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hemp oil benefits anxiety

At its most basic, anxiety is a survival instinct and our body’s natural reaction to acute stress. As an adaptive response, it helps us act when we feel threatened.

In addition to their positive effects on anandamide levels, CBD and THC mimic anandamide by activating TRPV1 channels.

What is hemp oil

When anxiety occurs in the context of life or death situations, like those involving puppies and oncoming traffic, the neurochemical processes set off by its experience are not only normal but potentially necessary for survival.

In one study, CBD decreased defensive behaviors evoked by predator exposure in mice. So, if you’re walking down dark alleys at night or hiking through Glacier National Park where predator threats have real potential, it may be wise to lay off the hemp oil.

Preliminary studies support the use of hemp oil for anxiety and stress. However, research has not yet proven it to be an effective and safe long-term treatment for the condition.

CBD oil comes as full-spectrum oils or in forms that contain CBD isolates. Unlike isolates, which contain CBD only, full-spectrum oils contain a variety of compounds found naturally in the cannabis plant, including proteins, flavonoids, terpenes, and chlorophyll. Alternative practitioners believe these compounds offer more substantial health benefits, although there is no clear evidence of this.

Remember, because CBD oils are largely unregulated, there is no guarantee that a product is either safe or effective.

Proponents claim that CBD oil can treat a wide variety of health problems, including:

What to Look For

According to a 2012 study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, rats injected with inflammatory chemicals in their hind feet experienced less inflammation and neuropathic pain when treated with an oral dose and spinal injection of CBD.  

Potential drug-drug interactions with CBD include:

CBD is the short name for cannabidiol, one of the two chemicals—among the dozens in cannabis—that have the most health benefits. The other, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), produces the psychoactive effects described as being “high.” CBD oil generally does not contain THC, although some trace amounts may be present in products sold in certain states.

Human studies evaluating the use of CBD in treating chronic pain are lacking. Those that do exist almost invariably include THC, making it difficult to isolate CBD’s distinct effects.

For example, one study comparing the effects of THC and CBD found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the “fight or flight” response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration.   In other words, CBD may be ideal for people looking to relax and unwind.

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.

What is CBD?

Looking to learn more about CBD? These are some of my favorite products to help get you started.

That said, those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD should consult with their doctor (especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or currently taking medication) and be mindful of your dosage, writes Consumer Reports. And before you buy, Megan Villa, co-founder of the hemp-focused website and shop Svn Space, told Shape magazine to seek out a certificate of analysis. “Ask for a COA for the batch number of the product you have, since these products are made in batches,” she said. “You need to match the batch number to the COA that pertains to it.” Then, scan the report for potency (i.e. does the number of milligrams of CBD that the product label touts match the lab report?), contaminants and pesticides, and mold (which should live under the “Microbiological Testing” part of the report). Go a step further and note whether the testing lab is GMP (Good Manufacturing Principles) certified, and whether the lab is registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shape magazine also suggests purchasing CBD products made from domestically-grown hemp, and reading up on the difference between full- and broad-spectrum and CBD isolate.

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?