The pandemic has caused increased levels of anxiety. Fear for our health and stress from isolation, work, and crises make it harder to relax.
Anxiety in itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s a natural reaction humans evolved to guard against predators. Yet, for people with anxiety disorders, the stress can get out of hand.
About 284 million people around the world suffer from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions marked by disproportionate worrying. This causes reactions like tightness in the chest, irritability, and difficulty sleeping.
Mental health conditions are complex, and there’s no one-shot solution to anxiety disorders. The good news is CBD can help you get some rest and relaxation and treat anxiety.
Read on to know more about how CBD can help you achieve rest and relaxation.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural substance that comes from the Cannabis sativa plant. It’s one of the most researched cannabinoids from this plant. The other popular chemical compound from cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
These cannabinoids bind to special receptors in the brain. Yet, CBD and THC produce differing effects.
THC produces the well-known psychoactive effects of being “high.” Meanwhile, CBD isn’t psychoactive and offers several potential health benefits.
A study comparing their effects found that THC can increase anxiety. This is because it activates the neurotransmitters responsible for our “fight or flight” response. By contrast, CBD repressed autonomic arousal.
Another study suggests CBD has potent pharmacological effects. This includes beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. It shows that CBD blocks the enzymes that cause inflammation in the body.
So, does CBD get you high? The answer is no. You won’t feel sedated or altered effects like euphoria because it isn’t a psychoactive compound.
What the Research Says About CBD
There’s been growing legalization of medical marijuana in the US. This has opened the way for scientists to conduct studies into its many therapeutic uses. One of the big questions among experts is whether CBD is viable for anxiety treatment.
CBD interacts with the brain receptors that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviors. They found evidence establishing CBD as an effective treatment for different anxiety disorders. These include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
Another study evaluated CBD’s effects in 397 adults residing in New Zealand. The participants got medical CBD prescriptions for different illnesses. This included mental health symptoms, cancer-related symptoms, and non-cancer pain.
All groups reported improvements after 3 weeks of CBD treatment. People who use CBD for anxiety or depression reported having a better ability to perform everyday tasks. They also experienced reduced pain and symptoms from anxiety or depression.
How Legal and Safe Is CBD?
All 50 states in the US have their own laws that legalize CBD. These laws have varying degrees of restriction.
CBD got legalized by the signing of the Farm Bill into law in 2018. In particular, it legalized CBD that’s derived from hemp and contains 0.3% THC and no more.
The federal government still treats CBD to be in the same class as marijuana. Yet, it doesn’t usually enforce against it.
Right now, there’s little regulation covering CBD. Any enforcement relating to CBD targets manufacturers and distributors, not customers.
As for safety, it’s important to note that people can have different experiences of CBD. While most people are tolerant to CBD, documented side effects exist. They include:
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Weight changes
If you’re interested in exploring CBD’s medical benefits, it’s best to consult with a doctor. This is important if you’re pregnant, nursing, or taking other medication. Being mindful of your dosage is also important.
How to Use CBD
There are various ways to administer CBD. Common methods include:
- Sublingual products
- Vaping or smoking
CBD oil for anxiety is one of the most common CBD products. Sublingual products include sprays and tinctures. They’re used by letting it absorb under your tongue.
Edibles are more discreet. They can come in gummies or even mints. Vaping and smoking are also common consumption methods.
Meanwhile, topicals come as lotions, creams, or salves. They’re designed for direct use on the skin. Topicals are great for treating localized pain.
How fast CBD takes effect will depend on the administration method. Orally administered CBD can take the longest. Oils, edibles, and capsules can take 30 minutes to 2 hours for the effects to start.
As for dosage, there’s yet to be a standard dosing recommendation for CBD treatment. However, 300-600 mg of CBD gave significant reductions to anxiety symptoms. The dose for relieving anxiety will depend on the CBD product and how a person will administer it.
What Does CBD Feel Like?
People can use oral CBD products to treat anxiety throughout the day. It’s also great to take them after a long day to get some rest and relaxation.
Remember that CBD experiences can vary between individuals. Yet, there are common reports of calming or relaxing effects.
Once it starts, the effect will be subtle. There’s a slight relaxing of the body. This physical relaxation gives way to mental calm.
Taking CBD can take the edge off anxiety. It can be easier to get a grip on overthinking and recognize irrational worries.
CBD can also help you have more focus. Because there’s less anxiety, distractions also hold less sway. Thus, it can make you more productive.
Less anxiety also makes it easier to fall asleep. One reports falling asleep within 20-30 minutes from their usual 45 minutes. Unlike THC, there’s no residual “high” when you wake up in the morning.
Try CBD to Get Some Rest and Relaxation
People with anxiety disorders can have a harder time coping with everyday stress. CBD can help treat anxiety and achieve rest and relaxation.
Research has shown that CBD eases anxiety-related symptoms. It also has other medical properties, like reducing inflammation and pain.
Want to know more about CBD? Consider reading our other guides with more information about CBD and THC.