There is no shortage of things to be anxious about these days especially in the middle of our current global pandemic. Anxiety about work, anxiety about university, anxiety about relationships, anxiety about money, anxiety about family - the list goes on and on. It can feel like an overwhelming sense of weight on our shoulders. We are not just feeling our own stress, but also that of our family, our community, and the global collective linked through technology. That is a lot to feel and process. To address this problem, many people have begun to supplement their mental health support with plant-based remedies, including Cannabidiol. There is good evidence that CBD can help with anxiety – but to understand why, it first helps to know why anxiety exists in the first place.
Why do we even have anxiety?
Anxiety disorders have a complex set of risk factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Studies show that anxiety disorders are the most common mental condition. Beyond Blue statistics reports one in seven Australians are currently experiencing an anxiety condition. Breakdown: 14.4% of Australians aged 16 to 85 have experienced an anxiety disorder in the last 12 months. This is equivalent to 2.71 million people today.
There is a purpose to our anxiety, feeling afraid is very much a part of the experience of being human. It occurs in response to anticipated or immediate danger and therefore is a survival instinct. Our ancestors often faced immediate threats of wild animals and dangerous natural events, which evolved the human stress response. Stress hormones such as cortisol are essential for fight or flight which enables us to sense danger, act quick and escape. This response is important because it initiates a whole series of physical and behavioral changes that ultimately serve to protect us. Yet excessive or constant fear may be debilitating, affecting your lifestyle. In modern times, the stressors we encounter in today’s world tend to be ongoing unlike the immediate dangers our ancestors faced. But our bodies do not know the difference between ongoing and immediate threats. If there is no release for our flight or fight response, the ongoing stress trains our brains to feel anxious.
This can lead to many health problems such as
- Poor immune system
- Digestive Issues
- Weight gain
- Endocannabinoid imbalance
How does cannabidiol help anxiety?
Cannabidiol affects the body in many powerful ways. Studies suggest that cannabidiol’s influence on our endocannabinoid system and neural regeneration holds the answers to its efficiency as well creates an effect termed ‘fear extinction’ suggesting exciting potential for the treatment of PTSD through cannabinoids. There are a few ways which cannabidiol's powerful effect on our ECS can relieve anxiety symptoms which are outlined below:
Researchers believe cannabidiol works with a cannabinoid receptor in your brain called CB1 and studies have demonstrated that these receptors have a direct effect on the cells producing serotonin and believe the interactions alter our serotonin signals which is a neurotransmitter known as our ‘happy’ chemical and is thought to play the largest role in moderating our anxiety.
Cannabidiol may also affect the hippocampus a part of the brain associated with memory, learning and mood, which plays a large role in regulating your emotions. When you have depression or anxiety, your hippocampus does not function as well. CBD oil can assist in the production and integration of new neurons in the brain.
Fear extinction is essentially the reduction of anxiety triggers which are caused by cases of chronic and/or on-going stress. ‘Unlearning’ these anxiety triggers can be a challenge. Studies have indicated that CBD can facilitate the fear extinction process, helping us to let go of our anxiety triggers.
Should you treat your anxiety with CBD?
Yes! Anyone can benefit incorporating CBD into their daily routine to not only balance their endocannabinoid system but also to combat anxiety and/or depression and can be used in an effort to reduce or replace other forms of traditional medication. So if you choose to supplement with cannabidiol, it will work best as part of a comprehensive plan which can include breath work, yoga and meditation practices. As always, consult with your general practitioner before beginning any new therapy, especially if you are currently taking anxiety/depression medication, as similar to grapefruit, CBD can interfere with your body’s ability to metabolize certain drugs and medicines properly, making them either weaker or stronger. Once you have discussed your plan with your GP and you are ready to purchase our oils and start taking cannabidiol for your anxiety or depression, head over to www.somamedicinals.com to browse our range and choose the best option for you. Even our CBD suppositories may help provide you with more relief by helping you bypass digestion allowing for higher absorption and a stronger effect.