How CBD Can Help Treat Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety can sometimes be a crippling condition. Everyone experiences anxiety to some degree. It can be the result of our lifestyle, a consequence of a state of apprehension or a frightful event. Being worried causes anxiety, but when we allow our minds to dwell on troubles or dark thoughts for too much, this feeling can grow to uncontrollable proportions. Panic attacks can prevent us from living a normal life, impairing our psychological and sometimes even physical functioning.

Cannabis has been largely used to reduce anxiety for thousands of years, although it is only recently that scientists started researching on its many medical purposes. Weed was found to be effective to treat several conditions related to anxiety such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, many patients also complain about nervousness as one of the principal side effects of this natural treatment. How is this possible, and how can medical pot be of help for people suffering from anxiety disorders? The answer lies in one of the active substances found in this plant: cannabidiol (CBD). Let’s have a more in-depth look:

What is Cannabidiol (CBD) oil?

All marijuana plants contain several substances known as cannabinoid which possess various psychoactive effects. The main ones are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). The first one is largely responsible for the “stoned” or “high” effect experienced when weed is smoked. It is usually found in percentages ranging from 10% to 20%. CBD has no psychoactive effects, instead, but it has many other effects on your mind as well. It can regulate many body functions, and usually mitigates the side effects of THC. It is generally found in much smaller quantities than THC, usually no more than 0.5% up to 1%.

Some strains of cannabis have been manipulated or selected to contain only CBD, and a highly purified oil is available for inhaling purposes. This oil has no psychoactive effects and is often employed to provide relief from anxiety and pain.

How does CBD help patients coping with anxiety?

The traditional treatment for most anxiety disorders is a group of prescription drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Anxiety is, in fact, linked with a reduction in the levels of a body neurotransmitter known as serotonin, which is vital for mental health. When the amount of serotonin in your brain is too low, you may suffer from many psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety.

Prescription medications, however, do not always work and are associated with many side effects. Some studies found that CBD oil binds to a brain receptor that regulates serotonin signals. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that CBD can reduce stress and lower several behavioral signs of generalized anxiety. Some people may find relief from their panic attacks and anxiety disorders by using this substance. Beware though! Do not stop taking your medications without talking with your doctor, even if you’re looking for an alternative treatment.

There are many online dispensaries which provide high-quality medical marijuana. If you suffer from crippling pain attacks and are too frightened to leave your house, some of them even deliver it directly to your home 24/7.  If you or your beloved one must deal with the terrible burden of an anxiety disorder, now you have an alternative. CBD can be a legal and safe treatment to provide you with that much-needed hand you were desperately looking for. Seek your doctor’s advice, and change your life for the better.

Article by Dr. Claudio Butticè, Pharm.D.

REFERENCES:

  1. Trezza V, Campolongo P. The endocannabinoid system as a possible target to treat both the cognitive and emotional features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Front Behav Neurosci. 2013 Aug 9;7:100.
  2. Crippa JA, Derenusson GN, et al. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J Psychopharmacol. 2011 Jan;25(1):121-30. doi: 10.1177/0269881110379283. Epub 2010 Sep 9.
  3. Khoury JM, Neves MCLD, et al. Is there a role for cannabidiol in psychiatry? World J Biol Psychiatry. 2017 Feb 20:1-16.

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