The Power of CBD for Anxiety Disorders

Dec 04, 2020

The Power of CBD for Anxiety Disorders

Restlessness, a racing heartbeat, an unshakeable fear, or the uncontrollable obsession to worry about everything—those with anxiety can attest to how debilitating it is to deal with these symptoms daily.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide, with specific phobia, major depressive disorder, and social phobia being the most common anxiety disorders. Globally, at least 1 in 13 people suffers from anxiety. 

In Canada, approximately 3 million people over the age of 18 reportedly experience mood or anxiety disorders, with 27% admitting it has affected their quality of life "quite a bit" or "extremely" in the past 12 months.

Inspired by the legalization of cannabis in Canada and many U.S. states, researchers have delved deeper into the effects of CBD for anxiety as a complementary treatment option. For those suffering with anxiety, finding a safe, accessible and effective treatment option can make a huge difference in their lives. In this article, we’ll be discussing the results of said research and reflect on what that means for cannabis culture and anxiety disorders.

Keep on reading to learn more!

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant, along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and over 100 other chemical cannabis compounds. 

The biggest difference between CBD and THC is that it does not produce any psychoactive effects. While THC is known for its euphoric effects or “head high,” CBD is more known for its ability to produce a “body high.”

Studies Link CBD for Anxiety Relief

People with anxiety disorders are usually prescribed anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan). While they may offer immediate relief, these anti-anxiety medications can come with several side effects that outweigh any potential benefits. In the search for a safer alternative, experts looked into the possible benefits of CBD for anxiety.

A 2015 review suggests that CBD works with the different brain receptors that are associated with fear and anxiety-induced behaviours, including the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) and the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor. Based on preclinical and clinical evidence, the authors concluded that CBD could be an effective treatment for various types of anxiety disorders, such as:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorder (PD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

This 2019 double-blind study involved 37 Japanese teenagers with social anxiety disorder (SAD) to determine if CBD for anxiety was a usable treatment. They were given 300 mg of CBD oil or a placebo every day for four weeks. The researchers used surveys to diagnose and measure symptoms at the beginning and the end of the treatment period. 

They found that CBD reduced signs of anxiety and provided the participants with much-needed relief, with results comparable to what the anti-anxiety drug Paroxetine offers. In addition, when the researchers did a follow-up after the study, they discovered that nine out of 17 teenagers who were given CBD for anxiety decided to seek professional treatment (medication and cognitive behavioural therapy) to address their condition. The study noted that participants in the CBD group were more likely to make that decision than those in the placebo control group.

Bowl of cannabis buds

What Is The Best Way to Take CBD for Anxiety?

If you are interested in exploring CBD to help manage your anxiety, you'll be pleased to know that there are several options available for you to try. Cannabis is very versatile and can be consumed in many different ways, depending on your personal preference and purpose.

Here are some examples:

Smoking High-CBD Cannabis Strains

Smoking is the fastest way to feel the desired effects of cannabis in the body. When you light up and smoke an Indica or Sativa roll, the cannabinoids go straight to your lungs and into the bloodstream for rapid absorption. Due to its instantaneous effects, smoking a high-CBD cannabis strain may be the best way to access CBD's effects for anxiety when you need quick relief from acute anxiety attacks or a panic attack.

Vaping with CBD Oil

Like smoking, vaping also offers the quick delivery of cannabis through inhalation. It involves vaporizers, which are conveniently compact electronic devices that heat the herb or concentrate to an ideal temperature that is high enough to extract CBD or THC minus the tar and other harmful compounds usually present in smoking cannabis. Some people prefer to inhale high-CBD oil through a vaping pen for pain and anxiety management. 

Oral CBD Oils and Sprays

CBD oils and sprays are another promising methods of consumption. Dropping or spraying the oils under your tongue can swiftly get the cannabinoids into the bloodstream, with the effects felt as fast as 10 minutes lasting up to three hours. 

Oral CBD oil sprays and drops are a perfect fit for non-smokers and those who are still hesitant to try edibles. CBD tinctures and oils are now infused with peppermint or chocolate to mask the natural grassy flavour from cannabis to make them more appealing. If you have a bit of time and you're feeling more creative, you can also make yourself a soothing cup of cannabis tea using high-CBD oil. 

CBD Edibles

Edibles are a discreet way to consume cannabis without worrying about smelling like smoke. You can keep a stash of CBD hard candies and gummies in your pocket and take a bite if you're feeling anxious in a social gathering – without having to field uncomfortable questions. However, it's worth noting that because edibles go through the digestive system, absorption may take time, with the effects taking an hour or more to kick in.

Learn More About CBD for Anxiety

If you are interested in trying CBD for anxiety management but still feel confused with the consumption methods or proper dosing, don't hesitate to message us. A member of the Smokey's team will be more than happy to assist you.

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