Anxiety and CBD Oil: What’s the Link?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults across the country every year. That’s just over 18% of the population. While these conditions can be treated effectively, the unfortunate fact is that less than 37% of the sufferers get treatment. Keep in mind that those with anxiety disorders are six times more likely than those without these to get hospitalized for psychiatric ailments. With the growing costs of hospitalization and treatment, this could result in a very serious drain on finances in addition to the other obvious repercussions of prolonged hospitalization (for example, loss of income). The need of the day is to address these issues at early stages so that the condition does not worsen and lead to further complications. Thankfully, there is a simple, age-old remedy for anxiety and related problems- Cannabidiol or CBD.

CBD has been in the news in recent times as an increasing number of brands in the cosmetics segment incorporate this compound in their products. CBD is also finding increasing adoption in pain relief remedies. If you have recently visited health products or health food store or the cosmetics section of your supermarket, you would have seen several products that sport this compound in their ingredients list. From facial creams to pain relief roll-ons to body oils to glow oils to stress relief remedies, CBD is found in a variety of products today. What is the reason for this wonder compound to have become so popular now?? Is it just a fad, or is there something to the efficacy of CBD?? The growing use of CBD shows that there is certainly a range of benefits that it has to offer, but the public perception against it has been a roadblock of sorts in its penetration into the marketplace.

Busting the myth about CBD

For most people who are wary about using CBD in any shape or form, the concerns stem from the fact that this product comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. The association of this plant with marijuana is the root cause of doubts about CBD too, with many fearing that the mere presence of this compound will result in a high or worse, in addiction.

However, although marijuana is a ‘cousin’ extracted from the same variety of plants, there is a very significant difference between cannabidiol (CBD) and marijuana. CBD naturally occurs in this plant and is similar to marijuana but for the presence of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is this THC in marijuana that gives the ‘high,’ but in CBD, this is NOT an active ingredient, which means that this is not a psychoactive compound at all. CBD is safe to take if you wish to avoid the high that marijuana results in.

There is more for you to know. CBD may come from either variant of the cannabis Sativa plant- hemp or marijuana. While both have CBD, hemp has more of this compound and very little THC (below 0.3%). So, as you can see, if your CBD has been extracted from hemp, the high inducing THC is even less of a concern for you.

Does that mean CBD is safe?

While research is still underway about CBD and its many benefits, so far, there is enough evidence to show that it has many benefits and can be used without side effects. Recently the FDA has even approved a CBD extract-based drug, Epidiolex. This drug, approved in 2018, is a purified CBD extract that is used in the treatment of certain types of epilepsy.

The World Health Organization categorically states that CBD is well tolerated and has a ‘good safety profile.’ The report also mentions that until now, there is no indication that CBD is preferred for ‘recreational use’ or that any public health problems are caused by the use of CBD.

This is significant for the CBD industry because it represents a milestone in terms of validation of claims about the benefits and efficacy of CBD as a powerful treatment method. What you should also know is that the use of CBD in medicine is not new at all. This compound was used extensively in the earlier eras for a host of treatments, and it finds a place in traditional medicine world across.

But why is CBD effective for anxiety?

Earlier, CBD was viewed with suspicion owing to its close association with marijuana. However, studies and tests have helped clear some of these misconceptions. Today, CBD finds a place in many products that treat not only anxiety but also Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and depression apart from the painful side effects of arthritis. However, it is always good for you to ensure that a product that you plan on using is truly effective. The best way to do this is to look at research done on the compound to see if there is conclusive evidence to show that it is beneficial. Here is some of the research that has been carried out concerning CBD and its beneficial effects on anxiety and related disorders:

  • According to this report published in 2015, preclinical studies prove that CBD is effective in reducing anxiety that arises for multiple reasons. This list includes anxiety from PTSD, SAD, OCD, PD, and GAD. It was also found that CBD as a treatment method has a distinct advantage over other methods for such ailments. CBD does not result in anxiogenic effects even when used in a higher dosage. According to the researchers, the study showed that this compound might be a more viable one as compared with other treatment courses.
  • In a study published in The Permanante Journal, the data showed that CBD treatment resulted in a 79% success rate among the participants. The anxiety levels were significantly reduced by the administration of CBD. This was one of the significant studies carried out on this compound that prompted others to further research the impact and effectiveness of CBD for anxiety-related ailments.
  • Despite the fact that CBD is still being researched, there is significant evidence to show that it does work well to reduce anxiety. In a study done in 2010 to test CBD’s anxiolytic properties, it was seen that it did have a positive impact on anxiety and the underlying causes. The researchers studied those with Social Anxiety Disorder or SAD, and it was seen that those who were given CBD treatment instead of the placebo showed a marked improvement in SAD symptoms. The researchers concluded that this compound works well in this aspect because of the effect it has on the brain’s limbic and paralimbic segments.
  • Yet another research paper explains how CBD has shown beneficial effects on animals exhibiting anxiety and stress. In these cases, it was seen that the behavioral, as well as physiological signs of anxiety, were markedly reduced by the administration of CBD. In particular, this study concluded that CBD might be very effective in bringing about the erasure of traumatic memories from the brain.
  • A double blind study conducted more recently in 2019 in Japan studied the effects of CBD on late teenagers diagnosed with social anxiety disorder or SAD. A total of 37 individuals were studied under this research project. After a course of CBD based medications, the teenagers were evaluated using two different commonly used scales. It was found that both scales measured significantly lower levels of anxiety in the group, thus conclusively proving that CBD had a significant effect in treating SAD.
  • Another 2019 study involved the evaluation of patients at a clinic for mental health. In this study, it was concluded that the 47 patients who had anxiety issues showed marked improvement within a month of CBD treatment being initiated. The study participants were given CBD on a daily basis for a three-month period. At an evaluation carried out post the completion of the first month, almost 80% of the patients said that they found improvement in their anxiety levels. A month later, a further improvement was seen by slightly over 78% of the patients. The study also studied sleep quality in these patients. After the first month, over 66% of the participants said their sleep had improved. Only 3 of the 72 adults who were part of this study showed intolerance to CBD. The conclusion of the study was that CBD might have benefits to offer for anxiety-related ailments.
  • Studies have also evaluated the effect of CBD oil in children who suffer from anxiety and sleep disturbances. A 2016 research project evaluated the impact of this compound on a ten-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder that also manifested itself in disturbed sleep patterns. She had been given conventional pharmaceutical medications but with partial relief. CBD oil was tested, and it resulted in a long- term reduction in anxiety and stress. In addition, the CBD oil seemed to have a great impact on improving the quality of sleep as well. This study showed that CBD might be an excellent addition to conventional treatment methods, even if the person is already taking prescribed medications for these conditions. It has been seen in other studies that the overall condition of the subjects concerning symptoms of stress, such as elevated heart rate, also improved with the use of CBD based products.

The growing popularity of CBD

A 2019 Gallup poll shows that CBD is catching on as a remedy for various problems, thus proving that the misconceptions about this natural compound are dispersing. 14% of the respondents said that they use CBD products on a regular basis. Among these, 40% use them for pain relief, 11% prefer CBD based products to improve their sleep, and 20% use them for anxiety-related problems.

Today, one out of seven Americans use CBD products, and the majority of the users are from the younger generation. It is clear that with more and more research being done to show the benefits of CBD and the fact that it can be safely, the popularity of this compound is on the rise. You will find that be it a CBD pain relief spray or CBD facial serum or body oil that contains this compound or a pure CBD extract oil for anxiety- the reception among the public that these are getting now is impressive. Before you head out to find your CBD based product to get rid of your anxiety and stress, here are some points to keep in mind so that you can find the best quality products:

  • Always look for products from a reputed brand that has expertise with CBD based formulations. Look at reviews to find out if a product is well received by the public.
  • A company that is sure of its products will have its quality tested stringently and mention this on the product packaging. Look for testing certifications on the package. A third-party certification is even more valuable because it gives you an objective evaluation of the product.
  • Check if the product mentions where the CBD has been extracted from. If you want to opt for a hemp CBD product, make sure to check for this on the label or ask the manufacturer on their website or product pages.
  • If you want to buy a product that only has CBD and no other compounds present in the hemp plant, then you must look for a product marked CBD Isolate. If you think all of the compounds in hemp may be beneficial, you need a Full Spectrum CBD product that brings to everything that you will find in this plant. A Broad Spectrum CBD product assures you of a below active level of THC, that is, well below 0.3%. If you are wary of a possible ‘high,’ then this is one thing you should be checking stringently.

CBD or cannabidiol is no longer a compound that you need to be wary of. There is plenty of research to prove that it does not have the same high inducing properties as marijuana and also to underline its efficacy in treating various common ailments. All of this means that you can safely opt for CBD based products and enjoy its many benefits without concerns.

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