CBD and Anxiety
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. There are many medications out there, but all come with major side effects. CBD oil is becoming increasingly known for being a natural alternative to these medications. Whilst being organic, it also takes away any nasty side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and weight gain. Even though research on CBD is in the early stages, its properties represent a viable treatment for many mental health disorders.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is one of the most common emotional problems, characterised by excessive worry and stress. In 2017, nearly 264 million people had a form of anxiety. Typically, the usual treatment for anxiety is a medication called anxiolytics. Today, people often prefer to stay away from any medication like anxiolytics because of their unpleasant effects. As a result many healthcare professionals have turned their attention to CBD. CBD carries many benefits including the reduction of stress, depression and anxiety.
What is CBD?
There are over 100 cannabinoids discovered in the cannabis plant that are being scientifically investigated for their health benefits.
Cannabinoids are characterised by their ability to act on cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the human body. Our body produces Endocannabinoids and by supplementing with phytocannabinoids such as CBD, CBC, CBG, and THC we can help the body achieve peak performance. Cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body are part of The Endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, mood, metabolism, hormone regulation, immune response, and memory.
Cannabinoids work synergistically with each other and are more effective when they are found together versus when they are isolated, this is call “entourage effect”
Endocannabinoids bond with different cannabinoid receptors in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as in immune cells — the two primary receptors being CB1 and CB2. Then, special enzymes go to work, helping to break down any already used or excess endocannabinoids, further assisting in maintaining homeostasis.
THC binds to CB1 receptors in the central nervous system. It has potent pain relieving and anti-anxiety properties, and may offer a smooth and mild psychoactive experience, making it perfect for relaxing at the end of the day or uplifting your next adventure.
CBD does not bind directly to cannabinoid receptors and instead interacts in other ways. CBD can even act as a counterpart to balance and level out strong reactions to THC
CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord), while
CB2 receptors are found mostly in immune cells, but also in the peripheral nervous system (the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord). THC binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, but it has a greater affinity for CB1 receptors, which is why it can result in a psychoactive effect. In addition to creating that “high” feeling.
The cannabinoid CBD has a greater attraction to our CB2 receptors. These receptors are located in our immune cells and peripheral nervous system. However, they’re not present in the brain, which is why CBD doesn’t cause psychoactive effects. Many believe CBD works by inhibiting the breakdown of endocannabinoids, enhancing their effects on the body (more on that in a minute). Research and anecdotal evidence indicate CBD oil can help reduce inflammation, anxiety, and depression. It has also been shown to improve sleep and reduce pain. It doesn’t create the intoxicated feeling associated with THC, and generally doesn’t result in any negative side effects.
CBD and THC interact with the ECS, but these are just two cannabinoids — out of more than 120. Other cannabinoids play different roles, such as enhancing our natural production of anandamide. And since THC binds so well to CB1, it acts as a pathway, helping other cannabinoids across the blood-brain barrier. Without it present during ingestion, no cannabinoids can access the brain.
This is why full spectrum CBD oil is so effective at supporting the ECS. It’s a whole plant extract: while CBD is the primary cannabinoid present, it also contains a variety of terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids including trace levels of THC. This maximises the impact of CBD on your ECS, helping to supplement any deficit in your body’s endocannabinoid production, and ultimately providing more complete and well-rounded benefits.
What is the difference between CBD and marijuana? Is CBD oil legal in the UK?
Both hemp and marijuana are from the cannabis genus. The characteristic of having less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC is the single difference relied on to distinguish hemp from marijuana. CBD and all the other cannabinoids taken from hemp are the exact same compound as those found in marijuana. CBD oil is completely legal because it contains very little THC. To be legal, it must have no more than 0.3 percent of THC. When cannabis is grown with high levels of THC, it is commonly referred to as marijuana and so has psychoactive effects. This makes it illegal in most countries.
Does CBD oil work for anxiety?
Serotonin a neurotransmitter that sends signals between nerve cells, which in turn helps to regulate sleep, memory, social behaviour, mood, sexual desires, and many other functions. It significantly helps to maintain the balance of our bodies. This molecule is produced by the body in the gastrointestinal tract and within the brain. Low serotonin levels are commonly associated with people who have depression. In some cases, not having enough serotonin may also cause anxiety.
Serotonin helps regulate your mood naturally. When your serotonin levels are normal, you feel happier and calmer. CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. One of the unique aspects of CBD is that the human body already manufactures these cannabinoids via the endocannabinoid system. This system is the largest neurotransmitter in the human body signalling receptors across the brain and body. These receptors become activated by the natural occurring cannabinoids whether you are using cannabis products or not. When mood related issues are affecting a person such as anxiety, consuming CBD will activate the endocannabinoid system which will indirectly stimulate and boost the serotonin receptors which are responsible for balancing mood and behaviour.
Does CBD oil work for a better night’s sleep?
CBD interacts with serotonin receptors suggesting a possible role in mood and sleep regulation. Anxiety often co-occurs with poor sleep quality, fragmented sleep, and sometimes insomnia. Sleep disturbance ranks second as the most common complaint in people with anxiety disorders. It is possible that taking CBD helps calm these anxiety symptoms, and then help you sleep, instead of directly impacting sleep systems in your brain.
It’s important to use Full spectrum CBD, that means not only contain over 100 cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, THC but also contain terpenes, and flavonoids. Terpenes provide the aroma of the cannabis plant, whereas flavonoids are more complex and have nutritional benefits. Cannabinoids work synergistically with each other and are more effective when they are found together versus when they are isolated. This is known as the entourage effect.
Are there different ways to take CBD oil?
CBD can enter the body through the digestive system, with a little preparation.
CBD edibles are the perfect way to monitor your CBD intake and are the preferred method of consumption for many CBD users to ensure the correct dosage regularly with CBD gummies or softgels.
Sublingual administration is a fancy term which means holding something under your tongue. Your tongue has a lot of blood vessels, which makes it easy for things held under your tongue to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
CBD oils, can all be taken by placing a few drops under the tongue and holding it there for about 90 seconds before swallowing.
Some products containing CBD are designed to be applied directly to your skin. This way the CBD does not enter the bloodstream, but rather is absorbed by the skin itself wherever it is applied.
This is perfect for localised applications. Various products exist, but the most common of this type are balm, lotion, body oil or bath bombs. Some companies also include it in everyday products including skincare to help with acne or ageing skin.
How long does CBD oil take to work for anxiety? And is it worth taking continuously to keep up the effect or is having periods off using CBD okay?
From the type of CBD you’re taking to how you take it to your own physical characteristics and more, there are many factors that work together to determine how quickly CBD will take effect. Every person’s Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is unique and each person will have different requirements. Taking CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue) is the fasted and direct method of absorption. This is because the veins under the tongue absorb the CBD and other cannabinoids directly into the bloodstream. This method is typically faster acting than either topical or edible forms and can work in as little as five to 20 minutes. Regardless of the type of CBD you use, taking it regularly (on a daily basis), as opposed to occasionally, ensures more consistent results.
Don’t give up if you don’t see the results you want right away.
The long-term benefits of taking CBD may take several weeks to notice. Give it time and remember that the benefits can be cumulative.
Ask yourself this; once you decide to eat healthy, do you have to continue eating healthy in order to gain the benefits from the nutrients and vitamins found in that food? The answer is yes. This is a lifestyle change and like all other lifestyle changes, they must be consistent in order to achieve the best results.
Do you need to speak to a doctor before considering using CBD oil?
CBD products are not medicines and cannot diagnose, treat or cure diseases. CBD can cause side effects like dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and drowsiness. CBD may also interact with other medications or dietary supplements you’re taking. Exercise particular caution if you take medications, such as blood thinners, that come with a “grapefruit warning.” CBD and grapefruit both interact with enzymes that are important to drug metabolism. If you would like to start using CBD products, it’s best to first talk to your doctor.
Does CBD oil have different impacts on each individual person?
We recommend slowly and steadily building your dosage every day so you find the balance that works with your body. Every person’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is unique and each person will have different requirements. Consistency Is Key. A small number of new customers have found that using a lower dose of CBD can keep you alert, while others feel more relaxed with a larger dose. Some customers says splitting the recommended dose into two servings (morning and evening) has proven most effective.
Evidence and Research
For generalised anxiety disorder, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animals such as rats. Study subjects were observed as having lower behavioural signs of anxiety. Their physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, also improved.
CBD may also benefit people with other forms of anxiety, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD)and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It may help treat anxiety-induced insomnia as well.
In 2011, a study researched CBD’s effects on people with SAD. Participants were given an oral dose of 400 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo. Those who received CBD experienced overall reduced anxiety levels.
Multiple recent studies have shown that CBD can help with PTSD symptoms, such as having nightmares and replaying negative memories. These studies have looked at CBD as both a standalone PTSD treatment as well as a supplement to traditional treatments like medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
A 2016 study found that CBD can have antipsychotic effects in people with schizophrenia. Moreover, CBD doesn’t cause the significant debilitating side effects associated with some antipsychotic drugs.