Anxiety is one of the most common issues that people suffer from today. In fact, Xanax, one of the most prescribed medications in the United States is being handed out like Halloween candy for people who have anxiety. Many Xanax users also take sleeping pills to try to wind down so they can sleep at night. Many of these people are now taking CBD for anxiety instead.
Prescription drugs can be dangerous. Many prescribed medications can even be addictive. Some of them can cause you to suffer from side-effects that are worse than the anxiety ever was. Something called ‘paradoxical reaction’ can cause people with anxiety to actually have more anxiety or to be unable to sleep. CBD for anxiety will help you sleep, ease you into relaxation and is not addictive in the slightest bit. How does CBD do all of these things to help enhance your life? CBD comes from cannabis and the positive effects of cannabis are widely known, but it’s still a mystery to people how it truly works. We want to take the mystery out of it and help you understand how CBD is a life enhancer.
What Is CBD?
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol. This is a phytocompound that comes from cannabis. It is one of the hundreds of other compounds found in cannabis. Of these compounds, approximately 112 of them are known as cannabinoids.
A cannabinoid doesn’t have to come from the cannabis plant. Being a cannabinoid is a reference to the molecular composition of the molecule, not a reference to the plant type that it comes from.
Indeed, cannabinoids are found in many other plant species. You’ve eaten cannabinoids if you’ve ever had pepper, ginger, carrots, cloves, broccoli, ginseng, or echinacea. The human body thrives on cannabinoids and we’ll get into that in just a moment but one last thing about CBD.
CBD is a cannabinoid and we know that cannabinoids are found in many other plants from all over the world. Some of the cannabinoids from cannabis plants are found in other plants around the world, but it is important to note that in Hemp Cannabis, CBD is the most prominent. This is the reason that cannabis is harvested specifically for the use of CBD.
How Does CBD Work in the Body to Benefit Anxiety?
CBD enters the body and immediately goes seeking receptors of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS consists of two types of receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors. It is also made up of two additional parts. These are:
- Enzymes are responsible for breaking up the cannabinoids after they have been used and turning them into a waste that can be removed from the body
- Endocannabinoids manufactured by the body. These act like fuel for the ECS and keep it functioning.
The ECS is a body system that is relatively new in comparison to the other body systems we all know so well. You were taught about the circulatory system in the human body, and the Central Nervous System when you were in middle school, most assuredly. It is highly likely that you know very little if anything about the ECS despite the fact that scientists feel it may be the most important body system that we have.
In fact, mammals all have an ECS. Scientists have discovered that mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles have an ECS. Bugs do not have an ECS. The ECS performs as a system maintenance monitor that regulates all of the other systems in the body to maintain homeostasis in the body at all times. When something isn’t right, it is the ECS that responds.
For example, if you fall ill and your body temperature increases, the ECS will kick into high gear. Receptors in the neural pathways and in the nervous tissue of the body are located on the exterior of cell walls. Endocannabinoids go to these receptors and bind with them, creating lipids that are then turned loose in the neural pathways. The cannabinoid itself is destroyed by the enzymes of the ECS because they are no longer necessary.
As these new molecules travel in the neural pathways, they coat it and protect it, which makes CBD a neuroprotectant. When the myelin of the pathways is degraded, either by diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Multiple Sclerosis, or the normal aging process. The degraded myelin degrades then the organs attached to the pathways can be negatively impacted causing a host of issues including loss of motor skills, migraines, memories, and much more which can trigger anxieties.
The CBD-turned-lipid travels to where it is most needed and seems to always do the right thing. Scientists aren’t 100% sure how this happens but it has earned CBD the nickname of “The Boy Scout Molecule” because it seems to know exactly where it is most needed and always chooses to do the right thing.
The ECS is responsible for regulating –
- Mood regulation, especially the regulation of anxiety
- Weight (helps restore appetite when there is none and also reduces nervous eating)
- Metabolism (fat storage, as well as insulin response and glucose management)
- Sleep cycles
- Pain management
- Response to inflammation
These are just a few of the things that the ECS can regulate and it does a wonderful job but it needs cannabinoids to function properly. Sometimes the body needs a boost of cannabinoids to kick the ECS into high gear. There are afflictions that exist which scientists feel are a result of a poorly performing ECS such as Fibromyalgia.
One way in which we boost our cannabinoids in the body is to consume them. You can do this by eating one of the many foods that contain cannabinoids, such as those mentioned above, or you can take a CBD oil extracted from hemp, in a higher concentration.
When you take CBD for anxiety, it interacts directly with the ECS and goes to work on balancing your mood and lowers anxiety by having a calming effect on your entire body. CBD can lower anxiety and also negate some of the other side-effects of having anxiety. CBD will restore sleep which helps the body rest and rejuvenate.
If you use a full-spectrum CBD oil for anxiety, you will have the benefit of the other cannabinoids that are found in hemp as well. This means that you’ll get a full team effect, which has even more benefits than CBD alone.
This is referred to as the Entourage Effect and it is considered a bonus of using full-spectrum products. Full-spectrum merely indicates that the whole plant was used, giving the oil a higher concentration of all the cannabinoids present, overall.
A newer name being used for full-spectrum products is PCR oil. This means Phytocannabinoid Rich Oil. It is the same as full-spectrum, which also was sometimes referred to as ‘whole plant CBD’ which can be confusing to people. The fact is that the CBD market has evolved rapidly as we are learning so much information about this compound with equal speed.
Why So Much New Information So Fast?
CBD is taken from cannabis, generally from hemp. Hemp, however, was a product that was heavily regulated and until 2014 was still considered illegal in the United States. In December of 2018, the newest Farm Bill was signed into law and it had the most specific wording in regard to hemp than the 2014 bill had. It opened the doors to the hemp industry and made it legal for people to possess and manufacture hemp products.
This didn’t just open the market for people who wanted to use hemp products but also for scientists who wanted to study hemp. Researchers have been free to study CBD and cannabis as never before in just the past year. This has essentially blown the doors off the things that we knew. The information is coming rapidly and it is all very promising.
CBD is was approved as the active ingredient in Epidiolex, an FDA-approved drug for epilepsy. It’s considered the final line when all other medications have failed, doctors turn to Epidiolex is cannabidiol in pill form. It gives amazing seizure control and also reduces the severity of seizures when they do occasionally happen.
Many feel that industrial hemp will also be playing a key role in treating those who are going through cancer treatment and there has been a great deal of focus on those with mental health issues, particularly in the areas of depression and moods.
Those with bipolar and addiction issues have seen help at the hands of CBD products. The ECS works to bring balance back to moods and coincidentally, CBD also is similar to serotonin and dopamine, the two enzymes that play a key role in mood regulation. While it doesn’t replace one of the other, it seems to be able to work as an antagonist to that system and play a role in stimulating it to produce more of one or the other to bring balance back to the moods.
Serotonin and Dopamine need to be at equal levels. If one is too high, the other becomes too low and vice versa. This creates the chemical imbalance that is the root cause of depression and bipolar. When anxiety is present, it is also a part of the intricate mood regulation that is the root cause.
CBD can bring relaxation, balance, and sleep back to the person who is feeling anxious. Sleep is a crucial thing to help bring homeostasis back to the body. When humans are exhausted, body systems begin to shut down. The ECS plays an important role in bringing everything back to normal, baseline, whatever you choose to call it. You’re balanced when your ECS is functioning properly and you have plenty of cannabinoids in your body.
Now We Know Cannabinoids Are Natural and Normal
Now that we are learning more and understanding more (even though there is still so much to learn) we are finding out that cannabinoids are perfectly natural. Cannabis is a plant, a family of plants that include hemp and marijuana. They are full of phytocannabinoids and compounds that are good for the body.
We now understand the medical benefits of marijuana and this is why so many states have moved to legalize it. CBD has been legalized nationwide and is giving those without access to marijuana the option of using CBD to help them with chronic conditions and pain management.
People are learning and leaving behind the misconceptions they were taught as children. Even the Baby Boomer generation is learning that CBD and marijuana both have positive impacts on pain, arthritis, dementia, Alzheimer’s, mental health issues, and of course, anxiety.
CBD for Anxiety is Safe
CBD is not only a natural alternative, but it is also safe. CBD isn’t addictive. You can take it when you need it and you can skip doses whenever you like and you won’t suffer from withdrawals like you can when you are on prescription medications.
CBD will not cause withdrawal symptoms, nor will it harm your liver or your kidneys. CBD is known for soothing the stomach and that means you won’t ever need to worry about bleeding ulcers or damaging the lining of your stomach from taking it.
There is no risk of any real concern with CBD oil. Side-effects are extremely rare and if they appear, they will nearly always go away by adjusting your dose downward for a few days until they pass. Diarrhea can happen from taking too much CBD at once or a dose that is too high. Rarely, some people might experience a headache from a large dose of CBD as well. Lower the dose for 2-3 days and then gradually taper up again.
CBD has never been fatal to anyone and is, in fact, so safe that it is administered to children for ADHD and epilepsy with fantastic results. It is a plant-derived substance and should have no additives. It is typically vegan unless it is mixed in some sort of compound with nonvegan ingredients.
Generally speaking, you don’t need to have any concerns about using CBD oil for anxiety and it should begin working the same day you take it, within minutes. You don’t have to build it up in your system.