Life these days is … a lot. It’s not surprising to learn that the World Health Organization names anxiety as the most common mental health disorder in the world today. For some, prescription medication definitely helps, but others are looking for a more naturally derived alternative to help with their symptoms.
We’ve got the lowdown on how CBD is a promising option — and how it helps minimize anxiety symptoms.
What Is CBD?
Let’s start at the beginning. CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid, or compound, found inside cannabis. It can be found in both hemp, which is a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC, and marijuana, which contains higher levels of THC. CBD that’s derived from hemp has only trace amounts of another famous cannabinoid, THC, while marijuana-derived CBD may contain more THC.
The biggest difference between CBD and THC is that CBD doesn’t cause any mind-altering effects. THC, on the other hand, is responsible for creating a “high” when ingested. Specifically, THC triggers the release of higher dopamine levels than normal, causing a euphoric feeling. CBD, on the other hand, is thought to affect serotonin levels.
Because CBD doesn’t make you high, you can take it as part of a daily wellness routine without worrying about any mind-altering effects. It’s totally safe to have right before work — there are actually lots of coffee shops that sell CBD-infused lattes!
Of course, you’ll want to ease into taking CBD so you can become familiar with how it affects your body. If you’ve been struggling with managing your anxiety, CBD might be a useful addition to your life.
How Does CBD Help With Anxiety?
The human brain is full of protein-based chemical structures called receptors. These are attached to cells and help them communicate with the rest of the body by interacting with different stimuli.
Two of these receptors, CB1 and CB2, are the ones thought to interact with CBD. CH1 and CB2 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system (so all the places that take in info and then translate it to your brain).
Studies are showing that CBD interacts with these receptors and alters serotonin levels. Serotonin is really important for mental health — people with low levels of serotonin are often diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
Right now, the typical treatment for anxiety is to take a prescribed medication called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), such as Zoloft or Prozac. However, people looking for an alternative are finding promising results with CBD.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress symptoms in animals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). A couple of smaller studies have shown humans reporting reduced anxiety symptoms after consistent use of CBD. It’s also looking like it could help people diagnosed with PTSD.
And if you have furry friends at home, CBD has been shown to help animals with their own symptoms of anxiety, as well as reducing joint pain and seizures. The dosage and delivery method are very different for dogs and cats, so make sure to ask your vet before introducing CBD into your pet’s routine.
How Should I Take CBD for Anxiety?
If you’re wondering how to use CBD for anxiety symptoms, the best place to start is by talking to your doctor. They can help you create the right treatment plan for your symptoms. When discussing CBD, you’ll want to talk about:
- Your body weight
- The right concentration of CBD
- Severity of your anxiety
Once you’ve got your dosage approved, you can add CBD to your routine in a variety of ways, including:
- Tinctures and oils. CBD tinctures have an alcohol base, while oils have a, well, oil base. The CBD extract is infused into the base and can be taken orally as drops under the tongue. When taken like this, the CBD can enter the bloodstream in as little as ten minutes. Tinctures and oils can also be added to beverages.
- CBD vape oils. Vape pens are an easy, effective and smoke-free way to ingest CBD throughout the day. It enters the bloodstream through the lungs for a consistent effect.
- Edibles. Like THC, CBD is easily added to candies, baked goods, snacks and other foods. Some companies offer things like gummies you take once or twice a day, much like a vitamin.
If you’re unsure which method is best for you, don’t be afraid to come in and talk to a budtender! These friendly professionals are passionate about cannabis, and that includes CBD products. They’ll be able to answer any questions you may have and help you find the perfect products for your lifestyle.
Another great benefit to working with a budtender is that they are always on top of the latest trends and studies. The world of cannabis, and of CBD, is evolving every day. Budtenders can help you keep up with the newest in CBD products and dial into the best routine for you. They’ll be your partner in helping you feel your best.
Manage Your Anxiety With CBD
Modern-day life is stressful. If you’re struggling with anxiety, it can feel even more overwhelming. CBD is a safe option to help minimize the symptoms that may be holding you back in your day to day life. Talk to your doctor and visit a reputable dispensary to find the right kind of CBD for anxiety and depression.