Cases of people suffering from various anxiety disorders are commonly reported all over the world. If you come to think of it, we deal with anxiety in various forms on daily basis. Whether it is going to a job interview or giving a speech, it is a normal thing for most people to feel nervous and fearful. However, it becomes an “anxiety disorder” if this feeling of nervousness prolongs and starts interfering with your life.
Although there are medications for the treatment of anxiety, the use of CBD (a type of cannabinoid) to help with anxiety has increased over the years. Early research on the use to CBD for anxiety has shown some promising signs.
So, before we go to how CBD can help with anxiety, let’s get to know about anxiety and what it does to your brain.
What are Anxiety Attacks and Disorders?
Anxiety can be explained as the way your body naturally responds to stress. It can be said that anxiety is a feeling of apprehension or fear of whatever is about to come in your life. That being said, an anxiety attack is the feeling of overwhelming distress, worry, or fear. Most people experience an anxiety attack whenever any stressful event approaches.
The symptoms of anxiety attacks may vary from one individual to another. Some of the most common anxiety attack symptoms include:
· Shortness of breath
· Feeling dizzy or faint
· Chills or hot flashes
When the feeling of distress and fear increases over time and starts affecting your daily life, that’s when it becomes a case of anxiety disorder. Some of the most common anxiety disorders are:
– Generalized anxiety disorder
– Panic disorder
– Obsessive-compulsive disorder
– Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
– Social anxiety disorder
What Anxiety Does To Your Brain
When you experience an anxiety attack, you start feeling a tense sensation in your stomach along with restlessness and a slight fear. But before your body feels the effects of anxiety, your brain is already experiencing some changes.
According to research, there are neurological processes at work whenever there is an anxiety attack. Your brain has several parts that play a major role in inducing anxiety or fear. Scientists have discovered that amygdala and the hippocampus are mostly responsible for anxiety attacks.
In the brain, the amygdala is an almond-shaped structure that acts as a communication hub between parts of the brain: the ones that process the sensory signals and the other parts that interpret those signals. The amygdala triggers anxiety response by alerting the rest of the brain about the presence of a threat. Another part of the brain called hippocampus is responsible for encoding threatening events into memories. Overall, these two parts are mainly responsible for the anxiety attack.
How CBD Can Help Anxiety
CBD is a chemical that is found in marijuana and hemp plants. However, the important thing to understand is that CBD is not like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another type of cannabinoid that makes a person feel “high” or intoxicated.
The early research has shown that CBD works with CB1, a brain receptor. Understand that receptors are tiny proteins that help your cells respond by receiving signals from various stimuli.
It is believed that CBD changes serotonin signals in your body, one of the chemicals in your body that play a pivotal role in your mental health. Having low levels of serotonin is quite common in depression. Anxiety attacks occur as a result of not having serotonin in the body.
Hence, it can be said that CBD may help you with your anxiety problem. Although more research on CDB effectiveness is needed, the already-done research is somewhat promising.
The Bottom Line
Although there is not enough scientific evidence to prove the effectiveness of CBD helping with anxiety, there is no denying that it is used by many people with anxiety disorders. Many people have claimed that CBD helped them with their anxiety issues. It can be said that CBD can potentially help with anxiety but it is recommended to contact your doctor before using CBD products.
By: Nicole Ngyuen
Founder of Change By Day