Cannabidiol (CBD) is quickly becoming a popular trend in the supplement world, but what, exactly, are its uses? For starters, it is worth noting that CBD and its benefits are being researched worldwide. In fact, CBD and its benefits and effects on the body and mind have been of scientific interest for decades. Within the United States and Canada, recent changes in legislation opened the door for more intensive clinical trials and studies. What researchers are learning is changing the way the world perceives and understands hemp and CBD.
Most notably, research is focusing around the effects of CBD on depression, anxiety, chronic pain management, cancer, and several forms of epilepsy. Preliminary research into CBD and anxiety are showing positive results in decreasing anxiety. What does this mean for those who suffer from this illness?
First, it’s important to note that research has found that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness — affecting some 40 million adults in the United States alone. In fact, studies have found that during a 13-year span, the percentage of Americans on antidepressants increased from 6.8% to 13%.
That means over 41 million Americans are taking some kind of medication to help with their mental health. While some people find these chemical solutions effective, wouldn’t it be great if there were a naturally occurring, plant-based substitute that could provide similar results?
Next, let’s consider what anxiety looks like. Anxiety can be loosely defined as a nervous disorder accompanied by great apprehension and overwhelming feelings of unease. Most often, it is accompanied by some type of compulsive behavior and/or panic attacks.
Finally, it’s worth noting the types of anxiety that have been studied in relation to CBD. These include:
- General anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
A 2015 study found that CBD oil “induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT.” In addition, “In vivo microdialysis revealed that the administration of CBD significantly enhanced serotonin and glutamate levels in vmPFCx in a different manner depending on the emotional state and the duration of the treatment. ”
A 2014 study found that CBD oil “studies involving animal models, performing a variety of experiments…suggest that CBD exhibited anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in animal models discussed.”
While more trials and studies are warranted to fully understand the short-term and long-term effects of using CBD, early studies show the receptor binding chemicals in CBD (cannabinoids) may impact blood flow to the anxiety-based part of the brain. This change was most noted in research concerning social anxiety.
Research based around CBD and anxiety will only increase as doors open for scientific research of the cannabis plant. The preliminary results are definitely exciting: CBD has the potential to help fight back against anxiety and depression.