Chances are you have heard of CBD oil as a suggested treatment for a variety of conditions. CBD oils have been recommended as they may help everything from chronic pain and epilepsy to weight loss or weight gain.
If you suffer from anxiety, you might have been wondering “can CBD help with anxiety?” While CBD hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a prescribable treatment for anxiety, anecdotal evidence and some recent research make a strong case for the efficacy of CBD hemp oil for anxiety.
What is CBD?
Before we discuss whether to use CBD oil for anxiety, let’s spend some time getting a better sense of what CBD is. CBD is cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid that is extracted from the cannabis plant. There are over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, including the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Here are some key facts to keep in mind about CBD specifically:
- Not psychoactive – Unlike THC, which produces a “high” or feelings of euphoria when consumed, CBD does not alter the consciousness of the user.
- Produced from hemp – The vast majority of CBD is extracted from the hemp plant. To clear up some confusion, both marijuana and hemp are plants from the genus cannabis. Marijuana is primarily cultivated for its high THC content and consumed for its psychoactive properties. While marijuana does contain CBD as well, agricultural hemp contains higher concentrations of CBD and thus is more frequently used as the main source for CBD.
- Low Toxicity – One of the best attributes of CBD is that it has very low toxicity. Most people have no negative side-effects when taking CBD. For those people that do experience side-effects, the most common type of side-effect is drowsiness. Typically, any drowsiness experienced will go away after a short period of time of regular use.
CBD and Anxiety
Now that we have a better understanding of what CBD is, let’s look specifically at CBD effects on anxiety. From the outset, it is important to understand that currently, cannabidiol is the main ingredient in only one medication that has been approved by the FDA, a treatment for epilepsy. That being said, there is strong evidence that CBD and CBD oil may be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions including anxiety disorders.
CBD, The Endocannabinoid System, and Anxiety
The effects of CBD occur due to CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a complex system that naturally occurs in our bodies and has been studied for links to pain management, metabolic disorders, and even neurologic diseases such as alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. This system includes cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), lipids, and enzymes. The endocannabinoid system is present in every major organ in our body, including our skin.
The exact ways that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system isn’t precisely known, but it is believed to be through both direct and indirect action on the body’s two cannabinoid receptors. CBD interacts only indirectly with the CB1 receptor by slowing the breakdown of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide. This cannabinoid is naturally produced by the body and is partially responsible for the so-called “runner’s high” some individuals feel after a workout.
CBD also directly interacts with the CB2 receptors that are found throughout the body. These receptors are believed to be linked to how the body deals with inflammation and neuropathic pain. In this way, the use of CBD for pain relief has been purported to be a potential benefit as well.
Broadly speaking, CBD seems to exert a calming effect on the central nervous system. While this has been widely known anecdotally, it was only recently that a study specifically examined whether CBD could be an effective treatment for anxiety disorder.
This recent study released in 2019 found a strong link between CBD treatment and reduced symptoms of anxiety. The study focused on a group of 72 adults, examining CBD effects on anxiety in 47 of them and CBD for sleep in 25. Participants treated in the study for anxiety were administered 25mg of CBD in capsule form with breakfast every day over a 3 month period. Here are some key takeaways from the study:
- Over the first month, 79% of participants noted a decrease in anxiety symptoms.
- Two months into the treatment, 78% of patients reported improvement in their symptoms of anxiety.
- Anxiety scores for participants were reduced rapidly and these reductions were sustained over the course of the treatment program.
- The dose given the participants (25mg) is substantially lower than other similar studies, yet still demonstrated effectiveness.
Recent studies and a large body of anecdotal evidence lends a great deal of weight to the argument that CBD can help with anxiety, as shown through administration in various forms, including CBD oil. Among the benefits of CBD as a treatment for anxiety are its low toxicity and the fact that it doesn’t alter the consciousness of the user. The study we looked at also suggests that even at low dosages, CBD can prove to have a significant and sustained impact on anxiety symptoms.
If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, CBD oil may prove helpful. BioCBD+ offers a wide variety of CBD products with unmatched purity. If you have additional questions about CBD products for anxiety, please contact BioCBD+ today.
BioCBD+ respects and appreciates the hard work the FDA does, and the disclosure below is required by The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.
- “Endocannabinoid System.” Science Direct, Academic Press, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/endocannabinoid-system.
- Meletis, Chris D., and Kimberly Wilkes. “Endocannabinoids, Phytocannabinoids, Palmitoylethanolamide and Their Fascinating Role in Pain Management.” Townsend Letter, 2018.
- Gill, Lisa L. “New Hope for Pain Relief?” Consumer Reports 83, no. 10 (October 2018): 44.
- Shannon, Scott, Nicole Lewis, Heather Lee, and Shannon Hughes. “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.” Permanente Journal 23, no. 1 (2019): 21–25.