CBD for Anxiety

Anxiety is defined as a feeling of excessive fear or unease, typically associated with times of uncertainty.  Physical changes, like increased blood pressure and sweating, often accompany feelings of anxiety.

Anxiety disorders are the most diagnosed mental illnesses in the United States, affecting a reported 40 million adults.  Frequently, these disorders are treated with psychiatric drugs included Xanax, Valium and Prozac.  However, some of these drugs are addicting and may not work for everyone.  In recent years, there has been increased interest in using CBD in the treatment of anxiety.

CBD is a phytochemical compound found in many parts of the Cannabis plant.  Many people describe CBD as being non-psychoactive.  This is technically incorrect.  Studies have shown CBD does have mind altering effects and can provide a calming effect in the central nervous system.  CBD does not, however, have the intoxicating effects that are seen with THC. Intoxication is when physical or mental control is greatly reduced by the effects of a drug or alcohol.

It remains unclear how CBD reduces feelings of anxiety and stress, but many theorize that it works by acting on the Endocannabinoid System to regulate serotonin levels in the brain.  Serotonin not only regulates mood and social function but can aid in digestion and sleep patterns.

In 2014, CBD proved to have antianxiety and antidepressant effects in rodents. There have been limited studies in people, but results have been promising.  These studies suggest that CBD rapidly decreases symptoms of anxiety and is better tolerated than prescription anxiolytic medication. 

There is still much to be learned regarding CBD and its uses.  Combined with healthy lifestyle practices, CBD may be an invaluable tool in combatting debilitating conditions like anxiety, leading to an overall  improvement in quality of life.