Did you know that anxiety is the most common mental illness disorder in the United States? It’s estimated that over 40 million adults suffer from some form of anxiety-related issues, which is approximately 18% of the entire population.
There are many different forms of anxiety, such as general anxiety, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Each of them varies widely in severity from person to person. Unfortunately, these disorders can be detrimental to a person’s health and eventually affect their social, work, and home life. Some of the most common symptoms include panic attacks, depressive thoughts, avoidance of social situations, nervousness, restlessness, or being tense.
Why is anxiety on the rise, and what exactly is the driving force behind this phenomenon? Unfortunately, nobody knows for sure, but it seems we can put it down to various factors that are commonplace in our society now, such as social media, work-related stress, and rapid changes in living circumstances.
With that said, the good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable, and in this article, we will take a closer look into how CBD can help people who suffer from these issues.
What is CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in the Sativa strains, otherwise known as marijuana. It’s the second most prevalent of the active ingredients in the plant. It is an essential component in the medical marijuana movement that we are experiencing across many parts of the USA.
If you’re unfamiliar with CBD, you may be wondering why you would want to take CBD to help cure anxiety as you don’t want to spend all of your days feeling “high.” Well, here’s some good news for you, CBD has absolutely no psychoactive effects, meaning that no matter how much of it you take, you will not experience any mind-altering effects or hallucinogenic episodes. The compound responsible for this phenomenon is called THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is not usually found in most CBD products.
How CBD works for anxiety
So how does CBD work? Well, when it enters your bloodstream, the CBD binds to special cannabinoid receptors(CB1 and CB2), resulting in various health benefits. These receptors are found all over the body, but mostly within the brain and the central nervous system. While studies on this are still relatively thin due to legal issues, it’s believed that CBD influences serotonin production and the signals that are sent to and from the brain.
Serotonin is a key hormone that is well known for its role in influencing our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness, and thus, serotonin plays an essential role in the state of our mental health.
Low levels of serotonin in the body are commonly associated with people who suffer from depression and anxiety. Suppose you suffer from one of these disorders and have been to the doctor. In that case, you will have likely been prescribed an SSRI ( selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), or otherwise known as an antidepressant. However, it’s well known that SSRIs come with their fair share of side-effects, which is why many people try to avoid taking them if at all possible.
Fortunately, over the past few years, CBD has entered the market as a genuine alternative to SSRIs as there are very few side effects reported when taking CBD supplements; plus, they are non-addictive, and you can stop taking them whenever you feel like it. Here is a direct statement from the World Health Organization on this very topic:
“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
How to Use it
Thanks to the recent easing of laws across many US states, there are now various different ways to consume CBD. Here are the most popular methods:
A tincture is an easy to use concoction that you consume by dropping a liquid straight into your mouth. You usually take these products by placing a drop directly under your tongue or spraying it in your mouth. This is one of the fastest-acting ways to consume CBD as it reaches your bloodstream almost instantly.
CBD also comes in a capsule form, which is an excellent option for people who want to be a bit more discrete. It’s also handy for keeping a consistent amount of the chemical in your body as the measurements are more precise in a capsule than in most other forms.
Interestingly, you can buy many CBD products that come in the form of a drink such as coffee, a smoothie, and sometimes even alcohol.
Vaping has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years since the legalization of cannabis in many US states. Fortunately, if you like to vape, you can purchase many CBD vape oils that will work with your vape pen, all with varying dosages and flavors.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a state where cannabis is legalized, just head down to your local marijuana dyspnea, and you will see the vast amounts of CBD edibles on offer. Some examples of edible products include gummi bears, chocolate, baking products, and even beef jerky.
There are many topical CBD products that you can apply directly to your skin. While this is mainly used to ease inflammation and treat pain, it is still a viable option for anxiety treatment.
Last but not least, you can smoke almost any strain of cannabis to ingest CBD. However, just be aware that you will also be consuming the other compounds in the cannabis plant, such as THC, which is anxiety-inducing for a lot of people. If you want to directly smoke cannabis for anxiety relief, we recommend checking out Sativa strains as they usually have a lower THC count and are high in CBD.
Risks and Side Effects
As mentioned, there are not many side effects of CBD, especially when taken in small quantities for anxiety disorders. With that said, here is a list of the most common side effects people experience:
- Dry mouth.
As always, make sure you consult with your doctor before starting any new treatments, especially if you are already taking medication such as SSIs.
Rebecca Akers is an enthusiastic and creative writer at THC Design. Her main goal is to spread information about growing cannabis and its health benefits.
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