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Can You Use CBD to Treat Your Anxiety?

Can You Use CBD to Treat Your Anxiety?

Today, anxiety plagues millions of adults, with over 40 million over the age of 18 years old (18%) suffering from some sort of anxiety-related disorder. Many different types of medications are prescribed to treat disorders like these, whether they are categorized as tranquilizers or serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These types of medication do work for some, however, many people don’t like the side effects that often accompany these drugs and find themselves shopping around for better options. Many don’t like the idea of taking medication that inhibits their mindset in this way, and seek alternative forms of treatment whether it be for a more holistic, natural reason, or because they want something non-addictive.


CBD could be a solution for your anxiety disorder. Many have found refuge in using cannabis as a form of medication because of the THC and CBD comprising its makeup. However, cannabis is not the option for everyone. Although it has been known as a solution for anxiety disorders, many find themselves experiencing the opposite effect, and have higher anxiety levels because of it. These unfriendly reactions turn them off of THC, but there may be a friendly solution in CBD. CBD is actually known to counteract the psychoactive elements of THC, so those who experience anxiety after using cannabis would surely benefit from taking CBD in correspondence, because it is purely non-psychoactive while still containing the capabilities to calm and soothe you without sending you into a stupor or a high. Taking it alone as a solution for anxiety has also known to be successful, as well.


Administered as needed, CBD has shown no negative observed side effects, and has been known to treat a variety of anxiety-related disorders, like panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and mild to moderate depression. 


Studies on animals show that CBD reacts similarly to the subjects as it would to humans. CBD affects several components of your brain, which leads to the reduction in anxiety. This has to do with two things: the 5-HT1A agonist and the hippocampus. 


5-HT1A is a subtype of the serotonin receptor, which is beneficial because anxiety and depression can sometimes be treated by targeting the serotonin system. For example, SSRIs like Prozac and Zoloft work by blocking reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, increasing the availability of serotonin in your synaptic space. This helps your brain to transmit more serotonin signals, which is what reduces your anxiety and boosts your mood. The process CBD creates is similar, because it is believe CBD boosts this same serotonin signaling through 5-HT1A transmission, possibility even faster than SSRIs. 


Some afflicted with anxiety or depression have a smaller hippocampus, as noted in brain scans, which is responsible for a variety of brain functions like memory formation and cognition. Successful treatment of depression is often attributed to the regeneration of new neurons in the hippocampus. An animal study found that consistent and repeated use of CBD aids in regenerating these neurons in the hippocampus, and in turn, may be a valuable asset to treat anxiety or depression. Human participants were used in a study surrounding those with social anxiety disorder. All the participants that consumed CBD listed a significant decrease in anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance, using findings supported by measurable anxiety indicators like heart rate and blood pressure.


These findings have shown that CBD certainly has some impact on those affected by an anxiety disorder, and can be a meaningful tool for treating it. Because it is an all-natural, non-psychoactive form of treatment many people could use this as an alternative better suited for their needs, than a pharmaceutical solution.



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  • Shannon Kaszuba
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