A lot of people will suffer with an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. This may be transient, or it could be a long-term problem. Anxiety is an umbrella term that refers to such disorders as:
▪ Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
▪ Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
▪ Panic disorder
▪ Specific phobia
Anxiety often presents itself with other mood disorders such as depression. Symptoms of anxiety include, not are not limited to:
▪ Feelings of panic or fear
▪ Disturbed sleep
▪ Heart palpitations
▪ Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
▪ Dry mouth
▪ Shortness of breath
It’s the most common mental illness and is estimated to affect almost 20% of Americans. This is why it is important to find effective ways of alleviating anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are commonly treated by pharmaceutical drugs, therapy or a combination of the two. However, there are downsides to both of these. Pharmaceutical drugs often come with negative side effects, and therapy can be expensive.
Anxiety can have many causes, and often what works for one person may not be effective for another. Due to the prevalence of anxiety in the population, there is a lot of thorough research into treatments, including alternative treatments, to common pharmaceutical medicines. CBD has been highlighted as having anxiolytic (or anti-anxiety) effects. Let’s take a look at what the research has uncovered about CBD and anxiety, and how it works.
The effects of CBD on various mood disorders, including anxiety, has been widely researched. It has been seen to lower stress and anxiety without the additional psychoactive effects of similar compounds like THC. Many Medical professionals are recommending CBD as an effective low-risk alternative treatment.
Social anxiety disorder is one of the most prevalent anxiety disorders. It affects around 10% of the US population. There is an abundance of research that shows the positive effect CBD can have of reducing feelings of anxiety in those with social anxiety disorder.
A paper reviewing various studies into the effectiveness of CBD concluded that CBD seemed to reduce anxiety in those with social anxiety disorder. In addition to this, another study looked into the effectiveness of CBD in reducing anxiety induced in those with generalized social anxiety disorder when having to give a speech. The study found that, not only did CBD reduce anxiety, but it also decreased cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance.
Just browsing the web, you can read an almost endless amount of research papers that support CBD’s role in reducing feelings of anxiety connected with various disorders. As well as behavioral studies, the kind where levels of anxiety are measured after taking CBD, there are many in-depth neurological studies supporting CBD’s role in anxiety too. An interesting one to look at is one in which researchers measured the changes in blood flow in the brain when CBD is introduced to the body. Scientists believe that the amount of blood flow in different areas of the brain can show which areas are active at the time of recording. They found that CBD affects the areas of the brain known to govern feelings of anxiety.
Further, a study investigating patients with generalized social anxiety disorder found that these same brain regions became active when the patients had taken a dose of CBD and that activation of these areas was also linked to reduced anxiety.
It would seem that there is a lot of strong evidence supporting the use of CBD as an alternative treatment for anxiety.