CBD for Anxiety, Does it Work?

CBD for Anxiety, Does it Work?

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 consumption.

CAN CBD HELP WITH ANXIETY?

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 anxiety disorders.

5-HT1A AGONIST

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.


Findings indicate that CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug.

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.

HIPPOCAMPAL NEUROGENESIS

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.

HUMAN STUDIES 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.


CBD inhibits the fear of speaking in public, a symptom of social anxiety disorder.

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.

WRAPPING UP

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 are promising.

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.


This story was originally posted on MedicalMarijuana411.com.

4 Scientifically-Based Benefits of CBD

4 Scientifically-Based Benefits of CBD

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 effects.

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 system.

CBD can help relieve pain by reducing inflammation

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 patients.

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 58 participants.

2. 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 disability.

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.


Over 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression

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 medical marijuana.

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.

3. 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 acne.

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.

4. 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.

CBD can help reduce the pain associated with cancer and its treatment

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 in mice.

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 appropriately.

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.


This story was originally posted on MedicalMarijuana411.com.

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