What to expect in this article:
There is a close link between CBD and anxiety. When most people think of CBD products, they think of their calming properties that help to ease anxiety and stress.
Cannabis in the form of THC has long been associated in the recreational space with a “chilled out” state of being. And its non-intoxicating cousin CBD has shown great promise in helping to achieve the same effect, but without the ‘high’.
If you've been battling with stress and feeling overwhelmed with everything going on in your life right now, you may find that CBD for anxiety can offer many benefits to your emotional well-being.
Anxiety and COVID
The Coronavirus crisis has catapulted its way into our daily consciousness. An inescapable topic that is now reflected at us every minute of the day on TV, transport routes, social media, supermarket aisles, any, and all conversations…
And for good reason. It’s a deadly virus that we all need to be kept continuously aware of. But for many people, the fear, uncertainty and paranoia that accompanies an unprecedented global pandemic can become all-consuming.
On top of the daily stresses we face in “normal” reality, the prospect of potential infection for ourselves and others, limited social contact, dire economic consequences and an inability to exercise or be in nature can all become a source of debilitating anxiety.
Finding ways to deal with anxiety is essential. This is what makes many people look to CBD for anxiety and other natural options.
How does anxiety affect life on a day to day basis, though and why is it so important to never treat your anxiety as something to brush off or ignore?
How does CBD powder work?
As we mentioned above, CBD is not soluble by nature. Cannabinoids are hydrophobic, which means that they do not bond to water.
To make it able to dissolve in liquid, CBD has to be isolated into tiny molecules that can dissolve more easily. When it is broken down into small particles, it becomes water-compatible and able to blend with water molecules.
The process of emulsion enables the tiny oily cannabinoid nanoparticles to dissolve in liquid without beading. It also helps to fast-track absorption in the body, as the CBD is broken down enough to pass through the bloodstream and into the cells.
This means that dissolving CBD sachets can have a faster effect than other types of edibles. Let's have a look at the science behind faster absorption.
How anxiety affects daily life
Anxiety can be debilitating. COVID has caused a massive spike in anxiety but it's not the only cause of panic attacks, stress and other associated problems that arise from anxiety.
Some of the ways that anxiety affects daily life include:
- Fatigue, which makes it difficult to get through each day without feeling exhausted;
- Difficulty concentrating, which in turn affects productivity at work
- Poor sleep, which further drains your energy and leaves you exhausted
- Headaches and muscle pain, which leave you feeling constantly in pain
- Digestive issues, which add to your discomfort and stress
- Racing heart and increased blood pressure, which put your health at risk
In some cases, anxiety disorders can be serious enough to lead to burnout and depression. If you are experiencing extreme anxiety that is making it difficult to function, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.
In most cases, anxiety comes and goes. It can be triggered by many factors, including the stress of COVID, work, financial difficulties, and many other things outside of our control.
Finding anxiety relief
It is essential to find anxiety relief that can treat the symptoms of anxiety effectively. Managing anxiety is key to your well-being.
If you're looking for natural ways to manage your anxiety, CBD is certainly something to consider. Studies show that CBD helps anxiety, not only treating the related symptoms but also targeting the brain's reaction that causes anxiety in the first place.
Using CBD for anxiety
Using CBD oil for anxiety offers many benefits. Anxiety is by far the most common reason why people go looking to try CBD.
Anecdotally, there have been many reports of individuals feeling more relaxed and calm after using cannabis. But, due to decades of restriction, researchers have only in the past few years begun to figure out why this is so.
Studies that have been done to date show a definite link between CBD and anxiety, indicating that CBD can be beneficial in helping you cope with anxiety.
How CBD works
Similar to some anti-anxiety drugs, CBD is understood to activate a type of serotonin (the chemical believed to be linked to happiness and well-being) receptor in the brain. This is why one of its best-known benefits is as a mood enhancer and alleviator of anxiety.
A study from Vanderbilt University found that cannabis can cut down connections between parts of the brain known to activate anxiety.
The research focused on the link between the amygdala (the emotional hub regulating our fight-or-flight response) and the frontal cortex. The connection between the two is largely considered a kind of stress-anxiety superhighway in the brain.
They discovered that the circuit between these two parts of the brain is stronger in individuals with certain types of anxiety disorders.
“As people or animals are exposed to stress and get more anxious, these two brain areas glue together, and their activity grows stronger together,” says Dr Sachin Patel, co-author and director of the Division of General Psychiatry at the university.
It is an element of the endocannabinoid system (our built-in network of receptors that respond to cannabis) called 2-AG that helps to regulate how this amygdala and frontal cortex interact. And when scientists boosted the levels of 2-AG in mice, they were able to short circuit and break these connections - in so doing reducing their anxiety levels.
Another study in 2010 also found that CBD affected the brain, in this case by altering blood flow patterns in the parts that are associated with stress. The results indicated that not only did CBD provide relief from anxiety, it also fundamentally changed the brain’s initial reactivity to anxious feelings.
Researchers have even equated CBD’s natural effects with those of antidepressants and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medication), touting it as a “potential treatment for anxiety disorders” including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
A 2016 study on a 10-year-old girl suffering from PTSD found that while pharmaceutical treatments were short-lived and had serious side effects, doses of CBD provided her with long-lasting anxiety relief and a consistent improvement in her ability to sleep.
Why CBD helps with anxiety
In addition to helping to boost feel-good hormones, there are other ways that CBD helps with anxiety symptoms.
It reduces pain.
CBD helps to reduce pain, easing muscle pain topically. According to Harvard Health, topical CBD may reduce pain and inflammation in conditions such as arthritis. It can also reduce inflammation and neuropathic pain, which are common in chronic pain and difficult to treat. More human studies are needed but from what we know, CBD creams and oil rollers can provide relief from muscle pain. CBD can also help ease digestive issues such as nausea, and it can provide headache relief.
It increases energy.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of anxiety. CBD helps to combat fatigue by increasing energy. This is due to the effect of CBD oil and the body's endocannabinoid system. This system regulates sleep along with other core functions. Better sleep means more energy during the day. A study in the Behavioral Neuroscience journal applied CBD to certain areas in the brain. This study showed that neurons in the parts of the brain that helped wake us up were activated. A second study showed that CBD activated neurons that increased alertness.
It improves sleep.
And, on the topic of sleep, one of the biggest benefits of CBD is its ability to improve sleep. Anxiety often goes hand in hand with a lack of sleep. Or, in some cases, it may lead to sleeping too much. When your endocannabinoid system is regulated, your sleep patterns are regulated, too. Circadian rhythms are more stable and you will find it easier to get to sleep (and stay asleep).
At goodleaf, we are all about CBD wellness. Our philosophy is rooted in overall well-being. Our CBD product collection has been carefully curated to help you live a more balanced life.
Some of our top picks for anxiety include:
Our CBD drops range includes CBD Oil Drops 600mg and CBD Oil Drops Isolate 600mg. Drops are taken orally, underneath the tongue. They can also be added to food. For best results, the recommended daily dose is 20mg per day.
CBD vapes are an excellent way to get your dose of goodness with every puff. Our vape pens are discrete and portable. Try the Calm Vape Pen infused with cinnamon or the Awaken Vape Pen infused with green apple.
CBD topicals are absorbed through the skin. They are especially good for pain relief. Try our CBD Roller for Pain Relief or the Dr Kerklaan Pain Relief Cream to get natural relief from pain. For a calming bedtime cream, try the Dr Kerklaan Natural CBD Sleep Cream.
CBD beverages are fast-acting, getting a dose of goodness into your bloodstream quickly. Our CBD drinks range includes a selection of naturally flavoured sparkling CBD water as well as water soluble CBD powder. These sachets can be added to your tea, coffee or smoothie, getting your daily dose quickly and easily.
CBD for anxiety
While we face the uncertainty of the future months ahead, with more and more people experiencing sleepless nights and unprecedented levels of anxiety, the numbers of individuals seeking and finding solace in CBD looks set to rise.
Now is probably as good a time as any to give the good leaf a try - and hopefully, for those who feel the difference, it can become a solution that sees them through COVID-19 and beyond.
Shop our full range of CBD products to see what we've got in store and see the benefits of CBD for anxiety in action.