and more people are
looking for natural alternatives that can help them cope with anxiety
disorders. This is where CBD comes in. But the question is, can it work?
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD (Cannabidiol) comes from the cannabis
plant. It is one of the 120+ chemical compounds (cannabinoids) that are
naturally produced by the plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another
popular compound in the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive. This means
that you won’t get the ‘high’ that is usually associated with cannabis
CAN CBD HELP WITH
Cannabidiol has been touted for its many health benefits, including remedying chronic pain, depression, cancer symptoms, and now anxiety.
HOW DOES CBD WORK?
Before we delve deeper into this subject, it
is worth noting that most studies describing how CBD works for anxiety are
preclinical and based on animal models. This means that more research is still
needed to ascertain the effectiveness of CBD as a natural remedy for anxiety.
That said, Cannabidiol exerts several actions
on the brain that may help explain why it may be an effective treatment for
5-HT1A is a subtype of the serotonin receptor.
According to experts, anxiety can be treated using medications or drugs that
target the serotonin system.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)
such as Zoloft and Prozac treat anxiety by inhibiting the re-absorption of
serotonin in the brain. This ensures that serotonin is available in the
synaptic space, which helps the brain cells to transmit more serotonin signals.
It is believed that this can help boost moods and reduce anxiety. (Of course,
the actual biological process is more complicated than this)
Just like selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors, Cannabidiol may boost serotonin transmission.
According to a study conducted by Spanish researchers,
CBD can enhance 5-HT1A transmission and can actually affect serotonin faster
than standard selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
The hippocampal is a vital brain area
responsible for critical roles such as cognition and brain formation. Scans on
patients suffering from anxiety or depression have often shown a smaller
hippocampus. Depression and anxiety medications, therefore, aim at triggering
neurogenesis (birth of new neurons)
In a study involving mice, it was discovered
that repeated application of Cannabidiol may help boost neurogenesis. A
growing body of research suggests a link between CBD, SSRIs,
neurogenesis and anxiety and depression.
Based on these findings, researchers are
bringing forward data suggesting that CBD may help improve the common
anxiety-disorders in humans.
SUGGESTING CBD MAY HELP TREAT ANXIETY
A study carried out in 2010 found out that CBD
could help remedy symptoms in social anxiety disorder (SAD)
patients. Follow up brain scans on the group revealed altered blood flow to the
brain parts concerned with anxiety and mood regulation. In this study, CBD was
not only found to be effective in making people feel better but also altered
the way their brains responded to stress and anxiety.
In 2011, another study was conducted to find out
whether CBD could remedy social anxiety disorder. In a public speaking test
that followed, people who received 600mg CBD experienced less anxiety, had less
cognitive impairment, were more relaxed and comfortable than their counterparts
who received a placebo.
A 2015 analysis of existing studies concluded
that Cannabidiol has great potential as a natural remedy for different forms of
anxiety including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized
anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In 2017, researchers from Sao Paulo University
in Brazil found out that CBD helped reduce anxiety in patients with social phobia.
It is clear that more studies on human are
still needed to ascertain the link between anxiety and CBD. However,
preliminary findings validating CBD’s efficacy as a natural remedy for anxiety
It is important that all stakeholders in the
health sector come together and see if there is a way to improve this natural
compound to produce even better results. This should be treated as a matter of
urgency, given the huge economic and social cost that anxiety impacts not only
in the US but across the globe.
Touted for its many health benefits, CBD is
growing in popularity every day.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of the 100+ chemical
compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are produced by the cannabis plant.
Several years ago, very few people knew what
the acronym CBD stood for let alone know its benefits. However, this narration
has changed as rarely a day passes without the mention of CBD in connection to
its many natural health benefits.
WHY IS CBD SO POPULAR?
As already mentioned, the cannabis plant
boasts of more than 100 chemical compounds that interact with each other to
bring about the various effects in the human body. However, CBD and THC are the
most prevalent and well-understood of the cannabinoids.
THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol is the
main psychoactive chemical compound in the cannabis plant. It is the main
reason we get high after consuming cannabis.
CBD, on the other hand, won’t get you high.
This makes it an ideal option for marijuana patients who want to enjoy the
super-healing power of the cannabis plant without experiencing mind-altering
Although more research still needs to be done,
preliminary findings have portrayed CBD as a helpful compound in the treatment
of many health conditions. In this post, we will look at some of the benefits
and uses of Cannabidiol, as shown by research.
1. CBD CAN RELIEVE CHRONIC PAIN
Did you know that the use of marijuana for
pain dates back as far as 3000 years ago? However, the exact
components responsible for its pain-relieving effect have just been discovered
a few years ago. CBD is one of these compounds.
Our body is composed of a specialized system
known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system
regulates various body functions such as sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response.
The human body produces endocannabinoids
(neurotransmitters) that naturally bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous
According to studies, CBD may help remedy chronic pain by
either, interacting with neurotransmitters, reducing inflammation, or impacting
the normal functioning of endocannabinoid receptors.
In a study involving 47 multiple
sclerosis patients, it was discovered that those who received
Sativex (a combination of CBD and THC) experienced considerable improvement in
walking, muscle spasms and pain as compared to those who received a placebo.
Several studies have shown that a combination
of THC and CBD can help treat pain in multiple sclerosis and arthritis
In another study involving people suffering
from rheumatoid arthritis, it was discovered that
Sativex helped improve sleep quality, pain at rest, and in movement for all the
CBD HELPS REDUCE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more
than 300 million people suffer from depression. According to WHO, more than
800,000 people die due to suicide every year. Further, WHO states that
depression is the largest single contributor to disability
across the globe. Anxiety disorders are the sixth largest contributor to
These simple statistics show that anxiety and
depression are common medical disorders. You should therefore not feel alone
since, as you have seen, more than 300 million people have gone through the
same or similar things that you are experiencing right now.
Although most people still rely on
pharmaceutical drugs to deal with these conditions, some of these drugs are not
only ineffective but may also have severe side effects or lead to substance
abuse. It is for this reason that most people have opted to take relief in
A group of 24 people suffering from social
anxiety disorder were either given a placebo or 600 mg of CBD just before a
public speaking test.
It was discovered that the group that received
CBD experienced less discomfort, cognitive impairment, and anxiety in
their speech performance than their
counterparts who received a placebo.
Several animal studies have also shown CBD to
have antidepressant properties.
Researchers credit these properties of CBD to
its ability to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin. Serotonin is a
neurotransmitter responsible for regulating social behavior and mood changes.
CBD MAY HELP REDUCE ACNE
According to research, more than 9.4% of
the global population suffers from acne. This is a skin condition that can be
caused by several factors such as underlying inflammation, bacteria, genetics,
and over secretion of sebum.
Researchers believe that due to its ability to
reduce sebum secretion and its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may help treat
According to a study on the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, it was
discovered that the compound helped prevent the secretion of excessive sebum.
It was also discovered that the compound inhibited the activation of pro-acne
agents such as inflammatory cytokines.
A 2016 review highlighted the antifungal and antibacterial effects
of the cannabis plant. It is believed that these properties may help reduce or
prevent infections from pollutants or dirt on the skin.
Although the initial findings are promising,
more study is still needed to verify the effectiveness of CBD as a natural
remedy for acne.
CBD MAY HELP ALLEVIATE CANCER-RELATED SYMPTOMS
We can never talk about the health benefits of
CBD without mentioning its effects on cancer symptoms. It is still too early to
make claims about CBD for cancer, but preliminary findings show that the
compound can help alleviate the side effects of various treatments associated
with cancer treatments.
Another way through which CBD can help cancer
patients is through its pain relieving properties. Both cancer and its
treatment can lead to severe pain, mainly due to the inflammation, nerve
injury, or pressure on internal organs. Too much pain can become resistant to
powerful pain relievers such as opioids.
A study was conducted to find out the effect
of both THC and CBD on cancer-patients who could
not react to the standard pain-reducing techniques. It was discovered that
those who received a combination of both THC and CBD experienced improved
symptoms than those who were treated with THC only. By indirectly acting on CB2
receptors, CBD may help reduce inflammation, hence reducing the pain.
Another common effect of cancer treatments,
such as chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting. Although you can always use
pharmaceutical drugs to treat these symptoms, some of these drugs are
ineffective hence prompting people to seek alternatives such as CBD.
In a study involving 16 people undergoing
chemo, it was discovered that a combination of both THC and CBD helped reduce
chemo-related vomiting and nausea better than the
standard treatments alone.
Some animal and test-tube studies show that
CBD may actually have anticancer
properties. In one of the test-tube studies, concentrated CBD helped
castigate the death of cancerous breast cells in human. In another study, CBD
was seen to inhibit the growth and spread of aggressive cancerous breast cells
However, more studies and research is needed.
If you are a cancer patient and planning to use CBD for the symptoms, it is
crucial that you talk with your doctor first as he will be able to advise you
Other health benefits of CBD include improved
heart health, a remedy against arthritis, muscles spasms, Crohn’s disease, etc.
It is clear that indeed, CBD can benefit human
health in different ways. Pet owners are also turning to CBD for the health and
well-being of their dogs and other pets.
Whatever you use CBD for, make sure to follow the right dosage instructions, this compound is after all a drug like any other. Seek professional advice if you have concerns about side effects of adding CBD to your treatment plan.