With our hectic lifestyles and the pervasiveness of technology making it harder to ‘switch off’, is it any wonder more and more of us are diagnosed with anxiety disorders every year? Despite a plethora of medications being available, people are looking for ways to manage their health naturally and many are turning to CBD oil.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring chemical in the leaves and stems of the cannabis sativa plant. CB1 and CB2 are cells that are found in the human body as part of what is called the ‘endocannabinoid system’, mostly in the central nervous system and are thought to be involved in the regulation of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. Serotonin or a lack of it is known to be key to the development of depression and anxiety and CBD may help regulate it.
For many people ‘cannabidiol’ sounds just like ‘cannabis’ and immediately conjures up the idea of being ‘stoned’. We know that using marijuana, which these days is bred to contain high levels of THC, the chemical that causes psychoactive effects, can have mixed, sometimes negative effects on mental health. But CBD is extracted from hemp, an industrial variety of the cannabis plant that contains a tiny, negligible amount of THC (around 0.3%) and will not get you ‘high’. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have great healing potential.
Since the stigma of cannabis use has been so pervasive, research has been seriously stunted. It’s early days for CBD but several studies point to exciting results for people looking for a natural alternative. In 2011, a study showed that CBD reduced anxiety in public speakers and in 2014 and 2015 studies on animals showed anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. Several other studies point to CBD being a promising option for people suffering from several related diagnoses such as OCD, PTSD and social anxiety.
As previously mentioned, there is a range of medications available for anxiety, however, for some these come with very unpleasant side-effects. CBD generally has minimal to no side-effects. There are also people with a history of addiction for whom some medications may trigger a relapse – CBD is non-addictive and could, therefore, be an option.
CBD can be vaporized, applied to the skin or dropped under the tongue for fast, discreet relief. If you’re struggling and looking for a different, natural option, why not give CBD oil a try?