Is CBD Any Closer to Being a Legitimate Treatment for Anxiety?

Anxiety is inherent in all human beings and it can act as a fantastic internal alarm bell to alert us of present or perceived dangers. When anxious, your brain releases stress hormones in order to help you to escape a precarious situation in which you find yourself, also known as the “fight or flight” response. This is a good thing, and no doubt played a crucial part in the survival and prosperity of the human species in days gone by. 

In modern life, however, there are times when our anxiety can flare up at irrational and unnecessary moments. This causes stress, worry and avoidance behaviours, which can spiral further into appetite loss, sleep loss, and depression. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been said to combat this by interacting with what is known as our endocannabinoid system, a complex internal network of various cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and enzymes present within the body that helps regulate our core internal functions and processes towards a state of bodily homeostasis.

By taking CBD when unduly stressed or panicked, you could help restore equilibrium to your system.

Sounds too good to be true?

Below we’ll be looking at current and future research into how CBD could potentially be used to tackle the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as some of the issues it faces due to rampant misinformation and a lack of government legislation. 

Unsuitable Legislation and Misleading Information

In the UK and the United States, the governmental health regulatory bodies don’t seem to have much of an idea of what to do with CBD and cannabis-derived products.

Legislation in both countries has struggled to keep up with the ever-growing public interest in CBD and the subsequent proliferation of CBD products currently being injected into the market. This has ultimately led to a huge influx of unhelpful misinformation coupled with a lot of confusion over what CBD is, what it does, and how it can affect the user. 

Advertising CBD to the public has also been affected by this. You cannot state anywhere on a CBD product’s packaging or company website that CBD provides mental health benefits as it would be deemed misleading and unfounded.

In light of this, we cannot legally – or with absolute certainty – claim that CBD is effective against any form of mental health issue, including anxiety and depression; though we can dive right into some of the research already conducted to get a fair idea. 

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Research into CBD and other cannabis-related compounds is often touted as scarce, though this is a somewhat misguided assertion. There have been thousands of research papers conducted throughout the last century and into the new millennium, and although many of them have used animals such as rats and mice as test subjects, human test subjects are becoming increasingly prevalent in the CBD research field..

In 2013, a review of already existing studies into how CBD can counteract the anxiety caused by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) showed favourable results. The author notes despite some prior research being inconsistent, it’s still completely plausible that CBD is successful in combating the intoxicating and anxiety-inducing effects THC can have on the brain.

'Anti-Panic Properties'

Further, in 2017, another review compiled already existing animal and human studies on CBD and cannabis to determine its efficacy in treating anxiety and anxiety-related disorders such as panic disorder and public speaking problems.

The overview was positive and researchers concluded that CBD “exhibits anti-panic properties”; but that more research should be conducted.

Conversely, in the same year, research carried out on 38 human test subjects to see how CBD can combat anxiety symptoms was less positive. The participants were given either a CBD dose or a placebo dose and were then asked to give feedback on how they felt. The researchers concluded, “oral CBD does not alter responses to emotional stimuli, or produce anxiolytic-like effects in healthy human subjects” based on a lack of consistency in the feedback between the CBD group and the placebo group. 

However, it’s important to note that this research was based upon participants taking one huge dose of 300 - 900 mg of CBD, as opposed to consistent dosing of smaller amounts, which could be the reason why they didn’t experience the beneficial effects of CBD.

As stated on our packaging - and also generally accepted among the CBD community - people shouldn’t exceed more than 200mg of CBD per day. 

We believe that CBD is better in smaller doses over a longer period of time and results seem to manifest within 5 to 7 days, and feedback and anecdotes from other CBD users would indicate the same. Therefore we look forward to more informed research on the benefits of CBD in treating anxiety.

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Future Research

Currently, research is ongoing and there’s a lot to be excited about. In fact, according to Leafly, the US government is pumping $3 million into cannabis research to see how effective it is at tackling pain-related issues, just over a year after the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution for the treatment of epilepsy. 

There is also a clinical trial underway to study CBD’s potential to treat anxiety disorders. This will be an eight week randomised trial on human test subjects aged between 21 and 65, which will hopefully give us some more insight into CBD’s therapeutic uses. 

The findings of these trials will be keenly awaited; a huge amount of anecdotal evidence proclaiming CBD as a “miracle cure” for depression and anxiety, as well as physical, physiological, and dermatological ailments has created huge interest in recent years.

As it stands right now, our hands are tied by law when it comes to recommending CBD as a solid treatment for anxiety and depression. However, we’re confident in the research already published and especially in the feedback we’ve had from our own customers and their experiences in treating anxiety with CBD. 

Do you suffer from anxiety? Have you tried CBD oils yet?

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