The United States is in the grip of anxiety. Millions suffer from it, some so badly that their quality of life diminishes. Anxiety is a normal response to danger, whether perceived or not. It is a crucial, adaptive reaction for self-protection, helping us identify threats and avoid them. It is also highly motivating, pushing people to improve their circumstances.
However, as natural a response as anxiety is, it can occur for seemingly no reason whatsoever. A feeling of danger where none actually exists is enough to trigger panic attacks in some people. This is when anxiety becomes problematic, since it is then maladaptive and destructive to relationships and livelihoods. This type of stress leads to clinically diagnosable anxiety-related disorders. Help is crucial.
Treatment is widely available and effective. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, at least 18 percent of the United States population lives with maladaptive anxiety, or around 40 million people. Big Pharma pushes various prescription drugs to treat these issues, including potent tranquilizers, such as Valium and Xanax, and selective serotonin uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, such as Prozac and Zoloft.
However, although many patients find relief from these drugs, most respond unfavorably to them. Some feel relief, but cannot handle the side effects. Still others get no relief and end up addicted. Tranquilizers are notably addictive, with a long history of dependency, especially the powerful ones, such as Valium and Xanax. For this reason, alternative therapies for anxiety are not only crucial, but a notable priority.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is making news near daily now. It is the primary non-psychoactive compound in cannabis plants lauded by scientists and doctors alike for its powerful medicinal properties. For patients, it provides a viable alternative to dangerous prescriptions. Interest in CBD Oil is growing. Research proves CBD safe, and there are many good reasons for its popularity among scientists, doctors, and consumers.
Studies prove CBD Oil capable of counteracting the anxiety-ridden, paranoid effects of too much tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. However, growing evidence from human clinical, epidemiological, and experimental studies, as well as animal studies, show CBD highly valuable for treating anxiety-related issues. When consumed responsible, science proves CBD safe, well tolerated, and effective.
CBD oil causes a variety of brain responses. This is exactly why it is such a wonderful alternative for treating anxiety and related disorders. Although some clinical studies exist, most are preclinical or untested on people just yet. Thousands of animal studies exist, but not all results transfer smoothly to human subjects. Despite this, science is able to show CBD affecting various functions of the brain:
Serotonin has a huge effect on anxiety. There are subtypes of serotonin receptors, of which 5-HT1A is one. Medications that have specific effects on the serotonin system are SSRIs, of which Prozac and Zoloft are the two most common examples. SSRIs work by preventing serotonin reabsorption in the brain. Instead of the brain reabsorbing serotonin, it sends it into the synaptic spaces instead.
When the brain’s synapses have more serotonin between them, they are able to communicate with each other better. The brain can send messages more easily. In most cases, this greatly improves mood and reduces anxiety, but scientists are still studying the full biological mechanisms for how this works. CBD, like SSRIs, boost signaling between 5-HT1A serotonin receptors. In fact, it does a better job of it.
There is another approach to anxiety treatment: Hippocampal neurogenesis. The hippocampus is vital to many functions within the brain, including memory and cognitive function. When doing brain scans on folks with anxiety and depression, scientists noted smaller hippocampi in their brains. They realized that by stimulating neural growth in the hippocampus, called neurogenesis, they could treat anxiety.
This approach has proven highly effective for many. In mice studies, researchers found CBD aiding neurogenesis significantly in the hippocampus. These results suggest that CBD is a potentially highly therapeutic treatment for anxiety and related disorders. With both CBD and SSRIs able to stimulate neural growth, this is huge, especially as evidence shows neuronal dysfunction responsible for suicides.
Building from successful animal studies, scientists are now in the process of conducting clinical trials on humans. Emerging evidence seems highly promising. Research shows CBD oil improving nearly all the symptoms associated with anxiety and related issues, including severe stress and panic disorder. After consuming CBD oil, study subjects are noticing a massive reduction in anxiety levels overall.
To confirm these patient allegations, scientists scanned their brains to find blood flow within in the brain to be consistent with a reduction in anxiety. Several others studies also support these findings, including one that monitored subjects in simulated public speaking tasks. Those findings also found notably reduced anxiety after using objective anxiety indicators, such as heart rate, to measure it.
As those scientists themselves said, “CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance.” In the placebo group, or those that did not consume CBD oil, the opposite proved true. They were more anxious, were cognitively impaired, and in great discomfort. These cases provide definitive evidence that proves CBD safe and an effective anxiety treatment.
Now that researchers are discovering all of CBD’s secrets, they are able to characterize exactly how the brain responds to CBD oil. Mounting evidence shows participants in human studies, those with and without anxiety issues, verifying the efficacy of CBD in treating anxiety related issues. Since anxiety has huge social and financial implications, CBD oil can prove vital in improving the quality of life for millions.