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does cbd reduce anxiety

With that said, I’m definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and to possibly up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it’s an all-natural product that’s responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that’s safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I’m definitely on board.

With this book, CBD is explained from A to Z and breaks down the good, bad, and ugly of a fledgling industry that is poised for rapid growth. CBD: 101 Things You Need to Know About CBD Oil covers what it is, why people take it, who it’s for (and who it isn’t for), its myriad forms, and more.

When I first learned about CBD oil, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I’d had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who’s already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: Paranoia. But, let’s back up a bit. What even is CBD?

I’m More Focused At Work

I assume this is also a side effect of feeling less anxious, but I seem to fall asleep faster; within the 20-30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping or at least shortening the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I’m able to snap out of the overthinking that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there’s no telling whether a big life event would disrupt this newfound bliss, but I’d like to think it’s helped on a day-to-day basis.

A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte’s Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I’d been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD (when derived from the hemp plant) does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel “high”; instead, emerging science has hinted that CBD may actually ease anxiety, and therefore, makes you less likely to freak out.  

Go deep on the subject of CBD with this book that includes case studies, interviews with doctors, an overview of the latest cannabis research, and how scientists are exploring cannabis for various medical uses. There is also an explainer about the difference between CBD products made from industrial hemp versus in a lab, and products made from the whole marijuana plant.

While the science behind CBD’s effectiveness for treating anxiety, pain, and insomnia is still in its infancy,   Charlotte Figi’s inspiring story sounds promising. Figi, a 6-year-old girl diagnosed with a rare and resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, was placed on hospice care and given a “do not resuscitate” order when her parents, desperate and frustrated with pharmaceutical medication, considered medical marijuana; specifically, a strain low in THC and high in CBD. Charlotte is now nearly seizure-free since she began supplementing with Charlotte Web’s CBD oil, which the brand named after Figi.

Known as the “feel-good” hormone, serotonin stabilises the mood, increases feelings of happiness and promotes a sense of wellbeing. As well as causing depression, serotonin is linked to anxiety. For this reason, many anti-depressant anti-anxiety medications actively increase serotonin levels.

There are limited clinical trials exploring the anxiolytic properties of CBD, though the research that does exist is promising. In 2018 the Journal of Affective Disorders published a study suggesting that cannabis can lower anxiety levels, as well as improve stress and depression. The benefits of CBD for treating Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) have also been explored, with a study carried out by the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University in 2019 indicating the cannabinoid can reduce anxiety levels over a four-week period.

Harnessing the therapeutic benefits of cannabis is not a new concept, with historians estimating the flowering plant has been cultivated for medicinal purposes since 500 BC. While cannabis has endured a shady reputation, over the past decade a cannabinoid called CBD has won the attention of medical researchers around the world. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant with known anxiolytic properties.

Targeting the endocannabinoid system

Responsible for regulating key bodily functions, the endocannabinoid system is a complex network that supports neuronal activity, as well as the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. It regulates a wide range of functions, including memory, appetite, sleep, fertility and mood. The last is particularly important, with studies suggesting CBD interacts with the 5-HT1a receptor, a serotonin-subtype.

“CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioural and psychological and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety,” asserts the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

As well as interacting with the 5-HT1a receptor, CBD activates CB1 receptors located in the brain’s amygdala. When these receptors are blocked anxiety can increase, making CBD a promising anxiolytic. CBD is also linked to heightened activity in the brain’s amygdala-hippocampal-cortico-striatal circuit, which is linked to emotional processing.

So how does CBD reduce anxiety? While the exact mechanisms of the cannabinoid are unknown, scientists suspect the compound interacts with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system to promote relaxation.

Jones: All right, today is the day! I have my CBD here. I’m kind of nervous. All right, here we go.

Phan: The tinctures, right? This is where you really get into the higher-strength things.”

Jones: But if there was one takeaway from our conversations, it was this:

Jones: Hurd has been studying the effects of CBD for over 10 years. And she’s found that it can reduce anxiety in people with a history of heroin addiction . Now, fortunately, I don’t have a history of addiction, but I do see a therapist for chronic anxiety. And CBD could still help.

Jones: And what about those moments of instant relief? Was that in my head, or could CBD act that fast?