Can CBD reduce anxiety?
Our societies’ relationship with cannabis is most definitely a 'complicated' one. Filled with more drama, suspense, love and hate to give even the most popular of soaps a run for their money. But if we put all the usual government propaganda, scaremonger stories and general 'high' brow snobbery to one side we are left with a far more neutral case to crack.
Over recent years a number of high profile study's have come to light showing cannabis as more than just a recreational pastime or a life-destroying gateway drug from hell (depending on your country's take). It is well-documented that marijuana has a plethora of medicinal qualities; so its no wonder the United States for example, have partly legalized licensed medical marijuana outlets and fully decriminalized the plant in the states of Washington and Colorado. But let's be clear, this isn't necessarily the time to stockpile the Sour Diesel or hoard the Haze before hearing all the facts (unless you really want to, that is).
Study Reveals CBD To Fight Anxiety
Studies have shown that anxiety disorders are by far the most prevalent of mental disorders around the world, affecting millions. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is recognised as the most common form of anxiety. SAD is characterized as an intense fear of one or more social situations. In turn, this fear can cause distress to the point that it impairs daily functioning.The trigger for the disorder differs from person to person but many attribute it to external scrutiny both real and self-made. It is this perceived pressure that manifests itself in the form of a social phobia.
With anxiety posing such real widespread anguish, finding a legitimate way to manage (if not cure) the symptoms should be the number one priority. Well, marijuana may in fact be the answer to the problem - or more specifically: Cannabidiol. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound known to possess a wide spectrum of therapeutic benefits. Users of cannabis are unlikely to harness the full potential of CBD as a result of the common plants’ low CBD levels. It is the THC portion that gets you high, and the higher the THC level, the higher you get. THC and CBD coexist in the plant and act in synergy, with CBD primarily dampening the effects of THC. Over decades, growers have consciously selected plants for their high THC content, neglecting CBD levels. This is changing now, however, as the benefits of CBD are becoming more apparent.
Already back in 2011 a group of Brazilian researchers published an article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology that investigated the relationship between CBD and Social Anxiety Disorder. Their findings suggested that CBD could indeed provide genuine relief to those who suffered from SAD.
However, some users experience anxiety as a result of cannabis consumption. Wether cannabis triggers or inhibits anxiety seems to be largely associated with the cannabinoid content of the particular strain, as well as the dose. Larger doses of THC-laden strains tend to initially trigger anxiety, while CBD acts in the opposite way. CBD has been shown to dampen and reduce the effects of THC, increasing the sense of calm and relaxation. For many, a low dose of the right strain of cannabis seems to work to reduce anxiety, however, a bite more and it might just trigger it.
According to an article published In the Daily Mail, which also highlights cannabis’ anti-anxiety effects, U.S. scientists found marijuana regulates both anxiety and the body’s fight-or-flight response. Speaking of flying, this report flies in the face of previous contradictory claims which linked the drug to anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
The study, which was led by Dr. Sachin Patel also showed:
• That there are receptors through which marijuana can exert its effects in a key emotional hub in the brain.
• For the first time how nerve cells in this part of the brain make and release their own natural endocannabinoids.
In another study from 2011, led by Mateus M. Bergamaschi, it was found that CBD „significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort“ in public speakers. They came to the conclusion that „a single dose of CBD can reduce the anxiety-enhancing effect provoked by SPST (simulation public speaking test) in SAD patients, indicating that this cannabinoid inhibits the fear of speaking in public, one of the main symptoms of the disorder.“
Those insights come as complete U-turns on the behalf of international governments around the world who slammed marijuana presumptively. Although it’s too early to definitively diagnose CBD as a wonder (anti-anxiety) drug without further testing, we can nonetheless breathe a smoke of relief.