Smoking CBD for Anxiety - Here's the Truth
Anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million people within the United States. This in effect, makes it the most common mental health illness in the country.
What's so alarming about this fact is that 1 in 3 people never seek treatment for their disorder as a result of fear of judgement and the negative side effects associated with prescription medication.
As such, as more and more emerging research demonstrates that CBD can help to alleviate anxiety, more and more people have been considering the possibility of using an all natural solution to alleviate their symptoms.
Is It Effective?
But, the question that lies to be answered is, does CBD help alleviate anxiety and are there any side effects? The truth to this question is that it does. For most people it can help to alleviate symptoms, while for a smaller percentage of people, it can actually invoke anxiety.
Brief Note About THC and CBD
Before we take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of CBD, it helps to understand the difference between CBD and THC.
- CBD – Non-Psychoactive compound that is being used to treat various conditions.
- THC - Psychoactive compound which is the ingredient in marijuana that's responsible for "high" users experience.
Correlation Between Anxiety And The Limbic System
In order for you to understand the correlation between reduced anxiety and CBD, you have to understand the role the limbic system plays when it comes to causing anxiety.
The limbic system is defined as being the section of the brain that’s responsible for anxiety and emotions. It is responsible for processing stimuli as well as to regulate our emotional responses. Various structures within the brain form the limbic system and those are the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala and the hippocampus. The amygdala in particular, is responsible for feelings of anxiety.
Brain scans show that people who experience anxiety have a larger amygdala than those who do not. Scientists theorize that many people develop anxiety because they experience trauma as a child that lead to an enlargement of the amygdala.
As the child grows older, the amygdala continues to grow and their childhood anxiety symptoms follow them into adulthood. Scientists have also proclaimed that the correlation between anxiety and having a larger than average amygdala is inherited and very much genetic. As such, if you experience anxiety on an ongoing basis, chances are that you can trace it through multiple generations in your family.
CBD Impact On The Endocannabinoid System
Many experts agree that CBD promotes positive health, based on the way it interacts with the body's limbic and endocannabinoid system. As the University of California explains, the goal of the endocannabinoid system is to regulate homeostasis.
What this essentially means is that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for stabilizing various processes such as metabolism, reproduction, appetite, emotions and sleep. As such, when CDB is introduced to the body, it binds to various CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoids receptors located throughout the body.
Once this occurs, it sends signals to the nervous system to take necessary actions to provide a more stable, level of wellness and health.
Prominent Studies - CBD Impact On Limbic System
Various prominent studies have demonstrated that one of the major health benefits smoking CBD can provide is anxiety relief. For instance, a study that was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology aimed to analyze the effects of CBD on anxiety.
They split 40 subjects into two groups, one of which received valium. The other group was given CBD. Upon conclusion of the study, researchers saw that the CBD group experienced a decreased level of anxiety that was akin to the group which utilized valium.
Another prominent study which gained worldwide attention consisted of 10 patients who underwent a double-blind session. All 10 patients had generalized anxiety disorder and never sought treatment before.
During the session, patients were giving CBD for 1 week, then they were given a placebo for one week. After analyzing the results, researchers saw that CBD was able to alleviate anxiety because of how it affected the paralimbic and limbic areas of the brain. Whereas people with anxiety have an overreactive limbic system. CBD helped to minimize said activity, which in turn lead to less anxiety related symptoms.
Plethora Of Benefits
Even though CBD is mostly known for its anti-anxiety properties, it's also worth noting that it provides several other benefits due to the fact that it binds to the endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body. Some of the other benefits smoking CBD can provide include:
- Insomnia Relief - Longer sleeping sessions.
- Stimulates appetite.
- Alleviates Pain
- Diabetes prevention
- Antipsychotic effects
- Anti-tumor effects
Minor Side Effects and Risks
It's also worth noting that CBD use does come with its own set of risks. Some of the side effects of CBD use include:
- Dry Mouth
- Negative interaction with certain medications such as blood thinners.
- Unreliable Vendors - Study of 84 CBD products demonstrated that 25% of sellers provided products with less CBD than advertised.
Doctors Recommendation For Treating Anxiety With CBD
The major downside to smoking CBD to alleviate anxiety is the same downside to any medication that's used to treat stress, depression and anxiety. Some doctors advise that users should be aware of the fact that they could eventually develop a dependency or essentially a crutch for anxiety.
Said in simpler terms, some doctors proclaim that while it may be good that patients address their anxiety symptoms by using medication - prescribed and natural - they can eventually view CBD as being a crutch. They proclaim that by essentially placing a band aid over anxiety, it fails to address the underlying issue.
As such, most doctors recommend that if you do smoke MrHempFlower’s CBD for anxiety, you should consult your doctor and work on an overall treatment plan to address the underlying issue so that you won’t develop a crutch mentality where you can’t function without it.