Anxiety is a serious problem that millions of people struggle with every day. While occasional anxiety is to be expected here and there and can even be considered normal in moments that elicit nerves and fear, the problem begins when thoughts of worry spiral out of control into the realm of clinical anxiety. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness affecting U.S. Americans, afflicting approximately 40 million adults 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population. At its worst, anxiety can keep you from being able to perform your daily activities and obligations and have catastrophic effects on your health and life if left unchecked and untreated.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental illness umbrella term, under which are categorized more specific disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social anxiety. What characterizes it are feelings of worry or dread, most times, over future events. Manifestations of anxiety include an inability to sleep or at best, poor sleep quality; frequent indigestion, fatigue and/or feeling lethargic, muscle tension, rumination (repeatedly going over negative thoughts) excessive worrying, lack of concentration, feeling constantly frustrated, uneasy and restless, headaches and migraines. Anxiety disorders are actually very treatable, but the problem is that just 36.9% of individuals suffering from anxiety disorders receive treatment. Those with anxiety disorders are six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who don’t have them. This mental illness develops from risk factors including brain chemistry, life events, personality and genetics. Depression is a common accompanying affliction to anxiety. To add insult to injury, almost a half of those who are diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
How Does CBD help with Anxiety?
CBD Oil is a derivative of the cannabis plant. Hemp has been legalized in all 50 states as of the 2018 Farm Bill. CBD and THC are two of most well known cannabinoids contained within the plant; the difference is that THC is known to contain psychoactive components that make you high while CBD doesn’t. Both have shown tremendous health benefits, but due to CBD’s lack of psychoactive effects, it has grown in popularity in both the conventional and unconventional medical world. Those who have been against cannabis use due to the side effect of being high are now coming around and more open to CBD because it lacks this trait while packing a powerful punch when it comes to health and even cosmetic benefits. As a result CBD is quickly becoming accepted as an alternative treatment for a long list of health issues including anxiety. The momentum it is gaining towards becoming fully mainstream has projections set for a 2020 full legalization of all cannabis products beyond just hemp, if not soon after.
Research and numerous studies have shown that CBD’s inherent properties and behavior have positive effects on individuals dealing with anxiety and depression. What these studies have found is that CBD oil may have a powerful ability to relieve anxiety and its effects by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain by enhancing the production of serotonin – otherwise known as the “feel-good” or “happy” chemical because it releases feelings of well being and happiness. Some studies have actually seen its effects take place faster than traditional antidepressant medications that are prescribed more commonly as the treatment for anxiety. Traditional medications also have shown to induce drowsiness, sexual problems and insomnia among users, rendering them short term solutions only, since long term use could be very harmful.
CBD for anxiety has even proven to be very safe, with no side effects associated with its usage and is tolerated well, even when used in high doses. This has presented an alternative choice for those who seek non-traditional, less side effect heavy routes to treating anxiety disorder and its symptoms. While the western world has been using it for just about a century, cannabis and its derivatives have been recognized in medicine in the East for thousands of years.
Dosage and Use for Anxiety
A common query new users have is how to use and how much when it comes to CBD oil for anxiety. Simply put, the amount varies depending on the individual. While there is no official standard, some studies that have been published online have used around 40mg and 600mg – with 600 mg seeming to be the most effective at decreasing anxiety, and smaller amounts being effective at reducing some anxiety symptoms. It is important to consult with a physician before use, including recommended dosage – especially if the user is already taking other medications and treatments, as it’s important to know what is being taken in combination. Identifying the appropriate CBD dosage is very personal and takes into account individual factors like height, weight, varying medical conditions and other specific differences. Every human has a unique physiology and it’s important to keep in mind that using a CBD oil or tincture has the possibility of affecting the potency of other drugs, so again, it’s important to go over it all with a doctor before beginning usage.
A popular approach that seems to work well is beginning usage at a low dosage and working your way up. Users should take their height, weight and just how severe their condition is. It’s better to take less than enough than too much, so beginning with a drop and working your way up is a good way to gauge it. If one drop proved to not be enough for the initial period of time, you may try increasing to two drops for a few weeks and observe what effects that has. Pay attention to how you feel and how your condition progresses. Be observant of any changes to be able to assess how the amount is working for you personally. It takes CBD some time to affect your body, so take your time before increasing.
Next, you may try spreading out your amounts into smaller dosages throughout the day. This could enhance the absorption rate and effectiveness of the CBD oil. One thing that can more definitively be recommended is using high quality, hemp derived product with a transparent seller that divulges where they source from – ideally a domestically grown product. You’ll want to be sure you’re buying from a reliable and trusted source that keeps quality high in all their CBD products to ensure best results with your CBD use for anxiety.