CBD oil is a natural health supplement that helps to support the immune system, relieves pain and supports your mental health. CBD, or cannabidiol, works within a system in the body called the endocannabinoid system, balancing hormones and chemicals that impact your brain chemistry and mood. Read more about how CBD can ease anxiety.
What Is CBD?
CBD is the abbreviation of cannabidiol. This is one of the 119+ different cannabinoids that have been discovered both in the hemp plant and naturally occuring in our own bodies. A lot of different cannabinoids have been studied, but CBD is one that has been found to have the most wide ranging benefits due to the way it influences the endocannabinoid system.
CBD comes from the hemp plant. This is the same plant that can be bred in different strains to produce cannabis, although this is designed to be low in CBD and high in another cannabinoid called THC. THC is what causes the user to become high. Hemp plants that are used to make CBD oil, on the other hand, are bred to contain only trace amounts of THC so the final CBD oil is completely safe for daily use.
The Endocannabinoid System
This system was only discovered relatively recently, but is vital to the way our bodies maintain balance (through homeostasis), react to infection and inflammation, and stay functioning at optimum.
This system functions with two known receptors (although some scientists think there are probably more we haven’t discovered yet!), called CB1 and CB2. CB1 is found in large quantities in the peripheral and central nervous system, including the brain itself. CB2 is found throughout the body, but in largest numbers in organs associated with the immune system.
Because both CB1 and CB2 receptors are found throughout the body and in some of our most important systems, the cannabinoids that bind to them (which includes CBD) have a big impact upon our bodies.
How Can CBD Help Anxiety?
CBD has been found to show promising effects in laboratory studies on helping to improve anxiety, and it’s been claimed by even more people in reality that it’s helped them to cope with anxiety disorders.
But how does it work?
Anxiety, like anything that affects our mental health, is often a complicated issue that is affected by a lot of different brain chemicals. However, some of the leading pharmaceutical drugs which are prescribed for anxiety target the serotonin system.
Serotonin is a chemical that our brains produce naturally, helping us to feel happy and improving our feeling of well-being. It’s thought that anxiety can be caused by an imbalance of serotonin in the brain. When too much serotonin is ‘absorbed’ rather than being present in the synaptic gap, it can leave us feeling down, unhappy and anxious.
Some of the leading anxiety drugs, like citalopram (brand name Celexa) or fluoxetine (brand name Prozac), function as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These are designed to stop serotonin being reabsorbed so there are higher quantities in the synaptic space. It helps the brain transmit more serotonin signals, boosting mood and relieving anxiety in some people. (It’s worth noting that this is a simplification: the full biological process is very complex and is not entirely understood).
It’s thought that CBD can work in a similar way to the SSRIs. For people that have too little serotonin, it acts as a blocker that helps to increase concentration and boost mood.
This is just one current line of scientific thought in how CBD can impact anxiety. It’s also thought that the effect of CBD upon the hypothalamus also plays a part, as well as CBD’s relationship with other brain chemicals and the way it helps the body to achieve equilibrium through homeostasis.
CBD oil could be a powerful way to combat and manage anxiety.
CBD oil contains high concentrations of CBD and, if it’s full spectrum oil and not isolate, other cannabinoids in lower concentrations – many of which are also associated with improving various functions within the body.
It can be found in lots of different forms, but one of the most popular (and often thought to be the most effective) is CBD oil drops. You use the dropper to administer a small amount of CBD oil under the tongue. Alternatively, you can get water-soluble drops that you can add to your drink.
If you suffer from anxiety, CBD oil is a safe, non-addictive and natural way to improve your mental health and well-being. Despite all the people using CBD, no one has reported any adverse side effects, so it’s a fantastic thing to try if you want to relieve your anxiety.