Cannabidiol (CBD) has been discussed a lot of late as a potential treatment for anxiety. The hemp supplement does not have the intoxicating properties found in cannabis, but appears to have a calming effect that can improve mental wellbeing, reducing the likelihood of anxiety and panic attacks.
Anxiety patients are hopeful that CBD is a genuine alternative to prescription medication for their condition, as drugs like SSRIs are notorious for not working for everybody, and being slow to take effect. This article will focus on the science behind using CBD for anxiety, and which types of product are likely to yield the best results.
How does CBD help with anxiety?
Scientists are still trying to work out the exact causes of anxiety, which explains why they haven’t yet come up with a perfect treatment for the condition. There is some evidence that anxiety occurs due to imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. CBD has a therapeutic effect here by regulating levels of GABA. Activating 5-HT1A receptors in the serotonin system also produces an anxiolytic response, and is therefore targeted by many anti-anxiety drugs. CBD also happens to be a 5-HT1A receptor agonist.
There is also a theory that long-term anxiety is the result of adverse structural changes in the brain, which are caused by inflammation of the brain (neuroinflammation). A study showed that beta-caryophyllene (BCP), a terpene and CB2 receptor agonist, exerts anti-anxiety effects in mice. CBD is an antagonist of the CB2 receptor, but indirectly regulates it by increasing concentrations of anandamide, an endocannabinoid. Researchers must now investigate whether anxiety doesn’t just happen because of chemical changes, but due to structural brain changes, too.
Which hemp extract is best for managing anxiety?
CBD users must decide between CBD-isolate and full-spectrum CBD extract when finding a suitable product. For anxiety, experts have only extensively studied the effects of CBD. The influence of other cannabinoids on the disorder are less certain, however high doses of THC can exacerbate anxiety. Full-spectrum CBD products must have less than 0.3% THC to meet legal regulations, but it’s possible that any amount of the cannabinoid may stifle CBD’s anti-anxiety effects. Hence a pure CBD-isolate product may be preferable.
That said, given that the BCP terpene also helps with anxiety, it’s feasible that some full-spectrum CBD products may have more therapeutic value than CBD-isolate solutions. Experimenting with different extracts and journaling the effects is likely the best way forward.
CBD e-liquid for anxiety
CBD vape juice has become extremely popular, with Green Roads CBD and other brands making top quality products. Vaping e-liquids is safer than smoking hemp, as it doesn’t pose the carcinogenic risk. Vaping may not be 100 percent safe, but the lightning fast absorption of CBD into the bloodstream and past the blood-brain barrier means that it has a rapid effect against anxiety.
Imagine being able to get relief in just two or three minutes. This could make a significant different to quality of life, knowing that it’s possible to get anxiety under control on demand. Situations that may have previously induced panic attacks may become much easier, knowing you can call upon CBD at any time. Even simply having the treatment available may bring about peace of mind.
CBD oil for anxiety
CBD oil is the best fast-acting anxiety product for users who want a treatment free of any health risks. With tinctures, CBD’s effects are not as speedy as with e-liquid, but patients will typically start to see symptoms ease within 10 to 15 minutes. This is still remarkably quick in comparison to SSRIs that can take weeks to become effective. CBD oil passes into the bloodstream through the sublingual absorption method. The oil is administered under the tongue, and absorbed by the blood vessels.
CBD edibles for anxiety
CBD edibles don’t have the same speed of delivery time that e-liquids and tincture oils do, but their unique selling point is that CBD’s effects last for hours longer. With edibles and capsules, the CBD is absorbed via the digestive tract, a process that can take around an hour, depending on variables, such as metabolism speed. However, this more gradual absorption means the CBD doesn’t wear off after three hours or so, as happens with products that have faster delivery.
In practical terms, for the anxiety patient who wants a treatment that covers them for the whole day, edibles are an excellent choice. It’s even possible to take an edible in the morning, and then top up with an e-liquid or oil if necessary.