Anxiety disorders are potentially debilitating conditions that affect as many as 40 million Americans, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Now, there is another way to manage anxiety using a compound from the industrial hemp plant.
The Difference between CBD and THC
CBD can be extracted from the industrial hemp plant. It can also be found in smaller amounts in some common foods such as chocolate. CBD is NOT the same as THC. THC is found in minute amounts in the industrial hemp plant. CBD and THC are completely different compounds and affect the body in very different ways. CBD or cannabidiol, does not have psychoactive properties and will NOT get anyone “high”. CBD promotes a feeling of relaxation without impacting cognitive abilities. CBD is not addictive and does not produce dependency issues. In contrast, THC is found in higher concentrations in the marijuana plant and is the psychoactive ingredient that leads to the “high” when marijuana is consumed. Although it does not produce a high, CBD does offer a host of potential benefits, including a reduction in some symptoms associated with anxiety.
The Struggle with Traditional Anxiety TreatmentsMedications traditionally used to address anxiety can help manage symptoms, but they are not without potentially significant drawbacks. Anxiety medications fall into four basic categories:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – Cymbalta, Effexor
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) – Elavil, Tofranil, Pamelor
- Benzodiazepines – Xanax, Valium, Ativan
Side effects of these medications can range from headaches and constipation to fluctuations in blood pressure and impaired sexual function. Some, like the Benzodiazepines listed, can also lead to dependency. Even if the medications work well when you first begin taking them, their effectiveness needs to be evaluated over time.
CBD Effects on AnxietyMultiple studies have been performed to determine the effects of CBD on anxiety and many have shown great promise:
- A 2011 study published in the journal of Neuropsychopharmacology found CBD reduced anxiety associated with public speaking in individuals with social anxiety
- A 2015 study published in Neurotherapeutics determined CBD was effective in support of various forms of anxiety, including issues related to trauma, feelings of panic, obsessive behavior and social anxiety
- A 2016 study published in The Permanente Journal discovered CBD can reduce nervousness and trouble sleeping associated with traumatic experiences – test subject was a 10-year-old girl
- A 2019 study, also in The Permanente Journal, agreed that CBD can have a positive effect on anxiety disorders but recommended additional studies to determine accurate dosing amounts
How to Take CBD for Anxiety
As more people are becoming aware of the benefits of CBD, both for anxiety and other health issues, products containing hemp oil (the oil which contains CBD) are offering variety to those who want to use the substance for therapeutic purposes. Today, you can choose from capsules, gummies, or tinctures (drops that you place under the tongue). Topical solutions are also available for assisting and supporting with pain and inflammation. It is always best to begin your CBD regimen with the smallest dose possible and increase gradually until you see the desired effects. If you are taking other medications, it is important to discuss potential interactions with your doctor before using CBD. This article is not intending to promote CBD as a treatment, diagnosis, prevention, or cure for the disease. Depression and Anxiety management may benefit from coordinated therapies using traditional medical prescriptions alongside the introduction of CBD. Please consult your physician before stopping any medications.
As a company dedicated to your health and well-being, BioFit offers CBD products that are GMO-free, vegan and THC-free. For questions about our products or their benefits, contact the team at BioFit today.