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CBD and anxiety

About 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (about 19 percent of the population) live with anxiety and related disorders, making it the most common mental health problem, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Veterans and others who have endured traumatic events are especially vulnerable to debilitating anxiety. Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry that is out of proportion to the actual danger. Physical symptoms include nervousness, tension, panic, increased heart rate, sweating, fatigue, and trouble concentrating. 


Easing these types of symptoms is one of the main reasons for trying CBD.

Research says: When patients with generalized social anxiety disorder were given an oral dose of 400 milligrams of CBD, they reported “significantly decreased anxiety” versus a group of control subjects, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The researchers conducting the study also used neuroimaging to measure blood flow in different parts of the subjects’ brains and found that “CBD reduces anxiety and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.”

Another group of scientists surveyed all of the available research on CBD and PTSD and shared their findings in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. They conclude that “Human and animal studies suggest that CBD may offer therapeutic benefits for disorders related to inappropriate responses to traumatic memories. The effects of CBD on the different stages of aversive memory processing make this compound a candidate pharmacological adjunct to psychological therapies for PTSD.”


CBD’s potential: The brain areas responsible for managing heart rate, blood pressure, and other responses to stress have a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors. By activating those receptors, CBD is believed to trigger the release of hormones and enzymes that soothe stress reactions.


CBD treatment options: People who experience periodic panic attacks and other acute symptoms of anxiety often rely on the fast absorption and action that results from inhaling vaporized CBD oil. For those trying to maintain a healthy balance all day long, taking capsules or other slow-release oral products two or three times a day may provide more consistent, longer-lasting effects.


Related conditions: Panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Source: Prevention CBD & You by Nelson Pena & Scott Meyer