Modern life can be stressful, and the burnout that can accumulate from constant stress not only feels terrible, but can have long lasting health impacts. Luckily, there are now natural solutions like CBD to help manage and recover from stress and anxiety.
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In a study conducted by the International Cannabis Policy Study (ICPS), they surveyed participants across Canada and the United States on their self-reported reasons for medical cannabis use. It was found that anxiety was the most common reason patients would consume CBD at 52% of participants.
With so much anecdotal evidence on CBD as a successful analgesic alternative, it begs to question if CBD could replace other anti-anxiety medications and supplements.
Science has already shown a great deal of promise with CBD as a mood stabilizer and calming agent – all because of CBD’s unique impact on the nervous system.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a common mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.
In 2013, an estimated 3 million Canadian adults (11.6%) reported they had a mood and/or anxiety disorder. These numbers have increased significantly over the course of the global pandemic.
The cause of anxiety can depend on a number of factors, be it environmental, biological, or as a response to a traumatic incident. The long term health impacts of anxiety are extensive and can leave the body susceptible to illness and burn out.
How CBD impacts the body & mind
CBD may offer a promise for relief and coping with the long term effects of anxiety, as it interacts with the part of our central nervous system responsible for managing stress response in the body and mind.
CBD acts on a part of the nervous system called the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). When ingesting CBD, it works as a primer to nerve endings, signaling throughout the body to create healthy communication between the brain and the rest of the organ systems.
CBD can influence the part of the nervous system that has serotonin receptors, regulating much of our memory, mood, pain response, hormonal health, and a number of other bodily functions. This plays a large role in how the body experiences appetite, nausea, emotions, pain, and stress.
This explains why CBD may be such a useful molecule. It may impact our immune responses, reproductive health, and most importantly inflammatory responses in the body. Inflammation is known as a primary influence on chronic pain and disease.
How does CBD affect anxiety symptoms?
Considering CBD’s effect on how the body regulates and responds to mental and physical stress, it is very clear that CBD may play a significant role in softening the symptoms of anxiety and repairing parts of the body that have been damaged by chronic distress. Research indicates that CBD has potential properties that could reduce anxiety symptoms as shown in an ADHD study.
There are three key ways that CBD may help improve symptoms of anxiety:
CBD Soothes and Regulates the Body
By regulating hormonal processes, CBD may play a powerful role in relaxation and mood stability. This often requires long term use for substantial results. CBD has been used by many consumers to aid in symptoms related to anxiety and depression, claiming it offers support for stress.
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CBD Enhances Focus & Clarity
As discussed above, CBD can positively impact our serotonin regulation within the body, making it a great tool for supporting memory and brain function. Similar to the way CBD impacts emotions and stress response, it may also benefit cognitive function and other hormonal processes. This is because the body will have to compensate for stress less, as CBD alleviates the body from physical and mental stress.
CBD Improves Neurological Symptoms
Lastly, there is a great deal of promise for CBD as a pharmacological tool for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. CBD has both neuroprotective and antioxidative effects, and is currently being studied for both cellular regenerative properties as well as symptomatic relief. This leaves many optimistic with the possibility that CBD may be able to help stop the painful symptoms of many neurological disorders, while simultaneously slowing the onset of disease.
Will daily use of CBD affect mood?
For CBD to potentially work as an effective anti-anxiety aid, consistency goes a long way. It can often take 2-3 weeks before feeling noticeable results. For mood stability, having a consistent scheduling of dosing can help your body recover from long term stress, and begin regulating hormonal balance.
One of the better aspects of CBD is that your body will not become dependent on it (like some other anxiety supplements and medications). You can always take a break from CBD, and not worry about a crash in mood, metabolism, or energy levels.
How to dose CBD for anxiety?
Deciding the proper dosing for CBD can take some time and patience, as it is recommended to start with low dosing and slowly increase to a desired effect. By doing this you eliminate the risk of wasting your CBD products and some minor side effects like dizziness or fatigue.
The standard rule is to start around 10mg and increase by 5mg-10mg increments every three days until satisfied with the effects.
Is CBD the right option for your anxiety relief?
Before starting to use CBD for anxiety, it is best to consult a medical professional to make sure it is safe. Although CBD is a relatively harmless molecule, it does in fact have some drug interactions that could be dangerous.
Do not take CBD if you are currently on steroids, antihistamines, antibiotics, antidepressants, beta-blockers, NSAIDs, or blood thinners.
This multifaceted molecule may offer a safe and natural alternative to calm the mind and soothe the body from both acute and chronic stressors. Whether you’re looking for a way to relax and get restful sleep at night, or perhaps tackle a major public speaking event – CBD may bring you some peace of mind to move through life’s challenging moments.
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Any statements made in this post are not intended to replace advice from a medical professional. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any CBD product.