Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, as you probably already know, is a hemp-derived compound that is showing great promise. From easing pain to getting a good night’s sleep, preclinical trials have shown that CBD is no joke.
Current pharmaceutical options to treat anxiety are not naturally derived. This is in direct contrast with CBD, which is extracted straight from hemp flowers. At Healspire, we believe in living Naturally. Nothing beats what nature has to offer, and hemp exemplifies this perfectly. Not to mention the fact that we only source organic, non-GMO hemp for our Mindfully crafted CBD oil tinctures. Learn how to shop for high-quality CBD oil in a sea of substandard products here.
If you have been feeling anxious and do not want to pump yourself full of habit-forming, synthetic pharmaceutical drugs, you have come to the right place. Easing anxiety is not an easy thing to do. In addition to discussing how CBD can help with anxiety, we will give you some general tips on how to ease your mind naturally.
How CBD oil can help you relax
A recent study showed that CBD has a variety of ways it can relieve anxiety. Let’s say that the researchers had more questions at the end of their research than at the beginning. But more on that later.
Taking CBD oil appears to, directly and indirectly, produce anxiety-relieving effects. Two receptors are involved in this process—glutamate receptors and serotonin receptors, specifically the 5-HTA serotonin receptor.
The happy chemical
Let’s start with the 5-HTA receptor. This receptor is a primary target of current, pharmaceutical-grade anxiety medications. This is because, upon its activation, the 5-HTA receptor causes more serotonin to be released. Serotonin, also known as the happy chemical, has been scientifically proven to contribute to feelings of happiness and well-being. It is released when you do things that make you happy, like going on a night out with friends or participating in your favorite outdoor activity.
CBD appears to be a direct ligand for the 5-HTA receptor. Think of a ligand, in this case, CBD, as a key to a lock. The lock-in this scenario would be the 5-HTA receptor, and CBD is a key that fits. When CBD “unlocks” or activates the receptor, more serotonin gets released. It is essential to know where 5-HTA receptors are located so that we can understand what kind of effects they have.
5-HTA receptors are in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala located inside the brain. These regions are involved with higher thinking, memory, and perception of emotion, respectively. If you decide to take CBD oil for anxiety, you will be causing more serotonin to be released in these areas. As a general concept, when more serotonin is released in your brain, the happier you will feel. Some people who experience anxiety and depression do not release enough serotonin. CBD oil may relieve anxiety by causing more serotonin to be released.
Activating the endocannabinoid system
Taking CBD oil for anxiety, or any reason acts upon the endocannabinoid system (ECS). When CBD binds to CB1 receptors within the ECS, it appears to activate glutamate producing neurons. Glutamate neurons are located in the central nervous system. When these receptors activate, they release glutamate, a potent excitatory neurotransmitter.
Glutamate is involved with learning and memory but has stimulating effects on anxiety. Too much or too little glutamate can affect our mood. Not producing enough glutamate can cause anxiety and depression.
Just like in the previous section, glutamate is often a target of anxiety medications. A trend is starting to form here. It appears CBD acts similarly to conventional anxiety medications, but they could not be any more different.
CBD and general anxiety disorder (GAD)
In today’s world, the chances are that when you turn on your TV or open your phone, you will see a bombardment of anxiety, causing news. Natural disasters, public health crises, and more can all cause you to feel more anxious. These worries are usual and are a response that has helped humans survive for thousands of years. With that said, excessive anxiety is not good and can pose a significant threat to your health.
Constant worrying is a sign of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a condition that affects roughly 6 % of the US population. It usually appears in young adulthood and continues through a person’s mid-50s. Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder are:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty falling asleep
If you are experiencing any of these in excess, you may have GAD. First and foremost, consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms severely. Once you do that, talk to your doctor about using CBD oil for anxiety. It is always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting your CBD journey. You may be taking other medications that could react with CBD in unexpected ways.
There is a growing body of research surrounding the idea that CBD could be used to relieve a general anxiety disorder. In 2015, the National Institute on Drug Abuse said that “CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioral and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety.”
In other words, early evidence shows that CBD can potentially relieve physical and mental symptoms of anxiety. This is excellent news for anyone who would like to see another option besides conventional anxiety medications.
CBD and depression
Depression affects around 19 million American adults a year. There is a long list of symptoms associated with depression. Some people experience just one, but one is enough. Feeling down and hopeless is an awful feeling. Some people are constantly depressed, and the medications available do not always seem to help.
Using CBD oil for anxiety has shown HUGE potential. Any study that can display a reproducible mechanism has the potential to lead to something incredible. In this case, a neurochemical mechanism.
A study conducted in 2014 found that the anti-depressive effects of CBD are caused by the interaction of the CBD molecule with the 5-HTA receptor. The researchers discovered that the anti-depressive and anti-anxiety effects went hand in hand with each other. Think back to what serotonin does to us. It makes us happy!
If what this study suggests is true, using CBD oil could ease your depression by causing you to release more serotonin, and in turn, make you feel happier. The best part is that the effect of serotonin on depression has been researched extensively. Studies have shown more serotonin leads to less depression. If CBD causes more serotonin to be released, logic would say that it could ease depression.
Depression is no joke, and if you know someone who is depressed, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. Be there for them if you can, they need someone. If you feel depressed, talk to someone about your feelings. Communicating our emotions makes us feel better. This is just much a part of natural living as using a plant-derived medicine like CBD.
CBD oil for anxiety dosing
CBD oil can be taken for a variety of reasons, and with that comes a variety of dosing amounts to fit YOUR goal. Standard dosages can range from 25-50 mg of CBD per dose. For example, our CBD tincture contains 33 mg of CBD per serving. However, you may need more than one meal to get your desired effect.
Most of the research on CBD uses concentrative doses. This method of dosing is determined by choosing an amount of CBD in milligrams (mg) per kilograms (kg) of the participant. One study used 100mg/kg as a serving amount for their test. If the test subject weighed 1 kilogram, they would receive 100 milligrams of CBD.
Dosing by weight is a common way to determine how much of something you need to feel an observable, therapeutic effect. The only way to determine how much you will need is to try a range of doses until you notice you’re getting better. We recommend starting with the serving size on the package, with our tincture that would be 33 mg a day.
Start with this amount and pay attention to how you feel. You may find it works well for you, or you might feel like you should take more. No matter which one, pay attention to how your body and mind feel throughout your CBD journey.
Common side effects
Throughout CBD research, experimenters took note of any additional effects CBD had. Over time, researchers compiled a list of side effects. Keep in mind that not everyone who takes CBD oil will feel these effects. The most common side effects were:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
Liver toxicity was seen in rare cases where the participant had previous liver damage or disease. When compared to the side effects of other anxiety medications, this list is minimal.
Just think about the last pharmaceutical advertisement you have seen; they spend up to 30 seconds listing all the potential side effects. For CBD, there are FOUR potential side effects.
Remember, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recognize CBD as a therapeutic compound. It also does not endorse the idea of CBD having minimal side effects. It is necessary to know this so that you do not get into legal trouble, and at Healspire, we believe in transparency. We do not want to get anyone in pain; in fact, we want to help people be their best selves.
The natural approach to anxiety
Anxiety is not something to joke about. For the people who experience it, anxiety can reduce the quality of their life. In addition to using CBD oil for anxiety, there are other natural ways to ease your mind. The first way is through living a more active lifestyle.
Getting more exercise is the easiest way to begin a transition towards an active lifestyle. That does not always mean you need to join a gym. Walking more and sitting less is a great way to become more productive. Not only does walking burn calories, but it can also reduce your anxiety, especially if you take outdoor walks. Several studies have found that being outside more often reduces anxiety and depression. You cannot get more natural than that!
Meditation is another way to ease anxiety naturally. To use this method efficiently, you will need to learn how to meditate. There are several ways to meditate, but the general idea is to allow your brain to “let go”. Practically speaking, this means letting your worries and anxious thoughts fade into the background. We have more power over our thoughts than we give ourselves credit, and meditation is a great tool to regain that power.
The last and perhaps the most important way to ease anxiety naturally is to get more sleep. A good night’s sleep is vital for normal physical AND mental functioning. If you find yourself feeling anxious, try to get better sleep. You will not only thank yourself the next morning, but if you keep it up, you will feel happier and more energetic all the time. We all know the difference between a good and bad night’s sleep. It’s insane how much better you can feel when you sleep well.
Nature knows best. Naturally derived medicines, exercise, and self-awareness are proven to reduce anxiety. This has been the case throughout the history of humanity. Sometimes all it takes to reduce stress is to reconnect with nature. So put your phone down, take a walk outside, and listen to your body. Know that if you use CBD oil for anxiety AND reconnect with nature, you will be doing your mind and body a favor.