Can CBD Help Anxiety?
Can CBD Help Anxiety?
Much like depression, which we’ve covered in an earlier post, anxiety is a condition that can severely limit people’s health and happiness. And unfortunately, the side-effects of clinical medication leave people looking for alternatives. They’re asking the question, can CBD help depression?
As our series on the medical debates around CBD continues, we take a look at whether people believe CBD is the key to treating anxiety.
What are the Symptoms of Depression?
While many people view depression and anxiety as similar conditions, they actually present in very different ways. While depression leads to lethargy, anxiety often has the opposite effect, manifesting in symptoms that are no less unpleasant for sufferers:
- A continual sense of dread
- Feeling unsettled and on-edge
- Difficulty concentrating
- Tiredness and dizziness
- Muscle aches, tension and nausea
- Dry mouth and sweating
- An irregular heartbeat
As sufferers know and others may imagine, treating these symptoms is key, and worries about the medication that you’re taking for anxiety can often make you even more anxious. So if you’re planning on trying CBD supplements, you’ll want a little reassurance before you begin.
What do the Experts Say?
Let’s start with the reassurance that comes with expertise. Again, we’ve found published studies which show how much thought researchers are putting into discovering whether cannabidiol can treat anxiety:
Cannabinioids and Anxiety (Published 2005)
Evidences for the Anti-panic Actions of Cannabidiol (Published 2017)
For over 15 years, researchers have been looking at whether CBD can treat anxiety, and these two papers show some of the findings that researchers are beginning to agree on. As always, you can read through these research papers for yourself, but we’ve summarised a few key finding here:
- In animal tests cannabidiol inhibits the development of stress-induced ulcers compared to diazepam
- Low doses of CBD outperformed the placebo in a number of human tests, although it may be less calming than a low dose of diazepam
- In those same tests, CBD produced mental calmness without physical sedation or sluggishness
- CBD was shown to have a panic-suppressing effect when delivered orally to patients in a double-blind panic study
Both paper here agree that tests are positive and encouraging, but further clinical trials are needed on patients with panic disorders and anxiety. However, as you can imagine, people with a panic disorder feel uncomfortable submitting to medical testing, so progress is slow.
What do CBD Advocates Say?
The slowness of medical testing shouldn’t surprise you if you’ve seen our discussion on the debate around medical cannabidiol (read our deep dive into medicinal CBD post if you haven’t – link to deep dive), so anxiety sufferers have been trying CBD supplements for themselves.
Here’s some feedback we’ve found:
"It’s helping with my anxiety."
“Not going to lie, I actually feel a little bit more calm. It kind of puts me into a dissociative state, where I'm slowing down a little bit.
I actually get physical pain in my heart region when I'm anxious, which I know sounds terrible. But just 30 minutes after taking my 100-milligram dose for the evening, I feel an absence of that.”
“While normally I'd be slightly tripped up by little things like an overly crowded subway car or a full inbox at work, the CBD oil seems to have taken the edge off of my anxiety a bit.
Rather than overthinking a sternly worded email or analyzing a social interaction, I found it easier to recognize the irrationality of these thoughts and actually let them go. In some ways, I feel more like myself.”
These quotes aren’t claims of miracle cures. They’re not promising instant fixes. But what they suggest is that CBD supplements, in conjunction with other lifestyle changes, are helping to lessen the symptoms of anxiety.
Can CBD Help Anxiety or the Symptoms of Anxiety?
As we’ve said before, we can’t answer this definitively. Only the medical community and researchers can. But we find the evidence quite compelling that anecdotally, CBD has helped some people who suffer from anxiety to feel happier, calmer and healthier.
But until the research is in, you’ll need to draw your own conclusions. And if you’d like to try CBD products, we’ll be more than happy to help you. And of course, we want to hear about your experiences, especially if you’ve suffered from anxiety in the past.
Please note: If you are being treated for anxiety, please talk to your GP before taking new supplements or reducing your existing medication.What do you think? Can CBD help anxiety? Share your experiences with us either in the comments section, or via social media.