Whether it’s the anticipation of a large life event happening in the near future or the build-up of small, everyday stressors, all of us, at some point, have experienced the symptoms of anxiety.
Some individuals are naturally more prone to anxiety and the symptoms that come along with it. These qualities can be passed on genetically or be learned from our formative family dynamics. Personalities also play a factor. Even for those of us who are not naturally prone to carry tension and worry, there are seasons where situational anxiety arises.
The most common type of anxiety is situational — anxious thoughts arising from a series of stressful or frightening circumstances. But there are many other forms of anxiety beyond what would be classified as situational anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social phobias, panic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are also common forms of anxiety. Even some types of medications can cause anxiety!
Whatever shape it takes for you and regardless of the underlying cause, trying CBD for anxiety may help relieve those symptoms that so often accompany it.
By now you probably know about CBD and have had most of your questions or concerns answered. If not, check out our article here.
Studies on CBD for Anxiety Symptoms
We know that CBD works for a variety of conditions and issues, but in this article, we want to talk very specifically about how CBD helps anxiety.
In this 2019 Japanese study, a group of thirty-seven 18 and 19-year-olds diagnosed with social anxiety disorders were split into two groups. Seventeen of the subjects were given 300mg of CBD once daily. The remaining twenty teenagers were given a placebo. By the end of the 4-week study, two different measuring scales clearly suggested that CBD could be used as an effective supportive treatment for social anxiety disorders.
Another 2019 study sought to measure sleep and anxiety scores, using validated instruments, at baseline and after CBD treatment. Forty-seven adults were given between 25mg to 175mg of CBD daily. The researchers used the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale to measure the responses of their test subjects.
The results showed significant drops in anxiety-related symptoms for participants in the first month. Those decreased numbers were sustained throughout the entirety of the three-month study. It’s important to note that even at a much lower CBD dose (in comparison to other large scale studies), there were discernable decreases in anxiety symptoms.
How Does CBD Relieve Anxiety?
This is all good news, but how does CBD actually work for anxiety?
CBD interacts with and helps to regulate our endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis (or balance) within the human body. There are a variety of things that can cause our bodies to fall out of homeostasis, but the most common are environmental or external factors (stress, illness, inflammation, lack of sleep, etc).
These factors, among others, can potentially cause an individual to experience a chemical imbalance, which in turn may lead to or contribute to anxiety symptoms. By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD can keep us in balance and alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Don’t Forget the Feel-Good Factor
There is a specific chemical we produce known as anandamide or N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA). Anandamide comes from an ancient Sanskrit word “ananda” which is loosely translated as “bliss.” You can refer to this as our feel-good neurotransmitter.
It has been discovered that when CBD is ingested, it acts as a FAAH inhibitor. FAAH is an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, so the more FAAH an individual has present in the body, the less anandamide they are likely to have.
When CBD inhibits this FAAH enzyme, a person has a higher level of the ‘feel-good’ chemical in the body for a longer period of time. This increase helps to boost their mood and reduce anxiety.
Another interesting fact… There have been some studies that suggest chocolate may have some anandamide increasing benefits as well. Similar to CBD, chocolate may stimulate our endocannabinoid system along with helping to maintain elevated levels of anandamide by blocking its breakdown.
We’re not talking milk chocolate by the way — it does not contain the same N-Acylethanolamine levels as dark chocolate. This could partially explain why dark chocolate has been touted as a mood enhancer aside from the serotonin increasing effects. For some amazing tasting dark chocolate with CBD, contact our team to try our Wild Theory Chocolate Bars.
Questions About CBD for Anxiety? We’re Here to Help!
We’re always happy to talk about CBD! We can help you find the products you’re looking for to carry in your stores or for your own personal health journey. Get in touch with our team to talk.