Can CBD Help Manage Anxiety?
Almost everyone has felt anxiety at some point, in one way or another. Worrying about future outcomes, apprehension or dread surrounding social interactions, and stress caused by external circumstances are just a few of the many ways one can experience symptoms of anxiety. Throw in a pandemic, constant environmental disasters, ongoing wars and rapidly rising inflation, it’s no wonder that anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders out there, affecting 18.1% of the U.S. population. Neurodivergence often plays a part in contributing to anxiety. As well, we live in a climate of having unlimited access to information, news and media literally at our fingertips. It's very easy to become anxious and overwhelmed by information overload.
Anxiety: Options For Treatment
Treatment for anxiety includes various forms of therapy, pharmaceutical medications and alternative and complementary modalities and techniques including breathwork, yoga, meditation, massage and acupuncture.
Although often effective, anti-anxiety medications such as SSRIs, sedatives and tranquilizers come with a long list of side effects. These side effects include nausea, shakiness, digestive issues, loss of appetite, blurred vision and dizziness. Sedatives can contribute to confusion and memory problems, and heavy-hitting tranquilizers can cause disorientation and lack of coordination.
Many people look to herbal remedies to safely treat anxiety symptoms. For millennia, cultures around the world have been working with plants to create formulas and remedies to help with various health conditions. Cannabis has long been an ally to humans. CBD in particular is known as a safe and gentle way to alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
What is CBD and How Does it Work?
CBD (short for cannabidiol) is one of the many active compounds in the cannabis plant. These active compounds are referred to as phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids mimic the endocannabinoids produced naturally by the body and interact with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for the regulation of many neurological and bodily processes such as stress response, immunity, digestion and sleep. When cannabis is consumed or applied topically, cannabinoid receptors send messages to the brain and nervous system to trigger various regulatory processes.
CBD - A Promising Tool For the Mental Health Toolbox
The evidence from CBD research revealing it as a therapeutic aid is stacking up. Most CBD studies are done on animals. However, more studies done on humans are starting to emerge.
A 2019 study in Japan and another 2019 review in Colorado have both displayed the potential of CBD as an anxiety treatment. The Japanese study performed on teenagers revealed that CBD helped to greatly reduce the symptoms associated with social anxiety disorder (SAD). The Colorado study was performed on 47 patients at a mental health clinic who struggle with anxiety. The patients were given 25mg of CBD daily for three months in addition to other forms of treatment. After just one month, 79.2% of the patients felt improvements in anxiety levels. 78.1% of patients reported increased improvements in the second month of taking CBD, compared with the previous month.
More and more studies and reviews are being published in regards to using CBD and other cannabinoids to help with anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia and other mental health conditions. Cannabis has great potential to help reform the conventional approach to mental health treatment.
Choosing CBD Products
CBD comes in many forms. The choices can be a little overwhelming, and it’s good to know the pros and cons of each product. This process starts by recognizing which anxiety symptoms you are experiencing and familiarizing yourself with the various products aimed to alleviate your specific symptoms.
CBD products include:
CBD Oils and Tinctures
These products are convenient and easy to administer. The liquid is most often taken sublingually, meaning that it is administered under the tongue using a dropper. The skin under the tongue is thinner allowing for the product to absorb into the bloodstream at a fast rate, with effects being felt as quickly as 10 minutes after consumption. This is incredibly useful if one is experiencing a sudden, acute anxiety or panic attack. The Green Dragon CBD has a large selection of CBD oils and tinctures available to order here.
Edibles are a fun and easy way to administer CBD. The only downside is that the effects take longer to kick in - sometimes up to an hour. This is because the compounds have to pass through the gastrointestinal tract before reaching the bloodstream. This makes them less effective for an acute bout of anxiety, but useful for regular long-term consumption. Gummies are a popular form of edibles and The Green Dragon CBD has an extensive selection to choose from here.
Capsules are a great way to take CBD if the taste or texture of CBD oil is a turnoff. The added bonus is that the dosage in capsules is consistent. Click here to check out The Green Dragon CBD’s selection of CBD capsules.
Topical CBD products can help with relieving symptoms associated with anxiety. One square inch of skin on the human body contains over 1000 nerve endings. By applying topical CBD through massage, balms, pain creams, gels and lotions, the compounds directly reach the nerves and soothe the nervous system. This in turn relieves stress, anxiety, tension and overwhelm. Check out The Green Dragon CBD’s selection of CBD topicals here.
Transdermal CBD patches are a great way to treat a specific area of tension in the body. The CBD is released slowly over hours. CBD patches are also discreet and convenient. The Green Dragon CBD offers a variety of CBD patches for different ailments here.
A hot bath is one of the simplest and most relaxing ways to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Why not add some CBD? Here are some CBD bath products from The Green Dragon CBD’s website to help enhance relaxation at bath time.
Vaping is an easy way to ensure that CBD reaches the bloodstream rapidly and effectively. The Green Dragon BD offers a selection of vape juices here and vape pens here.
Another method for instantaneous relief is smoking CBD flowers (buds). Also, many people find the act of smoking relaxing and stress-relieving in itself. Head over here to check out The Green Dragon CBD’s collection of CBD flowers and pre-rolled CBD joints available for order.
CBD Dosage in Treating Anxiety
Currently there are no set dosage guidelines for CBD based on trials and studies. The doses used in human studies vary greatly. As always, proceeding with respect and knowledge is crucial when using cannabis therapeutically. All bodies are different and many factors contribute to CBD tolerance including body weight, metabolism and severity of symptoms. Things to consider doing before consuming CBD include:
- Speaking to a professional. Whether it be your family physician, a clinical herbalist or naturopath, or a cannabis professional, it’s always best to consult with an expert before undergoing a new health treatment. The staff at The Green Dragon CBD are available here to answer any CBD-related questions.
- Determining the strength of the product. CBD concentration varies from product to product and is most often expressed in milligrams. Once you know the strength of the product you can use a dosage calculator or the Accugentix app to calculate an appropriate dose based on your body weight and the severity of your symptoms.
- Starting slow and working your way up to larger doses. This is possibly the most important guideline when trying out a new cannabis product. Everyone reacts differently to cannabis and the safest way to proceed is to start with a very small dose and gradually increase the dose until you find the desired results. CBD effects are bidirectional and may produce different effects at different doses. Start a CBD journal and record the effects of different doses. This will help you to determine what is your most appropriate personal amount.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your products or dosing your products, contact us here!