Using CBD for anxiety can be a great, natural way to reduce the anxiety symptoms that destroy the lives of so many. Here’s how it works.
I am writing this post firstly because I’ve experienced, firsthand, the effects of CBD for social anxiety. A calm feeling floods my mind but I don’t get high at all and there are literally little-to-no side effects if I get my dosage right.
The surge of positivity hits me like a tow-truck and I’m off about my regular day, like nothing has ever troubled me before.
The only downside is that I have to re-medicate every couple of hours.
Or is that a downside?
The good news doesn’t end there, because studies suggest that CBD can have this same effect on all anxiety disorders, from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), to PTSD and specific phobias.
I am passionate about promoting CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders but I won’t simply use my subjective experience to pitch this to you.
In fact, I’ve analyzed every single CBD study I could find, as well as hundreds of user experiences, and compiled all the information into five bite sized chunks that will help you make an objective decision about your treatment.
Check it out below.
Embed this infographic on your website:
Here’s how CBD battles anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders worldwide and its symptoms significantly reduces patients’ quality of life.
Since you’re reading this, you or someone you know is probably going through some tough times.
When it comes to medicinal application of cannabis, there is an ongoing debate of whether you should focus on THC or CBD rich strains when treating specific conditions.
When taken together there is a synergistic relationship between these two cannabinoids, which can do wonders for many symptoms of disease.
When it comes to anxiety, however, CBD seems to be much more helpful.
First of all, it does not produce psychoactive effects so you won’t feel high out of your mind or paranoid.
Second, CBD is superior to THC in the sheer number of conditions it helps with. It regulates many physiological processes such as sleep and appetite, and it increases feelings of relaxation. It’s also proven to reduce chronic inflammation, which can make anxiety disorders worse.
Let’s check out the 5 main benefits of CBD for anxiety from the infographic.
CBD relieves physical symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety is not just in the mind — it also produces a wide variety of physical symptoms, which can be debilitating. Many people have reported CBD’s positive effects on their physical symptoms of anxiety, and the effects range from life-improving to life-changing.
In fact, CBD:
- Relaxes muscles and relieves tension
- Relieves nausea and bowel problems caused by severe anxiety disorders
- Relieves headaches and tingling in your hands
While researching for this article, I stumbled upon this Reddit thread and found some interesting user testimonials, like this one:
And this one…
This is encouraging to read especially for those of you looking for relief from that constant chest tightness that anxiety produces.
CBD can reduce learned fears and help with phobias
Some psychologists think that we (by “we,” I mean humans — if you’re a capybara then what are you even doing here?) are born with only two fears: fear of falling and fear of loud noises.
Every other fear?
We learn it. And this includes the hundreds of phobias that people are struggling with.
Unfortunately, some still dismiss anxiety as being “all in the head” but sometimes you just can’t cope with a traumatic experience. In these cases, CBD could help.
As you might know, both phobias and PTSD are marked by fear-related memories.
According to a report published in 2017 by the British Pharmacological Society, several studies have confirmed that CBD reduces learned fear response in ways that could be helpful for patients suffering from phobias and PTSD.
One study in particular details how CBD relieves fear response. The researchers found that it helps in three ways:
- It acutely decreases fear expression
- It disrupts memory reconsolidation
- It enhances fear extinction
The studies all point to this:
CBD can help reduce the impact of learned fears, whether you are suffering from phobias, PTSD or other life-changing traumatic experiences.
CBD makes public speaking a walk in the park
There are many varieties of anxiety disorders (and many dimensions to their management) but the fear of public speaking is one of the most common ones.
You’ve probably been there yourself:
The spotlight hits your face like a beacon of hopelessness and you suddenly feel a knot in your stomach. It doesn’t take long before you completely lose your grip with reality.
I’ve experienced this myself on many occasions and I am not joking when I say that it can have detrimental effects on future public performances. In fact, I am confident that it can cause social anxiety afterwards.
In moments like these, CBD could be a lifesaver, as it can relieve the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and of specific phobias, one of which is the fear of speaking in front of people.
A study done in 2010 explored this issue in more detail:
They took two groups — one was given placebo and the other was given a single dose (600 mg) of CBD oil.
About 1,5 hours later, they ran both groups through a public speaking simulation and found that:
“Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech.”
So to round this up:
If you’re suffering from social anxiety and you’re afraid of speaking in front of unknown people, taking a dose of CBD oil 1.5 to 2 hours before your appearance could help.
CBD improves mood while relieving anxiety symptoms
The hard truth about most anxiety disorders is that they make you bummed out, even in your downtime.
Especially in your downtime.
CBD, when combined with THC, has antidepressant properties, which regulate your emotional response and your general way of thinking.
There are two ways for that to happen:
When ingested, CBD activates 5-HT1A receptors. By doing so, it enables the brain to send more serotonin signals, thus reducing the anxiety and boosting your general mood.
Also, studies suggest that CBD can stimulate hippocampal neurogenesis — a process through which a person’s hippocampus regenerates. This is very important because people who suffer from depression and anxiety often have an underdeveloped hippocampus.
CBD prevents nervous breakdowns and panic attacks
According to Mental Health Daily, CBD has the ability to positively affect the nervous system after a traumatic experience.
Let me explain:
Whenever we get that fight or flight feeling, our autonomic nervous system gets altered — the sympathetic branch becomes more active than the parasympathetic branch.
When CBD is administered shortly before or after a traumatic event, the balance of our nervous system is reset, which relieves current tension and can prevent the development of chronic anxiety symptoms.
This, coupled with CBD’s neuroprotective properties, can help ensure that both your nervous system and your brain remain healthy for a long time to come.
Bonus tip: you can use CBD oil for panic attacks, as well.
More on CBD
CBD: the Complete Science Behind Cannabidiol (Feat. Martin A. Lee) — an in-depth interview about CBD with a former Harvard professor and cannabis activist, Martin Lee. This post will teach you how exactly CBD works in the human body, how to choose a high quality CBD product, how to get the correct dosage and much more.
17 Truly High CBD Strains And Their Effects (The Complete List) — whether you’re looking to make your own CBD extract or just vaporize dried flowers, you’ll need a place to get started. What better than Marco’s roundup of 17 A-list CBD strains?