We all know what it feels like to “stress out” over a big exam or an important interview. Life can be challenging at times with unexpected events, family demands, and work-related stress. If that never-ending sense of dread or disaster follows you around, there is a strong possibility that you have chronic anxiety and you might need to begin treatment for it.
Unfortunately, the medical system falls short in treatment often recommending a variety of medications with often time severe side effects. Perhaps you have tried these medications and nothing seems to work or maybe you haven’t tried anything yet and are looking for a more natural solution before moving onto something stronger.
Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive chemical compound otherwise known as CBD found in cannabis plants is quite the rage right now. With the passage of the 2018 farm bill legalizing it within the United States, popularity has taken off and many are reporting that it helps with various disorders and illnesses.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the more than 100 chemical compounds found within the cannabis plant. While it comes from the cannabis plant it is important not to confuse CBD with its close cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. Separated by only the arrangement of a single atom, they are very different. THC gets you high, CBD does not.
CBD is derived from hemp, which can legally not contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Put in simple terms, regardless of the amount you consume, you will never get high.
Evidence CBD Helps with Anxiety
Beyond the testimonials given by so many, there has actually been legitimate testing done to see whether CBD is an effective treatment for anxiety. While most testing has been done on animals, all but one came back showing a positive effect.
CBD is thought to ease anxiety by helping the body process serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone and neurological transmitter that plays a part in regulating emotion. CBD works in a similar way to some prescribed anxiety medication, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). SSRIs target a serotonin receptor called 5-HT1A and increase the availability of serotonin in the brain to help boost your mood.
Evidence from animal studies has begun to validate the many people that praise CBD for helping with their anxiety. It could certainly be worth a shot if you are receiving side effects from your current medication and are looking for a more natural approach.
That being said, CBD isn’t for everyone and we strongly urge you to consult with your doctor before trying it. CBD can interact with certain medications such as blood thinners and anti-seizure drugs.
We are excited to see more studies taking place to measure the effectiveness of CBD as an anti-anxiety drug and will continue to update this article as more results come out.