Does CBD Help with Anxiety?

Categories:CBD, Hemp
Chief Smoke 'n Brew

Elevated heartrate, racing thoughts, sweating, that feeling of impending doom.

Experiencing these symptoms isn’t uncommon. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports 40 million Americans are affected by anxiety disorders, making them the most common type of mental illness. “Anxiety” is a catch-all term for a wide range of disorders, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder, phobias, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These disorders can all be treated, but only 36.9% of people with anxiety disorders receive treatment.

Considering these figures, it’s no surprise that anxiety is one of the most commonly asked about issues with customers looking for CBD products.

So… does it work? The short answer is: we can’t say for certain, but what we do know so far is encouraging. While we have anecdotal stories and a number of studies to go by, there isn’t a scientific consensus yet, and it’s currently illegal for CBD sellers and manufacturers to make specific health claims. However, recent research shows some promising potential. We’re not looking to make a definitive diagnosis or recommendation with this post. Instead, we’ll point you towards some helpful resources so you can get started on your own research.

Treating Anxiety Disorders

 Before we get into the research, it’s important to note that anxiety—like all disorders—is treatable, but is best treated by licensed, experienced healthcare professionals. If you are currently seeing a mental healthcare professional for anxiety, consult with them before making any changes to your routine, and if you aren’t seeing a professional—seek one out. This post references scientific studies but is not meant to be a stand-in for a consultation with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or physician.

CBD and Anxiety: The Research

 In 2010, a study used functional neuroimaging to measure the effects of CBD on people with social anxiety disorder (SAD). The study found CBD was associated with “significantly decreased subjective anxiety” relative to a placebo. Their results suggest that CBD could reduce anxiety in people suffering from SAD, a result the researchers attributed to the CBD’s effect on activity in the limbic and paralimbic parts of the brain.

Another test from way back in 1993 subjected volunteers to a simulated public speaking test, monitoring their anxiety levels when dosed with CBD, diazepam, ipsapirone, or a placebo. This study also suggests CBD may have an anxiolytic (reduces anxiety) effect.

For further reading (in a paper that’s free online), it’s worth looking into this 2015 literature review on CBD and anxiety. It’s a thorough overview of 49 studies that have some interesting findings. It concludes that there is great potential value and urges for more study.

So, Does CBD Help Anxiety?

 Like all other health-related questions with CBD, the answer is that we just don’t know yet. The research we have so far suggests a lot of promise, but the medical community is often very slow and thorough. This is complicated by the fact that researchers had very limited funding and access to CBD for clinical trials. With any luck, the recent loosening of regulations and greater public interest in CBD will mean more research and a better understanding of its potential.

If you’re a new customer looking to add CBD to your routine, be sure to read up on what other customers are saying. Again, we also strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before you make any changes to your routine, especially when mental health is concerned.

CBD holds a lot of promise for the future, and we will keep you in the loop on any and all developments we hear about. For more information on CBD, read our CBD 101 series.

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