New research is showing signs that a product derived from cannabis called cannabidiol or CBD could help ease anxiety symptoms. A type of cannabinoid, CBD is naturally found in marijuana and hemp. It is different from THC, the cannabinoid famous for causing a feeling of being intoxicated or high. Tetrahydrocannabinol is most commonly associated with marijuana but if you learn more about CBD, you will find it has many benefits including offering relief from anxiety.
How CBD Oil Might Help Reduce Anxiety Symptoms
It is believed that CBD oil works with a brain receptor known as CB1. All brain receptors are made up of protein. They attach to your cells and pick up various signals from the body. The signals dictate how the cells respond.
It is not known exactly how CBD impacts CB1. It is thought that CBD alters the levels of serotonin in the brain. This is one of the chemicals in the body that play a huge role in mental health. It is common for people with depression to have low levels of serotonin. Some people who have low serotonin also experience anxiety.
Conventional treatments for this include prescribed serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs like Prozac or Zoloft. For some people, CBD oil can be a suitable alternative to SSRIs. You should always speak to your doctor before you change your anxiety treatment plan.
Studies and Research
There are a few studies that point to there being a few benefits for generalized anxiety with CBD oil. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBD reduces stress in animals. Subjects studied were shown to have fewer behavioral signs pointing to stress. Increased heart rates, for instance, were improved.
It has also been shown that other types of anxiety like social anxiety disorder and PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder have also been effectively treated. CBD can also treat insomnia brought on by anxiety.
A study done in 2011 on CBD and its effects on social anxiety disorder were published. The Journal of Psychopharmacology showed that participants received 400 mg of a placebo or CBD. Those who were given the CBD oil had reduced anxiety.
In 2017, another study showed nothing conclusive with the use of CBD oil. The authors could not find evidence that CBD reduced depression. However, for anxiety, there was some promise. The authors recommended that more human tests be done to understand how CBD works better and what does are most effective. More details need to be found about any side effects, as well.
Studies are also being conducted relative to CBD and its effectiveness against neurological disorders. In 2016, a study revealed that there were benefits to it for schizophrenia. The authors even displayed that there is a preference of CBD over prescription drugs as the drugs tend to have serious side effects.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
While CBD is considered relatively safe, some people do experience some side effects. These may include:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Difficulty sleeping
- Change in mood
- Dry mouth
- Mood changes
- Dry mouth
Do not stop using any medications without talking to your doctor. CBD could provide you relief from anxiety, but you could experience withdrawal from stopping other medications These can include being irritable, dizzy, nauseous, or feeling groggy.