With all the current research on CBD oil, it comes as no surprise that people are beginning to embrace it as a wonderfully natural treatment for alleviating their anxiety symptoms. It’s surprisingly helpful, and it doesn’t cause the same side effects of many of today’s most popular anti-anxiety drugs.
Per the National Institute of Mental Health, some 40 million adults age 18 or older – or about 18% of the entire adult population in this country – have some sort of anxiety disorder. That’s a huge segment of the population, and in response to this, pharmaceutical companies have created numerous drugs designed to alleviate anxiety. These include benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium as well as SSRIs such as Prozac or Zoloft. Although they can and sometimes do work as intended, they come with unwanted side effects. Sleepiness, intoxication, and even physical addiction are just a few of these.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is the primary non-psychoactive compound found in both marijuana and hemp plants. Unlike THC, which causes a “high” and a feeling of intoxication, CBD does not. What’s more, numerous studies on animals and humans alike show that CBD can be a powerful, all-natural tool in the fight against anxiety. It’s well-tolerated when administered as-needed, and it’s been shown to improve the symptoms associated with numerous anxiety disorders. These include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Like benzodiazepines and SSRIs, CBD works primarily on receptors in the brain. Specifically, it is believed to work on serotonin receptors called 5-HT1A, which are subtypes that are associated with anxiety and depression. Serotonin is a feel-good neurotransmitter that can improve mood, reduce anxiety, and even provide an overall feeling of wellbeing. SSRIs are designed to block the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, which essentially “tricks” the brain into producing more serotonin. Researchers believe that CBD oil works in much the same way; it enhances the transmission of 5-HT1A, which theoretically affects the production of serotonin much more quickly than an SSRI.
There’s some pretty compelling evidence to show that CBD oil is a powerful and natural alternative to SSRIs and benzodiazepines. In Brazil, a group of researchers conducted a double-blind study on people affected by GSA, or Generalized Social Anxiety. They found that patients who consumed CBD almost immediately felt a decrease in their anxiety, whereas those who took a placebo reported little to no change. Other studies focused on key anxiety indicators, such as blood pressure and heart rate, and found that patients who consumed CBD oil had significant decreases in both compared to those who took a placebo.
Although it’s still being researched – and extensively, at that – there’s enough evidence to show that CBD oil is a very powerful compound that can reduce feelings of anxiety and even depression without the same side effects as pharmaceuticals. It’s safe and effective, but if you’re currently taking an SSRI or anxiety medication, it’s important to talk to your doctor before you use CBD oil.
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