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CBD for Stress & Anxiety

September 05, 2022 5 min read

CBD for Stress & Anxiety

CBD for Stress & Anxiety

CBD-derived products are largely popular worldwide as many people use them to alleviate various health issues such as depression, pain, and anxiety disorders. The article explains how CBD helps alleviate stress and anxiety by providing sufficient information on CBD, anxiety, and stress, how one can use CBD for stress and anxiety, and the benefits of CBD in relieving anxiety and stress.

Research suggests that using cannabis products infused with compounds such as terpenes, CBN, THC, and CBG regulates the mood of a patient, thus reducing depression. However, some products like THC can result in addiction and even worsen the condition since they have psychoactive effects. Fortunately, CBD-infused products have proven to be exceptional. It relieves stress and anxiety in patients without necessarily being dependent on it or causing unpleasant side effects. Furthermore, CBD products such as CBD oil, CBD edibles, CBD topicals, and CBD capsules have been greatly purchased because most people are experiencing stress and anxiety symptoms caused by the excessive worry of livelihood, death, and a regressive economy.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active cannabinoid derived from cannabis sativa plants. Manufacturers mostly extract the compound from the hemp plant that contains a higher concentration of CBD and a lower level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). On the other hand, marijuana contains higher THC levels, and THC is responsible for the 'high' sensations experienced after using cannabis.

Marinotti et al. (2020) stated that companies use different extraction methods to obtain CBD, resulting in three distinct types of CBD available to alleviate stress and anxiety: CBD isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum CBD. CBD isolate is a pure CBD formulation since it contains only CBD compounds, while full spectrum CBD contains all hemp plant compounds, including small traces of THC. Moreover, broad-spectrum CBD contains various chemical compounds alongside a smaller number of other cannabinoids except for THC.

What are Anxiety and Stress?

Levitt & Eugene (2015) suggested that anxiety can be a normal emotion that senses stress and helps avoid danger since it's a 'fight or flight' reaction. However, the feeling can be excessive, resulting in an anxiety disorder, a mental condition characterized by the excessive feeling of tension, fear, worried thoughts, and stress. Examples of these disorders include;

  • GAD (Generalized anxiety disorder).
  • Panic disorder.
  • Selective mutism.
  • Specific phobia.
  • Social phobia.
  • Separation anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder, if not treated, can lead to depression and even worse mental issues like memory loss. Luckily, CBD has shown its effectiveness in relieving anxiety.

Stress is mostly a result of anxiety, characterized by excessive negative thoughts flashing in your mind. If not treated, it can result in anxiety disorder or depression.

How to Use CBD for Stress and Anxiety

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not provided guidance and regulation about CBD product usage. Therefore, optimal CBD use for anxiety varies from person to person. The following factors can be considered to use good quality CBD-infused products for effectiveness in anxiety and stress reduction.

  • Potency – A high CBD potency (8mg above) labeled product provides better results in relieving health issues than low potency products.
  • CBD source - It is important to purchase CBD extracted from US-grown hemp plants rather than marijuana since they are of higher quality and have a higher CBD concentration than any other plant species of cannabis,
  • To avoid chemical interference on CBD performance, the best choice is to consume CBD products from hemp plants cultivated organically without farm chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. Moreover, during extraction, the compounds are diluted with an organic carrier oil such as coconut and hemp seed oil, which are best suited to alleviating anxiety.
  • CBD type and THC concentration- CBD isolate is best suited to handle anxiety-related issues without interfering with psychological effects since it contains no THC. It is important to use CBD products that have less than 0.3% of THC since excessive THC consumption worsens the anxiety and stress in a patient.

There are various methods available to consume CBD for anxiety and stress:

  • CBD oil and tinctures -are best suited to control health issues since they control the doses a patient takes. CBD oil is placed under the tongue and absorbed directly into the bloodstream through mouth tissues.
  • CBD edibles- include CBD-infused foods, drinks, gummies, sweets, and baked. Edibles allow people to consume CBD without the bitter grassy oil flavor. Furthermore, they take longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream since they have to be gut-processed.
  • CBD sprays – it comes with a bottle with a nozzle to be sprayed in the mouth
  • CBD vapes - involve inhaling heated CBD vape oil without igniting it.
  • CBD capsules- involve taking gelatin-coated pills that contain CBD content.

 

Benefits of CBD for Anxiety and Stress

After choosing the best CBD product and your preferred consumption method, CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream and activates the endocannabinoid receptors to regulate stress and anxiety. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for maintaining the body's emotional balances, such as fear, anxiety, sleep, mood, and stress. CBD binds with the system receptors to alleviate various health conditions.

Shannon et al. (2016) highlighted other different ways CBD alleviates anxiety.

  • Production of stress reliever hormone- apart from interacting with ECS to handle stress, CBD increases the production of the hormone serotonin in the brain, which is highly associated with relieving stress. Low production of the hormone results in increased depression.
  • Used in phobia therapy- when CBD is consumed orally as tinctures or capsules and administered alongside daily psychiatric care, it decreases symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • CBD alleviates chronic pain and inflammation, which can trigger anxiety and stress- for example, since there is a known cure for arthritis, chronic pain associated with the condition can trigger anxiety. CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory compound, which helps reduce pain and inflammation caused by activating pro-inflammatory cells.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Moreira et al. (2009) explained that CBD is a safe and well-tolerated supplement. However, taking CBD while under other anxiety medications poses a risk. CBD is an active chemical compound; thus, it can easily interact with other prescribed medications. In addition, it is important to consult your doctor before withdrawing from other medication since it can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, nausea, dizziness, and mental fog.

In addition, there is no regulation on how much CBD you can purchase, so to avoid overdosing; it is important to purchase the product from an authorized pharmacist or dispensaries to avoid undesirable results,

CBD is safe, but people may report the following side effects:

  • Reduction in appetite.
  • Weigh loss.

Conclusion

Stress and anxiety are very common in many people. Various ailments may cause it, but fortunately, CBD has proved to help in managing stress and anxiety. However, CBD has not yet been cleared to act as an anxiety or stress relief medication by the FDA. Therefore, with further research, and consultation with your doctor, you can determine if CBD is safe for treating your anxiety. Because CBD is an active compound, avoid consuming it with other medications, which can result in undesirable effects. Additionally, while purchasing CBD, ensure you read the customer reviews and check the hemp source and the extraction method.

References

Marinotti, O., & Sarill, M. (2020). Differentiating full-spectrum hemp extracts from CBD isolates: Implications for policy, safety and science. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 17(5), 517-526.

Levitt, E. E. (2015). The psychology of anxiety. Routledge.

Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of post-traumatic stress disorder: a case report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4).

Moreira, F. A., Grieb, M., & Lutz, B. (2009). Central side-effects of therapies based on CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists: focus on anxiety and depression. Best practice & research Clinical endocrinology & metabolism, 23(1), 133-144.