Feeling anxious from time to time is natural for everyone. In fact, there’s a biological reason we feel fear and anxiety… that’s to urge us strongly to run away from the tiger or snake or falling boulder or whatever it is that’s putting us in dangers way. As a protective instinct, it’s very useful, but our anxiety isn’t always the result of natural predators or immediate dangers and this is when anxiety is a problem.
Anxiety can be all consuming, it gives rise to feelings of intense fear and worry, sometimes with an immediate reason, other times it’s just an uncomfortable nebulous feeling with no identifiable reason to feel anxious, but nevertheless it’s there.
Different Types of Anxiety
Anxiety can fall under a few different types:
- General Anxiety: General anxiety is a more nebulous chronic anxiety, with chronic feelings of anxiety, often worrying about life events.
- Panic disorder: Causes the person to feel overwhelming fear wash over them without reasonable cause, sometimes leading to panic attacks and chest pain.
- Social phobia: Causes a person to feel anxiety in social situations.
- Post traumatic stress disorder: PTSD is caused by past traumas that have not been let go of, often causing a great deal of anguish to the sufferer.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: OCD is characterised by overwhelming feelings of anxiety which are temporarily extinguished by the person doing an action (cleaning, thinking an obsessive thought again).
How CBD Can Help With Anxiety
CBD helps to treat anxiety by acting on the serotonin receptors in the brain. Low serotonin levels in the brain can cause both depression and anxiety. CBD doesn’t actually boost serotonin levels directly, but may work by affecting the way in which your brains chemical receptors respond to serotonin which is already in your system.
A study on CBD’s effects on serotonin receptors found it produced both anti anxiety and antidepressant effects.
Your body has cannabinoid receptors all over your body, including in your digestive system and skin. When using CBD oil, it binds to these cannabinoid receptors, affecting the whole endocannabinoid system, helping with inflammation, mood, pain perception, sleep and more.
CBD vs Antidepressants
While the use of antidepressants can be effective in treating depression and anxiety, they don’t deal with the root problem and more than often when the antidepressants are stopped, the anxiety comes back.
Another concern with antidepressants are the side effects. Long term use of antidepressants can put strain on the kidneys. Another thing that needs to be noted, is that not everyone reacts to antidepressants the same. It is not common, but antidepressants have been known to cause full blown psychosis in some individuals and apart from a psychotic episode can cause hallucinations, altered speech or thinking.
CBD derived from hemp on the other hand is not a psychoactive substance and has very few side effects. The potential side effects of CBD from hemp are generally very minor and only include symptoms such as a dry mouth. Not only does using CBD as a treatment for anxiety have no harmful side effects, CBD will also boost your overall health and help with other health issues such as digestive issues, insomnia and stress.
If the CBD contains THC than the potential side effects are higher, symptoms such as insomnia, restlessness and nightmares have been reported.