Posted on

CBD for Anxiety: How Does it Work?

CBD for Anxiety: How Does it Work?

The numbers don’t lie: We are seriously stressed. About 33% of us experience extreme stress, and 77% are so stressed that it affects our physical health. 43% of us are stressed to the point that we can’t sleep, which just makes the problem even worse. Throughout 2020, the number of prescriptions for anti-anxiety medication in the US jumped to almost 10 million — a huge spike attributed to the pandemic. Plus, about 70% of psychologists reported that they have a growing waitlist, and the number of referrals they were getting mid-pandemic almost doubled.

The list of stressors is growing, too. We’re stressing about inflation, our finances, and the invasion of Ukraine. Supply chain issues, global insecurity, and cyber attacks/nuclear threats are also on our minds.

Anxiety is normal, to a certain extent. Even good things can cause anxiety. But when it gets out of hand, it can have serious ramifications for your mental and physical wellness.

So, what happens if your anxiety gets out of control? Fortunately, ongoing research has led to the discovery of more potential treatment options — things you can do on a regular basis to safely manage your stress levels. If you’re having difficulty coping with anxiety, consider using cannabidiol (CBD) to help with relaxation.

Medically Reviewed

Dr Natalia Alvarado
Medical doctor
Reviewed: May 15, 2022

What is CBD?

Let’s back up for a moment. What is CBD, exactly?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that comes from the hemp plant. It’s a natural remedy commonly used as a self-treatment option for certain conditions. Many people take CBD to help relax after a stressful day at work or to help unwind after a tough day.

Is CBD the Same Thing as THC?

There are two main options for people looking to find relief and relaxtion through hemp and cannabis products: cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD and THC are just two of the 113 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants. While there is some overlap between the two, there’s also one major difference.

Both are nearly identical on a molecular level, however, they affect different brain receptors, largely because of their original sources. THC is typically extracted from the cannabis plant since cannabis contains a higher concentration of the cannabinoid. On the other hand, CBD is sourced from hemp, which contains very little THC and plenty of CBD.

Why does this even matter? Well, as cannabis’s primary psychoactive compound, THC has increased potency that produces a high. CBD from hemp doesn’t have psychoactive effects but still offers many of the same health benefits as THC.

Of the two, CBD is the cannabinoid that has shown promising results in possibly helping to relieve certain types of stress without the high often associated with cannabis. If you’re looking for a natural remedy that helps take the edgeoff  without impairing your cognitive functioning or bodily movements in any way, CBD may be the answer.

How CBD Interacts with the Brain

Why does CBD affect us the way it does? It all comes down to the way that cannabidiol and our brain work together.

A 2015 study suggests that CBD interacts with brain receptors that regulate fear and anxiety-induced behaviors, including the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R). This interaction may affect serotonin levels in the brain, helping relieve anxiety and depression-related disorders.

But why? Serotonin is a chemical that affects several body processes, from maintaining bone health to reducing anxiety. It’s a neurotransmitter that carries chemical signals to the brain and the entire body. Often called the “happy hormone” and acting as a mood stabilizer, serotonin helps regulate our mood and promotes positive feelings.

Low serotonin levels may result in anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. This is where CBD comes in! It can’t boost the amount of serotonin in our system but rather it may work to stimulate the response of the serotonin that’s already in our blood.

In other words, CBD may support healthy serotonin functioning in your blood. And as a result, it can help you feel better.

How to Take CBD for Anxiety

Anxiety is nothing to scoff at, and it’s more than being a little stressed. Long-term stress can increase your risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. The longer you’re stressed, the harder your brain needs to work to concentrate and relieve the cause of your stress. Your brain is essentially fighting against itself. Stress can impair memory retrieval long-term, and increased stressed has been connected to higher levels of anger. It can hurt your sleep quality, which leads to a whole host of other issues. It can even negatively affect your gut health. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Finding a way to better manage your mental health is vital for your overall wellbeing.

This is where CBD comes in. If you want to experience the wide range of benefits from cannabidiol, you have several options. CBD is available in many forms, from gummies and capsules to creams and vape oils. But not all of these products work the same in your body, as each vary in its individual manufacturing process and ingredient potency. In the end, it all boils down to your budget, personal preferences, and what you’re trying to achieve.

CBD gummies and other edibles are popular choices since they offer a sweeter taste and are generally more pleasant to consume. CBD edibles generally take 30 minutes to two hours to take effect. If you have a hard time falling asleep at night due to your anxiety, you might consider CBD gummies for sleep specifically.

Topicals, or products applied directly on the skin to manage discomfort, are another option. Research shows that CBD-infused skincare products have anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce pain and other skin issues. You can feel a difference in under a minute, but again, it’s topical. (But if topical pain/discomfort is giving you anxiety, this can be a way to alleviate it.)

Those who vape may go for vape cartridges for a faster, more calming effect. Inhaled CBD reaches the bloodstream in only around 30 seconds. While it can potentially provide instant relief from stress and anxiety, the results aren’t as long-lasting. If you’re looking for longer-term relief, edibles are likely your best option.

JustCBD: The Best CBD Products for Stress and Anxiety

What should you look for when choosing a CBD product? Whichever way you choose to take cannabidiol, only shop with brands that source high-quality ingredients and are transparent with their processes. You also want to make sure you’re aware of whether you’re taking full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate.

JustCBD offers a wide range of CBD products made from organic, U.S.-grown hemp to improve our customers’ mental and physical well-being. Third-party laboratories with stringent testing methods have tested all of the products that we sell on our site, so you can feel confident that you’re not consuming dangerous chemicals or low-quality ingredients. We have CBD oil tinctures, bath bombs, and gummies that you can take with you anytime, anywhere.

Better mental health is within reach. Ready to get your anxiety under control? Shop with JustCBD today and experience the difference for yourself.

Sources

  • Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219-1226.
  • Linares IM, Zuardi AW, Pereira LC, et al. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999). 2019;41(1):9-14.
  • Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041.
  • Gulbransen G, Xu W, Arroll B. Cannabidiol prescription in clinical practice: an audit on the first 400 patients in New Zealand. BJGP Open. 2020;4(1):bjgpopen20X101010.
  • Elms L, Shannon S, Hughes S, Lewis N. Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series. J Altern Complement Med. 2019;25(4):392-397.
  • Bitencourt RM, Takahashi RN. Cannabidiol as a Therapeutic Alternative for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From Bench Research to Confirmation in Human Trials. Front Neurosci. 2018;12:502.
  • Ferber SG, Namdar D, Hen-Shoval D, et al. The “Entourage Effect”. Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2020;18(2):87-96.
  • Das RK, Kamboj SK, Ramadas M, et al. Cannabidiol enhances consolidation of explicit fear extinction in humans. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013;226(4):781-792.
  • Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-836.
  • Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219-1226.
  • Linares IM, Zuardi AW, Pereira LC, et al. Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test. Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (Sao Paulo, Brazil : 1999). 2019;41(1):9-14.