It’s 2018, and 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders in some form or another. Whether it’s social, generalized, or post-traumatic, anxiety is prevalent in our lives, and if not ours, someone we know. It goes beyond a simple feeling of being stressed out, and can be debilitating for so many of us.
Of course, there are many different pharmaceutical options to treat anxiety, but what if you could rely on something more natural? Even better, something with no side effects and no likelihood of abuse?
CBD can help anxiety in many ways, both direct and indirect. From being shown to reduce dread in those with severe social anxiety, to decreasing inflammation, tension and pain and subsequently allowing the body and mind to relax, the relationship between CBD and anxiety relief is a strong one.
A friend of the store had this to say about her experience:
Never one to rely on prescription drugs, I was in need of something to reduce my anxiety while going through a merger and ultimately a loss of my job. It not only helped my anxiety levels but it worked to reduce my pain and inflammation while dealing with a low back and knee injury. – H.H.
We’ve heard stories like this so frequently, and we have experienced them in our own lives as well.
Specifically, CBD targets serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin has also been called “the happy hormone.” Low serotonin levels have been associated with higher rates of depression, mood disorders and anxiety. Studies suggest that when CBD activates serotonin receptors an individual will experience reduction in anxiety, chronic pain and other ailments.
CBD also comes in fast-acting and easy to consume forms (like gummies and chocolate), which comes in handy in an anxious pinch. You also won’t feel impaired at all, where you very easily might with some anti-anxiety medicines (benzodiazepines specifically.) If you’re feeling a bout of anxiety coming on, chew a gummy or have a piece of chocolate and within minutes, you will feel more relaxed and no one will suspect a thing.
CBD has also been shown to relax muscles and decrease pain associated with muscle tension. This is especially important in today’s environment, where prescription painkillers are becoming more of an epidemic by the month, and people are looking for safe, effective alternatives. It has also shown to be a quick and powerful way for athletes to recover after a hard workout.
But back to anxiety. When we’re in pain, anxiety latches on and creates a vicious cycle. When you’re hurting, your mind is racing more. When your mind is racing and you’re mentally stressed, your muscles tense up and prevent the pain from fading away. It’s an incredibly unpleasant cycle, but one that many of us are familiar with.
But with CBD, muscle tension is lessened significantly. CBD can even act as both a spasmolytic and an anti-inflammatory, so no worries if you have more severe issues than tension.
Many take for granted the effect that lack of sleep has on our bodies, and the anxious cycle that it feeds into. Maybe we’re anxious about work the next day, maybe we’re feeling down because of something that happened the previous day. Either way, the thoughts always seem to creep up right when we’re about to fall asleep and prevent us from being rested, so the next day, we’re grumpy AND even more anxious as a result.
But with a little bit of CBD before bed each night, not only will you fall asleep more easily without feeling groggy, but your restless thoughts will be quieted and a restful tonight will contribute to a less anxious tomorrow. Even better, you can find CBD capsules with Melatonin infused, to make extra sure that you’ll get to sleep quickly.
“The Bliss Molecule”
So we’ve talked about the more relatable, more immediately noticeable ways that CBD can reduce your anxiety levels. But what about what goes on behind the scenes? What if CBD could affect a certain molecule (anandamide) that’s partially responsible for a feeling of bliss (think: runner’s high)? Pretty cool, right?
To step back a bit, we produce compounds called endocannabinoids that bind to certain cell receptors in our body, like a key fitting into a lock. These compounds keep our body and mind running smoothly and out of the way of things like excessive anxiety or pain. CBD acts upon these receptors in a similar way, supplementing our body’s production.
Anandamide is one of these endocannabinoids, and CBD has been shown to inhibit an enzyme (FAAH) that breaks down anandamide, ensuring that your blissful feeling can last longer, and keep your anxiety at bay in a subtle way. And the best part? No reliance on more complicated prescription anti-anxiety meds.
So, if you experience anxiety in any form, no matter its cause, give CBD a try. You may be surprised just how effective it is, and hopefully you’ll find the relief you need to live a more stress-free life.