You know the feeling. You’re on a deadline at work, or you just received an unexpected bill in the mail, or perhaps your child just went to her first day of school…ever. Your palms are sweaty, you’re short of breath, your chest feels tight and it’s hard to concentrate. This is anxiety, and you’ve felt it before. Sometimes you feel it every day of the week.
Anxiety gets a bad rap, but it’s actually an evolutionary response designed to help us react to threats to our safety, welfare, or environment. Anxiety can motivate us to avoid danger, to perform better, or to approach a difficult situation and resolve it. It’s when anxiety starts to interfere with our daily activities that it can become problematic. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), characterized by persistent and excessive worry about things such as money, health, family, or work, is just one of many anxiety disorders recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.
Anxiety and anxiety-related disorders affect a huge segment of our population. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 19% of US adults 18 and older experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year, and 31% of adults 18 and older have experienced an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. That’s a lot of folks like you and me! With such a prevalence of anxiety disorders, researchers are constantly looking for the best treatment.
These days, anxiety disorders are often treated with a combination of cognitive therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This treatment can be effective, but not everyone responds well to the latter. Side effects of SSRIs include drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, insomnia, diarrhea, nervousness and dizziness.
Fortunately, early research shows promising signs that CBD may be an effective alternative treatment for many anxiety disorders. While researchers are not yet certain how CBD works to alleviate anxiety-related symptoms - some theorize that CBD oil may influence receptors in the brain involved in the modulation of serotonin, while others believe that CBD may interact with various ion channels in the brain to produce a therapeutic effect – the studies conducted so far certainly demonstrate a level of effectiveness.
Further research is currently being conducted. In the meantime, CBD has been used for years as a self-treatment for anxiety, from everyday worries to the more worrisome disorders. According to a 2018 survey published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, almost 62 percent of cannabidiol users reported that they used CBD to treat a medical condition, with the top three conditions being pain, anxiety, and depression. The internet is filled with success stories from users of CBD that have not only alleviated anxiety itself, but also other symptoms such as insomnia and pain.
Humans are not the only ones that may benefit from CBD’s potential ability to alleviate anxiety. Dogs also have the receptors that aforementioned research suggests are positively affected by CBD treatments. According to PetMD, a survey published in the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association found that 72% of the people surveyed reported using a hemp product for their pet, with 64% reporting that they were certain it helped their pets. Our furry friends are family, and if CBD oil might help alleviate their fear of thunder, why not?
Here at Fully Activated CBD, we’ll continue watching the research as it continues to expound the many beneficial effects of CBD oil as a treatment for anxiety. In 2018, the research really started to pick up, and we are excited to see what 2019 will bring!