Stress is an unfortunate part of life. For many people, stress can become overwhelming, causing prolonged and debilitating anxiety disorders. Growing research and anecdotal evidence is showing support for using CBD as a natural way to ease chronic anxiety and supplement treatment.
Statistics show that annually, over 18% of the U.S. population suffers from an anxiety disorder. This makes anxiety the most common mental illness in America.
Our body’s natural response to stress is the release of hormones like cortisol that trigger the body for fight or flight. This response is intended to be life-saving, ensuring our bodies focus on and respond to dangerous situations.
But in our modern world, stress can be frequent and constant. When we aren’t able to manage stress, and our bodies are producing high levels of stress hormones, it doesn’t just affect our peace of mind. It harms our bodies as well.
Chronic stress is known to damage parts of the brain. Some parts become overactive, while others actually begin to shrink. Over time, stress will change the physical and chemical make up of our brains. This makes it harder to restore balance in the brain once stress is managed.
And, stress hormones cause negative issues throughout the body, leading to poor sleep, fatigue, headaches, depression, weight gain, heart disease, and weakening our immune systems.
Stress causes our bodies to become imbalanced. CBD supplements are designed to return our systems to a state of balance, known as homeostasis. All humans (and cats and dogs!) have a system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which naturally occurs in the body. The ECS is made up of receptors and cannabinoids. The cannabinoids tell receptors in each cell what is going on outside the cell. Then, the receptors will respond appropriately in the best way to return the body to a balanced state.
There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors in the body: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain and on nerve endings. One study found that when endocannabinoids activated CB1 cells on the amygdala, the part of the brain which helps us to experience emotions (including stress), activity of the cells was lowered. Since stress causes hyperactivity in parts of the brain, being able to minimize that response is ideal for anxiety sufferers.
While CBD research is somewhat limited, there have been studies focused specifically on the relationship between anxiety and CBD.
A 2011 study looked at CBD’s effectiveness for alleviating social anxiety. In this study, 36 participants were asked to perform a public speaking test. The participants were split into three equal groups. Two of the groups contained individuals diagnosed with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder. An hour and a half before the test, one group of 12 was given 600 mg CBD, while the second group of 12 was given a placebo. Neither group knew which they had received. The final group contained 12 participants who did not have any anxiety disorders.
The results of this study found that participants who received the CBD experienced reduced symptoms of anxiety during the public speaking test. A 2016 study determined that CBD was an effective treatment for a young girl suffering from PTSD, to reduce her anxiety and improve sleep quality. And in 2015, several previous studies were reevaluated together, with researchers determining that CBD was effective at reducing anxiety related to several disorders, without causing any additional anxiety symptoms.
You can read more about research studies focused on CBD and anxiety at this link.
CBD can be taken in many forms, depending on an individual’s needs and preferences:
The anecdotal evidence in support of taking CBD for anxiety currently overwhelms scientific research. Anxiety is a serious mental health condition. You should discuss the use of any new treatments, including the use of CBD, with your doctor prior to use. While CBD may be only a piece of stress management, both science and word of mouth show promise that CBD can naturally supplement any stress management routine.
At Eco Health Source, we offer a variety of CBD wellness products crafted to support healthier people, pets, and planet. Check out our online store to find the CBD product that best fits your wellness needs and goals.