CBD for Anxiety
CBD for Anxiety

CBD for Anxiety. Is there proof it works?

CBD has recently got so much attention and has shown research-proven positive effects against various ailments, including anxiety.

We all have been through stress and anxiety at different stages of our life. You may have experienced it while giving a first-ever public speech or attending a job interview: It’s normal to feel anxious at times which is a natural response of our body to coping with danger to survival.

If it is normal, why is the anxiety a mental disorder? It becomes a health issue when you start feeling uncontrollable and excessive fear or worry for no reason, which affects your daily routine. It becomes more of a nuisance when it impacts your relationships and performance at work/school.

CBD for Anxiety

Moreover, anxiety can manifest as dizziness, breathlessness, sweating, dry mouth, palpitations, troubled sleeping, restlessness, chest pain, trembling, and feeling numb and cold.

Perhaps, anxiolytics can relieve anxiety but at the cost of detrimental side effects.

Does CBD help with anxiety? 

Yes, among many advantages, CBD also produces anti-anxiety effects.

This article will explore CBD in detail and discuss how it can help relieve anxiety.

About CBD:

Also known as cannabidiol is one of the hundreds of constituents(cannabinoids) found in the Cannabis sativa plant.

CBD and ∆9-THC(Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), extracted from the sativa plant, are considered the two most famous bioactive constituents, but CBD carries more health benefits and fewer side effects than ∆9-THC.

 The main difference between ∆9-THC and CBD is that the former possesses psychoactive stimulant properties, in other words, ∆9-THC can make you high and provoke anxiety if taken for a prolonged time. 

CBD products can be of one of three types:

Full spectrum CBD:

It contains all constituents of the cannabis plant and may contain ∆9-THC<0.3%.

Broad spectrum CBD:

It contains all the constituents of the cannabis plant, which is nearly ∆9-THC free (1).

CBD Isolates: 

It contains pure CBD and no other cannabinoids (including ∆9-THC) and therefore, it is the most side-effect free form of CBD.

CBD is available in various forms, including topicals, mist sprays, oil extracts, gummies, vapes, candles, tablets and capsules. 

CBD gummies for anxiety:

CBD gummies have caught more attention because of their appealing colours, variety of flavours, and convenience of taking CBD on the go. However, as with all CDB, it’s advisable to start with a lower initial dose and gradually increase it.

Is CBD good for anxiety?

CBD is potentially effective against mild to moderate anxiety. A study published in Neurotherapeutics found that CBD is potentially effective against various anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, PTSD, generalised anxiety, OCD and panic disorders (2).

Why is CBD better than anxiolytics for anxiety?

Serotonin is a happy hormone in our brain, where low serotonin levels are linked with various anxiety disorders. Optimum serotonin levels stabilise mood, keep us stress-free and promote digestion and sleep. 

SSRIs (selective serotonin uptake inhibitors) are the most common anti-anxiety medicines. However, research shows that therapeutic compounds (such as SSRI) which claim to act on the brain cause addiction, withdrawal symptoms and other side effects which cannot be overlooked.  

CBD seems a great alternative to conventional anti-anxiety medicines. It enhances serotonin levels in the brain by activating serotonin receptors, causing a calming or anxiolytic effect.

Although CBD regulates chemicals in the brain, it neither provokes physical dependence nor withdrawal effects because of its different mechanism of action.

CBD for anxiety in teenagers:

Adolescence/teenage is a crucial phase of life-a major transition from childhood to adulthood. During all that, one witnesses enormous changes internally and externally and having gone through all these teenage changes, experiencing anxiety is pretty understandable.

A source (2021) found that anxiety issues seemed to be more prevalent among female teenagers in the UK (1 in 4th) (3).

However, would it be wise to put a teenager on anxiolytics in this early stage of life? Probably not! Medications relieve anxiety at the cost of daunting side effects such as physical dependency on such medicines for lifelong.

CBD offers the best relief from mild to moderate social anxiety, PTSD and generalised anxiety disorder without any side effects.

It works by enhancing the same serotonin in the brain as an anti-anxiety drug would do. Hence, teenagers can safely calm their stress and nervousness with natural CBD products.

CBD for anxiety in dogs:

Just like us, animals such as dogs suffer anxiety too. Separation, loneliness and noise aversions can be some anxiety-provoking situations for dogs. CBD also induces anxiolytic effects in our furry friends. 

Studies have supported CBD’s anti-anxiety effects on both animals and humans. It is because humans and animals possess an endocannabinoid system (ECS)on which CBD acts by an unknown mechanism to bring calming and relaxing effects.

Can CBD cause anxiety attacks? 

No, CBD doesn’t cause anxiety but relieves various anxiety problems. However, ∆9-THC (another derivative of the Sativa plant, from which CBD is derived) can provoke anxiety if taken for a prolonged time as it possesses psychoactive properties.

 A study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine found potential anti-anxiety effects of CBD (in animals and humans) (4). Besides, CBD could never provoke anxiety even in higher doses, unlike ∆9-THC.

Caution: Pregnant and breastfeeding ladies should avoid CBD products, especially with ∆9-THC.

CBD oil dosage for anxiety:

As per research, in a clinical environment, CBD is safe and well tolerated over a wide range of dosages (up to 1500 mg).

But even a moderately low CBD dose could produce health benefits (including an anti-anxiety effect). For instance, up to 70mg/day is a healthy CBD dose, as per Food Standards Agency UK (5).

However, seek your doctor/GP’s help who can advise what would be the best CBD dose for you.

Best CBD for anxiety:

The best CBD for anxiety would be with less to no ∆9-THC (broad spectrum & isolates are more favourable). Similarly, CBD products with a verified certificate of analysis (CoA) seem more high quality and safe to use.

Which CBD UK products are good for CBD anxiety:

Here is the list of a few credited suppliers of organic CBD in the UK:

In Conclusion

  • CBD or cannabidiol is one of the bioactive constituents of the Cannabis Sativa plant known for its anti-anxiety effects. 
  • It is a side effects-free, well tolerated, and a great alternative to anxiolytics drugs to relieve mild to moderate anxiety symptoms in teenagers, adults and animals (including dogs). 
  • Besides, the best CBD seems to contain no ∆9-THC and holds a certificate of analysis confirming its high quality and originality.

References:

  1. Cather, J. C., & Cather, J. C. (2020). Cannabidiol primer for healthcare professionals. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 33(3), 376–379. https://doi.org/10.1080/08998280.2020.1775437
  • Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  • Sharpe, L., Sinclair, J., Kramer, A., de Manincor, M., & Sarris, J. (2020). Cannabis, a cause for anxiety? A critical appraisal of the anxiogenic and anxiolytic properties. Journal of Translational Medicine, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02518-