Anxiety-related disorders affect a vast segment of our population. About 40 million adults (18%) in the United States age 18 and older are suffering from at least one of the different types of anxiety disorders. In this article, you will find out how CBD drops are useful for anxiety.
This increasing trend has raised a lot of public attention, and governments are working tirelessly to develop medicines that can benefit the population and help lower the number of anxiety cases arising in the future. In addition to this, researchers are looking for natural substitutes that can deliver the same properties, which prescribed anxiolytic drugs have to offer.
Recent studies have enabled scientists to study the characteristics of many natural herbs, including industrial hemp, which contains Cannabidiol (CBD) as its main constituent.
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that has been found to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. This article will explain how CBD can yield its effects and whether it can be used as an alternative drug for anxiety management in the coming years.
What is CBD and how are CBD drops made?
CBD is one of the over 100 plus naturally occurring cannabinoids found in Cannabis. It is a non-psychoactive compound that accounts for almost 40% of the plant extract. CBD drops are oils that contain concentrations of CBD.
The oils are derived from industrial hemp, which is a species of the Cannabis plant, selectively bred to achieve high levels of CBD. The oil is obtained from the plant’s secretions in an industrial process using alcohol or carbon dioxide extraction.
Once extracted, the oil undergoes a series of purification procedures conducted to refine the oil and eliminate unwanted plant components. These procedures include the process of Chromatography which is carried out to remove the plant phytochemical chlorophyll and decarboxylation which converts CBDA into CBD, a more efficient derivative of Cannabidiol. The pure extract is then used to treat various medical and health issues including Anxiety and other mood disorders.
How are CBD drops taken?
CBD oils can be administered in many ways. The most common form of administration is adding a few drops of the oil in food or beverages. Compared to other methods of consumption, ingesting the substance shows delayed effects because the oil has to first cross the digestive system before entering the metabolic pathway.
For immediate results, however, CBD oils have to be either vaped or sprayed onto the sublingual glands. Vaping is considered the most efficient and effective way of CBD consumption. It is believed that taking CBD drops by mouth gives you only about 15% bioavailability, while vaping provides 50-60%.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a general term used for a group of conditions and symptoms. It is a mental problem that is believed to affect an individual’s ability to think clearly and to form any reasonable decisions.
Symptoms comprise of physical, psychological and behavioral changes that have a negative effect on the individual’s day to day life. People suffering from an anxiety disorder may experience a range of issues including feelings of undue worry and concern, uneasiness, fearfulness, disquiet, agitation, angst, nervousness, edginess, tension, and stress.
They may also experience physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, increased muscle tension, hyperventilation, increased blood pressure and sweating. Anxiety disorders are typically classified into the following six main types;
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
These disorders render a person incapable of handling many situations. Patients diagnosed with Anxiety often avoid public confrontations and shy away from large crowds. They lack confidence and are usually worried about being negatively judged.
How are CBD drops used for anxiety treatment? Does it help?
Cannabinoids such as CBD interfere with the normal functioning of the human body by binding to endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid receptor system that is involved in regulation of endocrine function and the control of energy balance in humans. It is also responsible in the maintenance of physiological and cognitive processes including fertility, pregnancy, appetite, pain-sensation, mood, memory, emotions and pain.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and all other external cannabinoids influence the behavior of the natural cannabinoids produced by the body. They do so by binding to either CB1 or CB2 receptors, which are two of the primary receptors found clustered throughout the human body.
CB1 receptors are more commonly found in the brain, and they are believed to affect coordination, movement, mood, and emotions. CB2 receptors are more abundant in the immune system, and they affect inflammation and pain.
Although it was previously believed that CBD acted on CB2 receptors, this assumption changed when studies found that the cannabinoid did not interact directly with any of the two receptors. It was, however, established that CBD exhibited an indirect effect on CB1 and CB2 receptors by inhibiting the enzymes that broke down endocannabinoids.
This helped increase the body’s naturally-produced cannabinoids, regulating various cell activities and influencing signaling pathways, hence bringing about many medicinal benefits to the system.
Keeping the pharmacology of CBD drops into the account, research has shown that it can be a potential medicine for the treatment of anxiety. A human study conducted in 2011 that was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology stated that participants who were given an oral dose of 400 milligrams of CBD showed reduced anxiety compared to those who were administered with placebo.
In another study published in the 2013 British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, it was found that CBD was shown to offer benefits including anxiety relief. According to a 2017 study conducted by scientists at São Paulo University, Brazil, the effects of CBD drops included a reduction in symptoms of social anxiety and fear.
Another study, which was conducted on mice, indicated that repeated CBD administration helped the hippocampus in regenerating neurons, which was considered a useful sign in treating anxiety or depression.
Studies have also shown the benefits of CBD for other forms of anxiety, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also believed to help treat anxiety-induced insomnia.
User reviews on the effectiveness of CBD drop for anxiety
When questioned on Reddit, almost all users had positive feedback regarding the use of CBD to treat anxiety. Many users stated that CBD was proving to be a miracle substance for them, helping them fight the symptoms of anxiety and other mood-related disorders.
One user reported that he’d witnessed a woman administer THC-free CBD oil to her 9-year old autistic son and the results were terrific. The child usually had so much anxiety he’d throw up a few times a day, but CBD really helped him cope with his problems, and now he almost never throws up.
Another user commented that CBD drops helped him overcome the physical symptoms (restless limbs, tight muscles, and trouble sitting still) of anxiety. When asked which dose worked best, users were of different views, but most suggested that 10-25 mg doses twice per day would be able to deliver the desired effects effectively.
Some users even went on to say that CBD products, compared to prescribed medicine, worked better at curing anxiety. One individual said “I vape CBD for anxiety and man; I feel great! It works better than Xanax or even Klonipin (anxiolytic drugs) for me.
I feel calm and at ease, even in social situations”. Another user commented “Helped me get off the last bit of Lorazepam (also an anxiolytic drug) I was taking. That in itself is a miracle in my life”.
People on the thread also suggested that they don’t fear to overdose on CBD and that they feel safe using the substance since it doesn’t pose any health risks or side effects which are otherwise associated with prescribed medicine.
Even with the limited research, CBD has succeeded in providing positive results as a potential medicine. It could, therefore, be concluded that CBD is very beneficial in treating anxiety, and can prove to be a natural remedy for a vast majority of people.