CBD is rapidly becoming accepted as a viable and successful medicine all over the world, but did you know that it may have the potential to help treat mental health disorders like anxiety too? Let’s take a closer look at the condition, as well as how CBD might be able to aid in its treatment:
What exactly is CBD?
For those of you don’t already know, cannabidiol (CBD), is one of hundreds of distinct cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. Interestingly, CBD doesn’t deliver any psychoactive effects and so is an ideal alternative to THC for those individuals who don’t want to feel ‘high.’
It has been said that CBD often delivers soothing effects to its user. It has also been claimed that CBD may even be able to counteract the effects of THC if a user ends up too stoned. But how does it work, I hear you ask? Well, read on.
How CBD interacts with the body
It may surprise you to learn that people actually have something called the endocannabinoid network, a system of cannabinoid receptors found all throughout the body to which cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) bind and interact with to deliver certain effects.
One cannabinoid receptor, namely the 5-HT1A receptor, is heavily responsible for the transmission of serotonin (a chemical within the body responsible for mood, with high levels being associated with happiness and low with negative feelings). Remarkably, this same receptor has a role to play in mediating both depressive and anxiety-related behaviors.
Anxiety: The 411
Anxiety is a condition that, unfortunately, affects quite a large number of people all over the world and can have devastating implications on a person’s quality of life if left untreated. It can be triggered by all sorts of things, most notably trauma, although some people are just naturally pretty anxious. Symptoms of the disorder include a fast heart rate, sweating, quick breathing, sleeplessness, and an avoidance of social and/or dangerous situations.
CBD and Anxiety
There isn’t a whole lot of research on CBD and anxiety, though what has been found so far is definitely encouraging. One study that was carried out in 2011 the School of Medicine of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil found that CBD reduces the anxiety that is related to public speaking. During this experiment the researchers saw a significant decrease in anxiety, discomfort and cognitive impairment in participants – which, as I’m sure you’ll agree, is very promising.
Hopefully one day CBD will be readily available to all so that more people can be helped but, until then, all we can do is wait.
By Brodie Mckenzie