When people hear “CBD”, it is often associated with someone’s wellness journey to find relief from their anxiety. One of the most frequently asked questions regarding this is, “does CBD help with anxiety?”. It does not matter how severe your anxiety is, CBD may be able to help. In this article we will talk about the causes and symptoms of anxiety, how to effectively use CBD and other natural remedies for anxiety, and how to find the best CBD for anxiety. Let’s dive in.
Anxiety: Causes and Symptoms
What is Anxiety?
I’m sure most of us have experienced the feeling of anxiety from time to time. It’s not uncommon to feel it quite often actually. In fact, over 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety. That’s 18% of the population, making it the most common form of mental illness.0 People may even become anxious without expecting it. It’s that feeling that has a mix of emotions including nervousness and apprehension. It may best be described as a fear of what could be or what could happen. The feeling of anxiety happens in the body to overcome the feeling of stress that comes from the unknown.
Anxiety can be a huge burden for many individuals in their everyday lives and can be hard to control. Lots of stress and anxiety can actually lead to several chronic diseases including hypertension and heart disease. Let’s look at some of the causes and symptoms of anxiety.
What Causes Anxiety?
Anxiety can arise from any number of conditions or situations. Many people begin to feel anxious during the lead up to an event or activity such as going to the gym, going to take a test, going to a job interview, meeting your girlfriend or boyfriend’s parents for the first time, and more. Stressing about money, relationships, your health, global politics, and other aspects of life can lead to general anxiety. So excess sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Hormone imbalances, thyroid issues, and serotonin dysfunction may also cause anxiety.1
- Stressing about money, relationships, job, school, global affairs, working out, etc.
- Public events like going to the gym or out with friends
- Excess sugar, caffeine, alcohol
- Hormone imbalances
- Thyroid issues
- Serotonin dysfunction
Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety can present itself physically and mentally. Heart palpitations and nausea are common. Someone with anxiety may sweat more than usual. Shortness of breath can also be an issue. Sleep may be troublesome as well. Mentally, anxiety feels like fear. Fear of death, of losing control, of alienation, fear of the unknown.2
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Sleeping problems
- Shortness of breath
Natural Remedies for Managing Anxiety | Does CBD Help with Anxiety?
Cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as “CBD”, is one of over 113 active molecules that make up the cannabis plant. ‘Cannabis’ refers to both hemp and marijuana. While marijuana contains high levels of THC (the molecule that makes you feel “high”), hemp legally contains less than 0.3% THC. All CBD products on the market use CBD derived from hemp, not marijuana. So, properly made CBD products will get you all the help without any of the high.
CBD works with your body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to maintain a balanced level of operation called homeostasis. Along with managing pain and inflammation, the ECS plays a major role in the body’s response to anxiety and stress. Similar to serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly used to treat anxiety 3, CBD’s interaction with the ECS has been shown to similarly affect serotonin production.4
Additional mechanisms including the balancing of GABA 5 levels and neurogenesis in the hippocampus 6 give CBD its anti-anxiety effects. GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) signals your body to calm down and the hippocampus plays a role in the bodily response to anxiety. Through these mechanisms, CBD has been clinically shown to help reduce anxiety. One study showed that
“CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety”8
Another study simulated the anxiety brought on by public speaking and found that CBD taken prior to speaking in public “significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance”.7 While there is much more research that needs to be done, the results regarding CBD’s effect on anxiety do seem promising thus far.
Mindfulness meditations have been shown to help manage symptoms of anxiety. Not only that, but meditation may also be helpful when you are reacting to stressful situations that may cause anxiety.5 Take a moment for yourself in a quiet space to be mindful. Feel your breath, notice how your body feels, and take note of when your mind wanders.6 Consistent mediation practices can yield benefits. It is not an overnight fix.
A lot of the anxiousness and emotions you experience can be related to your calorie intake. Research has shown there are ties between what type of food a person eats and their psychological behavior. A poor diet can lead to an increase in weight, which then leads to self doubt because it lowers a person’s confidence. Poor nutrition also can lead to fatigue, moodiness, and irregular blood sugar levels.
Exercise is one of the most commonly known methods for better personal wellness. Exercising daily can lead to increased energy levels, improved sleep, boosted confidence, and reduced inflammation. Because it is beneficial for both the mind and body, consistent exercise is definitely one of the top natural remedies to reduce anxiety.
Best CBD for Anxiety
To find high-quality CBD for anxiety, it is important to find a company you can trust. They should have up-to-date lab-tested results for all of their products. If you have any questions, a company representative should be easy to contact and they should have an informed answer for you.
When you find a company you like, it is time to choose a product. Different products are applied to the body in different ways and this can change how CBD affects you. Topical CBD products, like CBD Pain Relief Salve, while fantastic for pain and inflammation management, may not be your best bet to help with anxiety. We suggest using either smokable products like Hemp Flower or Vapor Pens, edibles such as CBD Gummies, or CBD oil (also called CBD Drops or CBD tinctures).
Additionally, it is also important to consider the type of CBD used in the product. Full-spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of other cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, and even THC. The goal of full-spectrum products is to produce the benefits of the entourage effect which states that using multiple cannabinoids together produces more benefits than just a single cannabinoid. That being said, many prefer to avoid THC all together and use products made with CBD isolate (99.9% pure CBD).
FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.