CBD for Anxiety
You may be surprised to learn that about 40 million Americans, or just over 18 percent of the population suffer from some type of an anxiety disorder. The reason why it may be surprising is because despite how prevalent clinical anxiety is in our country, it’s something that’s rarely discussed, as many do feel that they must suffer silently due to stigmas attached to the condition. Anxiety is actually the most common mental illness in the world and presents itself in many ways.
Like all mood disorders, there are various ways to treat anxiety, and each person must find their own path when it comes to finding a way to manage anxiety symptoms. But, there’s a product out there that’s really changing the conversation about how to treat anxiety, and it’s completely natural, holistic and gentle on the system. As you may have already guessed, it’s CBD.
There’s a good chance that you already know someone who is using CBD for anxiety, given how extremely popular this product has become. If you’re struggling with some form of anxiety, CBD may really be worth a try. But, in order to reach your goals with hemp, you must know how to take it properly for these specific effects.
What is Anxiety?
Before anything else, it’s important that we clarify what anxiety actually is, because there are still many misconceptions about the disorder. Anxiety and stress are commonly used interchangeably, but they are quite different despite using the same mechanisms of the body. We all have an innate stress response, which is what saved our ancestors from threats to their survival. When we are faced with some form of a threat, cortisol is released into the bloodstream from the brain, which signals a series of chemical responses that trigger the fight or flight response. This is why stress has the unique effects on us that it does, including a faster heart rate, racing thoughts and the feeling of adrenaline surging through the body. It is intended to prepare us for battle should we need to defend ourselves from a serious danger.
However, in today’s modern world, we’re no longer exposed to as many major threats as we once were, such as predators lurking in our environment. Instead, we are faced with intense pressures in our day-to-day life, which trigger the same mechanisms in the body. So, our stress response can be triggered by circumstances such as building work demands, an illness in the family and financial difficulties.
With stress, the symptoms usually pass when the circumstances causing the stress are alleviated. Anxiety is different, however. Anxiety is a long-term disorder in which a person is experiencing the stress response even when there are no serious circumstances or threats. In other words, a person may wake up feeling as though they are in danger, and feel that way throughout the day, despite nothing being wrong.
What are Symptoms of Anxiety?
Anxiety symptoms vary from person to person, and there are various forms of anxiety disorders, which we will be getting into below. The most common symptoms of anxiety are:
- Excessive worry
- Feelings of impending doom
- Racing thoughts
- Fast heartrate
- Tingling sensations throughout the body
- Frequent headaches and digestive troubles.
Some people with anxiety disorders will experience periodic anxiety or panic attacks. Both of these are attacks of the nervous system, causing sudden, drastic physical changes including tachycardia and dizziness, as well as trouble breathing. Anxiety attacks tend to occur as a direct result of a stressful circumstance, while panic attacks seem to come on suddenly and during unpredictable times.
Why Do Some People Develop Anxiety?
So, why do people get anxiety in the first place? There are many causes of anxiety, but the most common is some form of psychological trauma, especially during one’s childhood years. Anxiety is usually caused by an inability to feel safe, and so it’s logical that a traumatic event that feels threatening can debilitate a person’s ability to experience feelings of safety no matter where they are. Many people who experienced a traumatic event in their life will end up with some form of anxiety as a result.
Other causes of anxiety are chemical. Anxiety may be genetic, meaning that a person is more likely to develop anxiety if it runs in their family. Anxiety can also result from certain nutritional deficiencies as well as hormonal imbalances. And, some medications may cause anxiety, as well as underlying illnesses.
What are Some Current Treatments for Anxiety?
There are a number of options for someone who wishes to treat their anxiety, but here are the three most common approaches.
Treatment #1: Therapy
Today, there are many forms of therapy out there, and they’re all worth exploring. CBT is proven to help a person manage their anxiety, and it stands for cognitive behavior therapy, which aims to retrain the brain to follow new and more healthy thinking patterns. There are other forms as well, including psychoanalysis, DBT, ACT and EMDR.
Treatment #2: Medication
More severe forms of anxiety may respond well to medication, which aims to change the way in which the brain functions to ease the stress response.
Treatment #3: Mindfulness
More and more people who have anxiety are turning to mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga, which may both calm the mind through natural means.
CBD for Anxiety: What to Know
CBD is a cannabinoid, which provides cannabinoid receptors in the brain with what it needs to regulate brain functions including the secretion and balance of neurotransmitters that directly determine our state of mind. Cannabinoid receptors play a role in cortisol production, which is the hormone released in moments of stress anxiety. It also affects melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that must be balanced to feel calm and at ease.
CBD for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) refers to an anxiety condition in which the person maintains a consistent state of anxiety despite no real threats. Studies show that CBD may be useful for this type of anxiety disorder.
CBD for Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is a type of anxiety in which a person exhibits anxiety symptoms when around others in social settings. In one study, teenagers with social anxiety were administered CBD with promising results.
CBD for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a form of anxiety that results from a traumatic event and causes the person to develop severe symptoms and fears associated with the event that has passed. One finding found that CBD may have useful effects on PTSD sufferers.
CBD for Anxiety-Induced Insomnia
Many people who have anxiety struggle to sleep, because the constant production of cortisol directly interferes with the hormones needed to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Various discoveries have shown that CBD may have a unique calming effect that enhances and supports sleep.
Taking CBD for Anxiety: How to Create a Customized Routine
To use CBD specifically for anxiety, we recommend going with a tincture or edible that provides a fairly high dose of hemp in a way that can offer effects for hours at a time. Tell your doctor beforehand if you are already being treated for anxiety. Additionally, we suggest taking CBD at the same time each day for the best results.
Dealing with anxiety can be debilitating, but there are treatment options out there. If you prefer a natural approach, use the guide above to take CBD in the proper manner for the best possible results and remember to consult with your doctor or physician first.