Everyone has times when they feel nervous or anxious about something. But when it becomes a regular or constant part of life, that's when it can be diagnosed as a psychological condition. The conventional treament is medication which can have serious side effects, which explains why CBD Oil is being used for anxiety and related conditions by a growing number of people.
Around 1 in 6 people in the UK will experience a common mental health issue every year, so there's no stigma in looking for help and support. And that can come from a combination of conventional medical treatments, counselling and therapy, and improving your mental and physical wellbeing.
What causes anxiety conditions?
Anxiety covers a wide range of conditions including stress, agoraphobia, body dysmorphia, IBS, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. And symptoms can include changes in your emotions, feeling sick or having difficulty breathing, dizziness or stomach and bowel issues.
We've specifically looked at how people are using CBD for IBS symptoms in a dedicated guide.
Causes of anxiety include a history of stressful and traumatic experiences, misusing drugs or alcohol, or long-term stress and health conditions. There’s also research suggesting that it may be linked to inherited genes, overactivity in the areas of the brain involved in emotions and behaviour, and an imbalance of serotonin and noradrenaline which help to control and regulate your moods.
How are anxiety conditions treated?
Everyone is individual, and with such a wide range of conditions and potential causes, it's important that treatment is tailored to what works best for you.
Successfully coping with an anxiety disorder typically comes with a mixture of counselling and therapy, medication, and self-help to improve your well-being and self esteem. You can find out more details on the options available via the NHS, Mind or Anxiety UK. These are available by speaking to your GP, or self-referral if you're not comfortable speaking to your doctor about the issue.
Medication can be worrying for many anxiety sufferers. The most common prescribed treatments will be the benzodiazepine class of drugs, including clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). Side effects can include weight gain, a 'drugged' feeling, and impaired coordination and trembling. There can also be a risk of addiction, and withdrawal can also be difficult.
But other treatments can lessen the need for medication. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Not only can poor mental and physical wellbeing lead to increases in anxiety, but anyone with an existing condition can find it harder to invest the time and effort to look after themselves. Exercise, eating well, reducing alcohol, smoking and caffeine, and relaxation are important. An effective sleep routine will also make a big difference, and we've written a specific guide covering CBD for sleep and insomnia.
Why use CBD Oil for anxiety?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound obtained from the Cannabis sativa plant, and it's legal for sale and use in the UK. CBD products don't contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
This is why CBD is classed as a 'novel food' within the European Union, allowing anyone to try it as part of a health and wellbeing routine.
CBD is not a medical solution for anxiety, but a variety of studies have been conducted into using CBD for anxiety, or are currently ongoing. The reason for the interest is that previous research has demonstrated CBD can act as an anticonvulsant, antipsychotic and muscle relaxant (link).
One reason appears to be that Cannabidiol appears to affect serotonin A1 receptor (or 5-HT1A receptor) (link), and an imbalance of serotonin and noradrenaline is one cause of stress and anxiety. There have been multiple studies already conducted to investigate the benefits of CBD for anxiety in animals (link)
Studies and reports have already looked as CBD for specific types of anxiety, such as Social Anxiety Disorder (link) and Post Traumatic Stress Discover (link), which is most associated with military service, but can affect up to 10% of people at some point in their lives following any traumatic experience.
Other studies have given human subjects CBD and put them in simulated stressful situations, such as public speaking, and suggest benefits both for people with social anxiety disorder (link), and also people who aren’t currently diagnosed with stress of anxiety (link).
Another potential role of CBD in lessening anxiety is suggested by the role of the Endocannabinoid system in the body, which produces cannabinoids. These bind to cannabinoid receptors mainly in the brain and immune system for regulating both systems. Animal experiments show that CBD can help modulate compulsive behaviour (e.g. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) (link).
CBD is a supplementary product, and not a medical treatment or magic cure for stress and anxiety. But the medical studies suggest that it could offer benefits in conjunction with the treatments and existing medical options. Many people already try complementary and alternative therapies alongside other help and support.
How to take CBD Oil for anxiety
If you have been diagnosed with chronic anxiety, or believe you may have an anxeity condition, then you might consider taking CBD alongside seeking trained, professional help and advice from your doctor or the NHS, trained therapists and counsellors, or charities and support organisations.
To integrate it quickly and easily into your daily routine for wellbeing and health, we offer two different products to suit most people. With both options, it's important to allow some time for your body to adjust to the introduction of CBD.
Many people will want to try CBD Oil, which we provide in a variety of strengths. It’s best to start at a low strength and be patient to let your body adjust to the supplemental CBD, so our all-natural 4% CBD Oil provides a good starting point, with both 8% and 15% full spectrum CBD oil also available if you need to move to a higher dosage over time.
With all CBD oil, you should take 1-3 drops twice each day, putting each one under your tongue and holding for 60 seconds before swallowing.
Alternatively, you might prefer CBD Capsules as a quick and easy option, and our products are entirely plan based so they’re vegan friendly.
As we've mentioned, many conventional medical treatments for anxiety can have a number of side effects and potential interactions with other substances (even the furanocoumarins found in grapefruit and other citrus fruits). So it's important to check with your doctor before combining CBD with existing medication, and to thoroughly read the information supplied with any prescription drugs.
Taken alone as a food supplment, CBD is not a magic solution for anxiety, but it can be used as part of your general self-care and wellbeing alongside other treatments to help an overall improvement.
Useful links for Stress and Anxiety
We hope this guide has helped you to understand how CBD can be part of a range of options for dealing with stress and anxiety. Our other guides for CBD and a range of issues include:
- Using CBD for IBS Symptoms and Pain
- CBD Oil for Fibromyalgia
- CBD for Sleep and Insomnia
- CBD for Migraines and Cluster Headaches