Through numerous studies, CBD (cannabidiol) oil has been shown to help people suffering from anxiety. Here, we will look into what anxiety is, what are the causes and cures, and how CBD can help with anxiety.
What is anxiety?
So first we need to define anxiety. Let’s be honest, many people are anxious over all sorts of things, from exam or interview nerves, public speaking or meeting new people. This type of anxiety is normally short-lived and is gone once the cause has been removed.
However, there are 7 known anxiety disorders which don’t simply go away. They can affect daily life, sometimes making even mundane tasks difficult to complete. The 7 diagnosable disorders are;
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Selective Mutism
- Specific Phobia
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
Also, anxiety can be caused by taking a psychoactive substance or some medications. There are also stress related causes such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
However the anxiety is caused, it can be debilitating for the sufferer. To be considered an anxiety disorder, the fear or anxiety must be so severe that it interferes with normal life.
Symptoms of anxiety
The symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person depending on the type of anxiety. For example, separation anxiety disorder is common with children. It may be a reluctance to go to school, a fear of being alone or sleeping away from home.
Specific phobia is specific to a particular fear, such as flying or particular animals, such as spiders. For some people, simply removing the cause is enough, but for others, it can cause a panic attack.
Agoraphobia is a well-known diagnosable anxiety and is caused by the fear of being unable to escape from a situation. It can be caused by open spaces, enclosed spaces, being in a crowded place or using public transport, for example.
Common treatments for anxiety
Treatment options range from psychotherapy sessions, through medication to alternative and complementary treatment such as CBD. Medication is often the first choice of family doctors, perhaps coupled with counselling and only after that are specific therapies considered. There is a clear opportunity here for doctors to prescribe CBD oil instead of more traditional drug options.
Counselling alone may help some sufferers to manage their anxiety, but if not more specialised treatment is probably required.
Various forms of medication are available, such as antidepressants and beta blockers. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Valium work through reducing the amount of serotonin lost within the nervous system. Serotonin helps to transmit the brains controlling signals and a reduction in serotonin slows these signals down.
One issue with the traditional drugs is the potential for addiction or serious side effects. Prozac interestingly lists nervousness and anxiety as possible side effects! Other side effects can include insomnia, tremors, pain and weakness.
Other alternative therapies include yoga, meditation and relaxation exercises. These can help individually or when combined with other methods, by taking the person’s mind off the cause of the anxiety.
How CBD can help with anxiety
Taking CBD oil has reduced anxiety levels in many cases, while the side effects of CBD are usually extremely mild.
CBD actually works like prescription drugs, by adjusting the serotonin levels within the brain. But, there are significant differences when compared to medication.
Firstly, CBD is a natural compound found in the cannabis species of plants. Within the human body, our endocannabinoid system produces a compound that is very similar to CBD. To maintain our endocannabinoid system in good working order, we need to eat a healthy balanced diet, something that does not happen in hectic modern lives sometimes.
CBD, extracted from hemp plants has been proven to help our endocannabinoid system and in turn improve our health.
Not only that, in specific studies, CBD is known to have decreased anxiety levels of patients by increasing our serotonin levels.
It is important to stress that although CBD is produced from the hemp plant, part of the cannabis family, it won’t give you a feeling of a “high”. The compound that produces that effect is present at very low levels in CBD oil. That is why this product has now been approved for use in many countries across the world.
CBD oil can be used as part of a holistic approach to anxiety, combining it with yoga and meditation for example. If you are currently on prescription drugs, consult your doctor first before taking CBD.
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