Anxiety rates are skyrocketing. Around 1 in 6 people report experiencing mental health issues like anxiety and depression in any given week, according to Mind UK.
The number of individuals disclosing anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and phobia-related disorders has increased steadily in recent years. Cases of these common mental health issues escalated by 20% between 1993 and 2014.
Although occasional anxiety is part of regular life, if you experience more than a temporary worry or fear, it can begin to interfere with your daily existence. Your job, social life, and relationships can suffer under anxiety’s weight, and it feels all-consuming and lonely.
However, know that you’re not alone, and there are steps you can take to improve your mental well-being.
Traditional anxiety medications are often associated with frustrating or potentially harmful side effects. Medications such as antidepressants and antianxiety drugs can make you feel drowsy and unlike yourself. Some individuals also have blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, and digestive problems. You may even find that taking prescription medications impacts your life as profoundly as the anxiety itself.
With the rising popularity of medical cannabis in recent years, more people are becoming open to using these all natural-products to address their health needs.
More evidence is emerging that indicates CBD is a natural alternative to pharmaceutical products. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the dozens of non-intoxicating cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. These substances are chemical compounds that can interact with your central regulatory system and the millions of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body.
Continue reading as we explore CBD oil for anxiety. UK-wide, people are learning how natural CBD has the potential to manage the debilitating effects of anxiety. We also look at how adding a high-quality CBD oil to your daily routine could help you live a calmer, more balanced life.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. It’s a typical reaction to stressors that disrupt the body’s regular balance, such as looming deadlines, financial difficulties, arguments, starting a new job, or ending a relationship. Most people suffer occasional anxiety at some point during their lives, and it’s normal and expected.
That said, anxiety disorders are different as they involve more severe issues, not necessarily related to external events that you can change or control. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may feel anxious continuously, and your symptoms can worsen over time.
Anxiety disorders include:
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- panic disorder
- phobia related disorder
- social anxiety disorder
- separation anxiety disorder
- selective mutism
The features of anxiety and anxiety disorders vary between individuals and to different extents. Sometimes the signs can be subtle—you may feel your heart racing, and your palms are sweating.
Conversely, anxiety disorders are characterized by intense fear or uneasiness that may cause you to avoid certain situations. A heavy heartbeat can cause chest pains and shortness of breath. You could experience sweating, tremors, shaking, and an intense feeling of dizziness accompanied by an overwhelming urge to leave the location or scenario.
You could have any combination of these symptoms depending on the anxiety disorder and the situation. However, perhaps the most widespread sign of anxiety disorders is persistent, unrelenting worry. Although it can feel like the end of the world, it’s essential to understand that these responses only manifest how your body reacts to the stimuli around you. It may have little or nothing to do with how life is really going for you.
Both the severity of your symptoms and the length of time you experience them can be dramatically life-changing. Left untreated, anxiety disorders can significantly reduce your quality of life across your psychological well-being, physical health, social connections, and professional success. And the condition may worsen if you don’t seek treatment.
Doctors may suggest a range of therapies to address anxiety symptoms, although pharmacological options may cause as many adverse effects as they aim to treat.
CBD oil for anxiety is growing in popularity because it provides a natural, accessible alternative to potentially harmful traditional medications.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. It interacts with receptors throughout your body to bring about changes in the way you feel.
These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid (ECS) system found in all mammals, including humans, independent of cannabis use. The ECS is a neurotransmitter network that helps you maintain homeostasis or balance.
The ECS consists of three components:
- cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors)
Endocannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids such as CBD trigger a response by affecting parts of the ECS. These molecules send chemical messages between the nerve cells to regulate proper functions, including energy use, immune response, appetite, pain sensation, stress response, memory function, and sleep patterns—just to name a few!
Experts believe that CBD has two potential mechanisms of action in the body. Firstly, it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors and stimulates a response. These receptors are located throughout the body, with CB1 receptors expressed densely in the brain and CB2 receptors found primarily in the immune and gastrointestinal systems.
Secondly, CBD may act on the enzymes of the ECS and prevent them from breaking down endocannabinoids, thereby increasing their effects.
Unlike THC, CBD does not bind directly to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system and brain. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the compound in cannabis that produces a cerebral “high” feeling. THC binds with the CB1 receptors found in the brain, creating a sense of euphoria.
In contrast, experts think that CBD binds very weakly, if at all, to CB1 receptors, which is why it doesn’t cause intoxicating effects.
In short, CBD interacts with your body’s natural neurotransmitter network supporting its function and helping you maintain healthy physical and mental balance.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a product derived from cannabis or hemp plants. Both hemp and cannabis belong to the plant genus Cannabis sativa L. However, although these two plants share similar ancestral roots, they are very different in terms of their chemical makeup and properties.
Both hemp and cannabis contain CBD, plus over 400 other beneficial cannabinoids and compounds. However, hemp has only traces of THC. In the UK, hemp plants must legally contain just 0.2% THC or less. In contrast, producers breed cannabis plants to have high levels of THC and are used for some medicinal purposes and recreation outside of the UK.
To create CBD oil, manufacturers extract CBD from the hemp plant. It goes through a process of refinement and is then combined with a carrier oil such as hemp seed, coconut, or MCT oil to create the finished product.
Does CBD Help Anxiety?
If you have too many or too few specific neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, you may develop a chemical imbalance in the brain. For example, a 2015 review suggested that the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) plays a crucial role in anxiety disorders.
GABA reduces nerve activity in an area of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for storing and processing emotional information.
Other neurotransmitters may also contribute to anxiety disorders, including:
- corticotropin-releasing hormone
In an attempt to address this neurochemical imbalance, doctors prescribe medications called psychotropics. These medications include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like fluoxetine (Prozac), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) such as amitriptyline (Elavil), and benzodiazepines like clonazepam (Klonopin).
However, these medications have a long list of worrying and harmful potential adverse effects. For this reason, interest is turning to natural alternatives like CBD.
An ever-growing body of research suggests that CBD has potent pharmacological effects and may help alleviate anxiety disorder.
CBD may act as a 5-HT1A agonist. This somewhat complex name refers to a serotonin receptor that is the target of SSRIs. These medications prevent or inhibit your brain from absorbing serotonin, resulting in more serotonin being available to communicate messages between nearby nerve cells. CBD may act similarly to these clinical antidepressants, resulting in a lifting of anxiety and improvement in overall mood.
Additionally, CBD may boost the action of serotonin receptors and influence mood more rapidly than SSRIs without any harmful effects.
A 2015 review suggested that CBD interacts with the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor, CB1 receptors in the brain, and other receptors that regulate anxiety behaviours.
In a 2020 study in New Zealand, scientists studied almost 400 adults prescribed CBD for cancer, neurological problems, and mental health issues. After three weeks of CBD treatment, all individuals reported an improvement in their quality of life. Additionally, those using CBD for anxiety and depression described improvements in their daily functioning and reduced anxiety symptoms.
In fact, 70% of the participants were satisfied with CBD treatment, and less than 10% had any adverse effects. Those who did noted sleepiness and vivid dreams. Less than 1% of the study population claimed their symptoms became worse.
More evidence comes from a 2019 retrospective study of 72 adults experiencing anxiety or sleep issues. During the first two months of CBD treatment, almost 82% of them reported an easing of anxiety.
Yet more positive results were found by authors of a 2020 review who looks at the role of CBD and anxiety disorders. They found a wealth of evidence to support CBD is either a therapy in its own right or as a complementary therapy with other medications to treat various anxiety disorders, including PTSD, GAD, and social anxiety disorder.
CBD oil evidently has great potential in helping those with anxiety manage their mental health.
How To Use CBD Oil For Anxiety?
UK standards for CBD dosing do not currently exist. However, work is ongoing to establish standardized dosing recommendations for CBD for anxiety, as studies show considerable variation in the doses they use.
However, a 2019 study found that daily doses of 300–600 mg of CBD significantly diminished anxiety symptoms in a group of 57 adult men.
A 2020 review assessed CBD doses across various health disorders. The authors evaluated doses used in 11 studies with 358 participants and found doses between 150–900mg of CBD daily were effective in reducing anxiety.
The dosage that works for you may depend on your symptoms, other health issues, the CBD product, and the method of administration.
Popular CBD products include:
- sublingual spray
- vaporized oil or flowers
If you use oral CBD products, including oil or edibles, you can expect effects within 30 minutes to 2 hours. Smoking and vaping CBD oil have a more immediate impact.
If you’re looking to relieve anxiety throughout the day, consider taking a dose of CBD each morning with food.
How To Choose A CBD Product?
If you’re new to CBD, choosing the right product can feel overwhelming, and there are various factors to consider, including:
What you use CBD for and in what form
If you feel the onset of a panic attack and need instantaneous relief, inhaling CBD through a vape pen could be a practical quick fix. Another suitable alternative for effects within a few minutes is sublingual administration. Simply place a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue, and the mucosal tissue rapidly absorbs the product into the bloodstream.
Oral administration is another option using CBD gummies or capsules. However, these effects take longer—usually 30 minutes or more—to absorb your system and help soothe your nerves.
The THC and cannabinoid content
Purity Hemp, we use broad-spectrum CBD oil that boasts a plethora of active components above and beyond CBD. The hemp plant is a rich source of cannabinoids such as cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN). It also contains terpenes that confer the plant’s unique aroma, like myrcene, limonene, pinene, and flavonoids that affect its pigmentation.
These active compounds work together synergistically, producing an entourage effect as they interact with one another. As a result, the hemp plant’s natural ingredients work in tandem to provide enhanced benefits when compared to CBD isolate, the purified form of CBD with no other cannabis plant compounds.
Although our broad-spectrum CBD oil provides various cannabinoids, it has no detectable THC. According to the Misuse of Drugs Act, legally, CBD must contain less than 0.2% THC in the UK. At Purity Hemp, our CBD products typically comprise less than 0.1% THC, so you are assured of a non-intoxicating effect.
Traceability and testing
The source of the CBD product is crucial to its quality and purity. Many manufacturers now boast that their hemp is from organic sources, but we go above and beyond this standard.
We believe in complete traceability from seed to shelf. Our CBD products come from the best organic French hemp seeds available, which grow the highest quality plants bursting with beneficial active compounds.
Our finest selection of hemp is grown in nutrient-rich soil, avoiding synthetic pesticides and harmful chemicals, and our farms are registered with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), so you’re guaranteed exceptional pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil.
Unfortunately, most hemp sold in the UK grows indoors in soil that can contain pesticides and harmful chemicals, creating inferior plants. Often, manufacturers treat these plants with alcohol and chemicals to extract the CBD, destroying the natural goodness and producing low-quality products.
It’s crucial to check the traceability of CBD oil before purchasing. Additionally, always check for a third-party certificate of analysis (COA). At Purity Hemp, you’re guaranteed the best CBD oil because our products undergo rigorous testing at independent laboratories. As a result, our CBD oil represents the gold standard of 100% THC-free. As a result, even athletes can safely use our CBD in competition with no risk of failing a drug test.
Choose a product that shows precisely how much CBD is in the whole bottle and each dose. If you’re new to CBD, consider starting with low-dose products to ensure you’re happy with the effects before moving on to a higher strength oil for optimal benefits.
Again, please don’t accept a product that does not stipulate the amount of CBD and only mentions the total cannabinoids it contains. Quality CBD products are completely transparent regarding their contents and strength.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders that can impact someone’s life severely. Traditionally, doctors address anxiety with a range of pharmacological prescription medications, which can potentially cause harmful effects as severe as the anxiety itself.
An ever-growing body of research highlights the potential of hemp-derived CBD for people living with anxiety disorders.
Various clinical trials suggest the CBD can help ease the symptoms of anxiety and other mental health issues.
If you’re thinking of trying CBD for anxiety, it’s essential to choose a high-quality product from the manufacturer that values transparency and traceability, such as Purity Hemp.