By Emily Ledger
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions that we face as a society. It is estimated that one in four people will experience the condition in their lifetime. Some people may turn to exercise, meditation, and healthy eating to ease their anxiety, but an increasing number of people are also embracing CBD.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we all live, at least for the time being, it is expected that the disease will be accompanied by a spike in feelings of anxiety. CBD is being studied for its potential in the treatment of a variety of conditions, but can CBD products realistically help in this situation?
Back in 2010, a medical study found that Cannabidiol (CBD) reduced symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder. Many people have reported that CBD oil has been more successful than many other things they have tried. To understand the effects of CBD on Anxiety Disorders, we look at the benefits and science behind them.
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social Anxiety can relate to feelings of intense fear or dread at the idea of social situations or everyday experiences and activities. Other symptoms may relate to low self-esteem, self-consciousness, and panic attacks, among others. The disorder can affect people of all ages (though it is prominent in teenagers and young adults) and can impair normal life.
How can CBD affect feelings of Anxiety?
CBD is known to interact with both CB1 and Serotonin receptors, which are both known to regulate chemicals that affect a person’s mood. The relationship between CBD and Serotonin receptors is still not fully understood, however, studies have shown that it can cause an uptake in Serotonin levels. This is the main chemical responsible for the regulation of anxiety and reduction in depression.
CBD Products are often seen as an accessible and safe way to manage milder cases of Anxiety disorders.
Is there any Evidence?
Research into the effects of CBD has been underway by the World Health Organisation’s expert committee over the past few decades. Modern breakthroughs include a study in 2011, which assessed the effect of CBD on Anxiety related to public speaking. The study found that both physiological reactions, and testimonies of the subjects, experienced a decrease in Anxiety-related symptoms.
In 2015 studies were conducted that indicated CBD could also treat disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress disorder. However, this study did caution that the long-term effects of CBD usage are still unknown.
Are there any Side Effects?
Although there are thought to be no serious side-effects to the use of CBD, some people may experience sleeping difficulties, dry mouth, dizziness, and fatigue. When considering CBD products as a treatment for Anxiety, you should check with your Doctor before substituting any existing anti-anxiety medication.
CBD users often report that they up their dosage over time. Therefore, CBD as a prolonged treatment remains a concept in its infantile stages. However, there is currently no evidence that CBD does any harm to humans, and is categorised by the World Health Organisation as a safe product.