CBD, or cannabidiol, oil seems to be popping up everywhere. It’s hard to drive down the street or browse the internet without coming across a person or ad selling this new wellness product. While users tout its many great benefits, one of the most popular uses is for anxiety treatment.
Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring chemical found in cannabis plants, both marijuana and hemp. Unlike it’s cousin THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, it does not have intoxicating effects and will not produce a “high” feeling. Next to aiding with anxiety, cannabidiol has shown promise in helping with pain, cancer-related symptoms, acne, depression, diabetes, substance abuse treatment, and more.
One study in 2010 showed that cannabidiol could actually reduce social anxiety disorder (SAD), by changing blood flow away from portions of the brain that caused anxiousness.
Similarly, in 2011, anxiety was significantly reduced in those participating in public speaking who were using the cannabidiol oil. Further studies on human and animal patients also concluded that it is helpful with panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, and sleep disorders, and has anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.
While studies are still needed to determine just why cannabidiol is so effective for reducing anxiety, it seems related to the serotonin receptor. CBD appears to bind to and activate this receptor eliciting both a calming and “mind-boosting” effect. As indicated by the aforementioned study, it may also play a part in directing blood away from anxiety-inducing portions of the brain.
As CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant, can hemp oil be used instead of CBD? Unfortunately, no. Most hemp oil, or hemp seed oil, is made from the seeds of the plant only, containing no phytocannabinoids. While rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, it won’t give you the same wellness benefits of cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol is derived from the flowers and leaves, giving it a different composition altogether. This is where the phytocannabinoids are located with all of their health-benefiting properties.
No matter how you prefer to take traditional medication, companies offer a variety of methods for consuming their CBD products. Some of the most popular ways to treat anxiousness include:
This is one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of cannabidiol. It is a vaporized form of the oil that is inhaled using a vaping pen. Many users report vaping in the morning and evening, as well as stressful times throughout the day to ease anxious nerves.
Another popular way to consume CBD is sublingually with oils and sprays. Since the mucous membranes contain small capillaries, the product can be absorbed rapidly and go directly to the bloodstream. These too are typically taken in the morning and then again at night.
Using gummies for anxiety is also highly effective and quite popular for their convenience and consistent dosing. Though not as fast acting as the other methods, they are more discreet making them a popular choice to carry while out in public. Many users, again, consume two to three gummies upon waking and then again before bed.
While exact dosing remains somewhat unclear, most studies have found success with using 300mg. Those who used less than this saw very little benefit, and ironically, those who used more also found it to be no help. When starting out, it may be best to begin with a small dose to see how your body responds before increasing your consumption.
Research is even more limited when it comes to cannabidiol products and children. One case study in 2016, however, did show positive results using it for nervousness and PTSD in children. It not only reduced the anxiousness but improved sleep. Because research is limited and side effects in children are not well known, it’s best to proceed with caution or speak to a professional prior to administering it.
While cannabidiol has been shown to be extremely effective in calming nerves and easing anxiousness, it is still a fairly “new” product. Research is still needed to determine long-term effects on adults and children alike. With that being said, it’s important to know the side effects, as well as the risks that may come with using certain providers.
Like most medications used to treat ailments, there can be side effects to using cannabidiol. These include:
Additionally, if you are taking medication or supplements, it’s important to know that cannabidiol may affect the usefulness of these, as well. Not knowing how your body will respond, it’s important to start out slow and let someone know you are taking it.
With the popularity of cannabidiol continuously rising, it seems that everyone is selling it; however, not all oils are the same. It’s extremely important to do your research into who is providing your product and where they are sourcing it. While some producers will extract out just the CBD, others perform whole-plant extractions meaning you could be ingesting THC.
Additionally, pay attention to the purity of your cannabidiol oil. If you are not purchasing your product from reputable source that prioritizes purity, there could be pesticides and other toxins polluting it. Be diligent in your search to find a company and product you can trust before putting it in and on your body.
So if you are ready to take the plunge into trying this popular wellness product, remember to take it slow. Do your research, find the right provider, and make sure you feel confident in what they are selling. Though CBD oil may not work for everyone, with the success it has had in treating anxiety, it is definitely worth trying it out.