CBD, which can also be called cannabidiol, is the little-known component of marijuana and hemp that is not psychoactive.
The remarkable health effects of this substance are not yet as widely known as they should be, considering the potential to help so many conditions.
I want to talk about using CBD for anxiety because that is my personal interest. What I also want to get across is that this compound can promote health for many different issues and should not be overlooked because it’s associated with a recreational drug.
In any case, I hope this information can help you begin to understand the wonders of CBD for anxiety!
First: What is CBD?
CBD is a phytocannabinoid with no hallucinogenic or psycho-toxic effects, which makes it extremely safe — one particular strain of CBD called Charlotte’s Web has been an effective treatment for kids with epilepsy that suffer from seizures. In other words… this is not the stuff that gets you high!
Because it lacks THC, the name for CBD was initially called Hippie’s Disappointment. Many strains of CBD oil are now widely recognized for their medicinal purposes.
CBD compared to THC
As of this moment that I write this, more than 100 components have been found in marijuana plants. CBD and the more famous tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the most common and also the best studied.
Thinking about it as one versus the other isn’t quite right because there is no “better”, it depends on the situation and both can be beneficial. Although they both originate in the same plant, it’s very hard to really compare the two because they are so different.
The main difference, obviously, is that THC will get you “high” while CBD definitely will not. Another difference is that while it’s possible to find CBD products that come from the actual marijuana plant, most are likely to come from industrial hemp because of legal hurdles to getting and using marijuana.
THC is Dominant in Marijuana, CDB is dominant in Hemp
Both CBD and THC are distributed through various parts of the hemp and marijuana plant, including in the flowers, the seeds, and the stalk. Both can be found in a variety of proportions but THC is more abundant in marijuana and CBD has higher percentages in hemp plants.
The chemical profile of marijuana is dominated by THC, and actually, this is by design. Marijuana is deliberately cultivated to have the maximum amount of THC content, because people want a powerful high. Over several decades, the marijuana plant has changed because of manipulation and cloning with a specific focus on being able to increase its concentration of THC in order to produce a stronger intoxicating effect.
By contrast, CBD dominates hemp’s makeup, which makes it the ideal resource for getting this compound. In fact, part of how hemp is defined is that it contains a THC component no higher than 0.3 percent, which is almost one tenth of what can be found in even the weakest strain of marijuana.
Does CBD oil get you high?
Well, not to belabor the point but…no. It does not. This misconception is due to its association with THC, but CBD does not contain these psychoactive qualities and cannot get you high! Do not miss out on its benefits because you are worried about this. Now that I hope I’ve made that clear, I want to discuss just how helpful CBD can be for people with anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety manifests as the feeling of anxiousness before a stressful event like taking a test, making an important choice or other situations where you may feel nervous. Anxiety itself is normal and most people will experience it from time to time. But when it reaches abnormal levels that are debilitating to living your life, this is called Anxiety Disorder.
Anxiety Disorder is a physiological and psychological state of emotion, when we have a regular habit of behaving with fear and apprehension. It’s classified as a disorder when this feeling of worry, and the anxiety created by it, actually interferes with living a normal life.
An anxiety disorder is different from an illness or a disease but it is still an affliction and can have an extremely limiting effect on a person. If it’s not addressed, having anxiety long term can cause many illnesses and mental problems including:
Social anxiety – a condition where you’re extremely nervous when socializing with others
Panic attacks – These incidents can happen very quickly and may feel like a racing heart, chest pains, sweating and, in extreme cases, heart attacks
General anxiety disorder – feeling worried about normal situations, on a regular basis
Many physical symptoms – trouble sleeping, panic attacks, dry mouth, tense muscles and nausea
Anxiety disorders may develop at different ages and in very different kinds of people, but most can be treated and improved with conventional treatments like psychotherapy and medication. CBD oil is an alternative that can also be extremely helpful.
I have a quick request for you…..You might experience that people don’t really understand what someone with anxiety goes through. In order to spread awareness, I made a little info card that could help. Pin it, share it wherever you like, and help others explain their problems with anxiety:
Now that’s clear, let’s dive a bit deeper in how the oil could work for your situation:
How does CBD work inside your body?
It’s important to understand some of the basics of the chemical processes happening inside you that can be affected by CBD. The quick version is that there’s something called the endocannabinoid system, which has receptors distributed throughout your brain and the rest of the body. THC stimulates some of these, which are called the CB1 and CB2 receptors, and they are what causes that “high” feeling.
CBD does not activate these receptors and it works instead on receptors for serotonin, adenosine, and vanilloid, which are compounds that influence many processes in the body. CBD also blocks a little bit of the high, because it can inhibit the enzyme that has an psychoactive effect when it’s activated by THC.
Interesting! So what about anxiety?
And now we get to the major benefits that CBD has for sufferers of anxiety! CBD helps activating the adenosine receptors, which are crucial to the release of dopamine— this is a neurotransmitter that affects motor control, cognition and feelings of motivation, pleasure and reward. CBD also acts on glutamate, which involves memory and learning.
In a high concentration, CBD can stimulate the serotonin receptor which exerts an anti-depressant effect. This receptor is also included in processes like nausea, the sensation of anxiety, pain, hunger and the ability of sleep. In this way, CBD has the remarkable ability to improve both the symptoms of anxiety and the anxiety itself.
Like I had mentioned, CBD can actually block the psychoactive effects of THC, which is one reason it’s considered a great idea to combine the two in the purpose of different treatments. But the benefits of CBD do not depend on THC being present, and you can get major help with anxiety using products that are made only with CBD.
Can CBD Help with Anxiety?
Studies have shown that CBD has great potential to help with anxiety because it has a direct influence on our brain’s limbic system.
The limbic system is basically this ancient part of us that helped our ancestors survive, by helping them react appropriately when they sensed danger. This is where the fight or flight response comes from and so the limbic system is involved whenever we feel stressed.
The problem comes when we are sensing danger in situations that aren’t actually dangerous, like when you dread socializing. Our body has become habituated to produce these intense stress signals in normal situations and this is simply not helpful to us. It’s a painful condition which makes it very difficult to live a full life.
Activating the right receptors in your brain
And this is where CBD can help. By stimulating and activating the adenosine receptors, it can have a soothing and calming effect to counter this unnecessary and disruptive physical reaction to the mental stimulus of certain situations. It gives you the chance to calm down and normalize the extreme emotions.
CBD also works on the 5HT1 receptors that produce serotonin. Serotonin is called the “feel good” chemical because it affects our mood and sense of well-being. CBD can help increase levels of this important substance to help regulate our feelings away from the SENSE OF DOOM!
This is actually much the same function of prescribed antidepressants like Zoloft– CBD can be considered the natural version of these medications, with potentially less side effects.
What are Possible CBD Oil Side Effects?
CBD is widely considered to be safe and most people tolerate it well. But like with any other treatment, it’s not a one-size-fits–all situation and can cause negative reactions for some people. These can include dizziness, psychosis, anxiety, depression, nausea, drowsiness or dry mouth.
Another potential danger is that CBD can interact with some medications. It’s important that before you begin using this oil, you have a conversation with a trusted medical professional who can help you avoid any adverse interactions.
How Do You Take Cannabis Oil?
CBD oil can be used in many different delivery methods. You can get it in a syringe that is injected, a capsule you can swallow, a tincture, edibles, by vaping, a topical that is absorbed through the skin– and many others.
Obviously, each of these forms will have its pluses and minuses, depending on the person and the treatment.
Which Oil Should I use?
After trying many different brands, I ended up going back to the Lynx CBD oil. Not just for it’s local harvested and produced high quality oil, but also the $1 donation to charity (of my choice) they take out of their revenue for every purchase. They also make it quick and convenient to buy cbd oil through their website.
Dosing CBD Oil for Anxiety
The most important thing to consider is dosage. Our bodies are all different and our tolerance to different substances will be as well, so you have begin carefully to find the right CBD oil dose that will be right to help your anxiety.
The advice I always give is that using CBD is like putting salt on your food– you can add more if you need it but there’s no way to remove it when you go too far. Don’t oversalt your food!
Your approach should be the same as with taking ibuprofen or a sleeping pill — be precise. Educate yourself on how many milligrams of CBD you should be taking.
My recommendation for a good starting dose is between 5 and 10 milligrams. If you want to, you can add more as you go along. All reputable providers of products like tinctures, oils, edibles, etc. will include clear labels with the number of milligrams for each serving.
The Stepwise Dosing Protocol
One excellent tool for finding the right dosage for you is called the Stepwise Dosing protocol.
During this process you begin with a baseline dose and increase little by little over the course of specific period (usually 3 days) until reaching the ideal dose of CBD that works for you.
Since it’s very common to get good results with a relatively low dose, start small with 2-5 milligrams twice a day and stay here for 7 days. If you’re not getting the results you need, you can begin increasing the daily dose by 1 or 2 milligrams every 3 days until you find the right dose. Once you reach this dose, you might even try decreasing it a little to see if you can reach the same benefits with less CBD.
While you may begin this treatment for one particular condition, like anxiety, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover additional benefits because CBD is a compound that can affect the whole body. For example, CBD can be very helpful with getting a good night’s rest.
If you’re struggling with insomnia, possibly as a side effect of any medications you are taking, consider taking the CBD closer to your bedtime. Getting enough sleep is vital for any condition you are trying to heal.
What is the Legal Status of CBD?
Marijuana and THC are both illegal under federal law, but cannabinoid products can be legal– it depends on how concentrated they are and from where they are sourced. Twenty nine states permit the use of marijuana for medical treatments as long as it’s prescribed by a doctor, and 8 states actually legalized recreational marijuana as well.
CBD is in a different category and it’s available everywhere in the US as long as it comes from hemp–which is high in CBD and low in the illegal THC. This is great news for those of us who want to see how CBD can help treat conditions like anxiety.
Now you know all ins and outs of a possible alternative solution to your anxiety issues. I do hope the benefits of this powerful compound can make a positive difference in your life and wish you best of luck with your treatment! Feel free to share your experiences, comment below 🙂