The classic conversation of, ‘how are you’, ‘good how are you’ covers just the surface. What if the ‘how are you’ response was a complicated, not-so-pretty, and deeply honest answer backed with anxious thoughts? What if we all experience anxiety in some form or another, at different times or all at the same time, or in overwhelming or small doses?
Speaking in front of a large audience? Anxiety creeps up. Driving in stop-and-go traffic? Anxiety pops up. Nothing happens at all? Anxiety’s around the corner.
So how can we better approach, reduce, and manage our anxiety?
In today’s article, we’ll overview the types of anxiety and their symptoms, the amazing benefits of what cannabidiol can bring to reducing your anxiety, and the research behind the beautiful effects of CBD as an anti-anxiety agent.
No room to overthink, just room to relief, let’s go!
ANXIETY: AN OVERVIEW
Here’s the juice: we all experience anxiety. However, when the feelings become too intense, overwhelming, or put you in distress when doing your daily routine, an anxiety disorder may be lurking around the corner.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States today, affecting nearly 18% of the population, that’s 40 million adults per year.
Anxiety is defined as an emotion characterized by feelings of worried thoughts, tension, and or physical changes in blood pressure, as described by the American Psychological Association.
TYPES OF ANXIETY
There are numerous types of anxiety disorders, but we’ll be discussing the most common types today: social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, and panic disorder.
1. SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER
This isn’t someone who’s “shy”, this is more. This disorder causes intense fear about social interactions, often driven by irrational fears and worries about being humiliated. For instance, someone with social anxiety disorder may not speak up in conversations, voice their ideas in class discussions, or may become isolated.
2. GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD)
GAD creates chronic, exaggerated worrying about every day living. This worrying may consume hours and hours of your day, making it difficult to concentrate or complete daily tasks. Someone with GAD may become extremely tired by worry and experience tension, headaches, and or nausea.
As humans, we tend to avoid certain situations or things that make us uncomfortable (or maybe even fearful). But for a person with a phobia, certain events, places, or objects can create powerful reactions of irrational fear. Most individuals with specific phobias have several things that can trigger these reactions. Depending on the type and number of triggers that person may have, attempts to control this fear can take over their life.
4. PANIC DISORDER
Panic attacks and sudden feelings of terror coming back repeatedly, without any warning? Yep, that characterizes a panic disorder. Often commonly mistaken for a heart attack, a panic attack causes powerful physically-altering symptoms, including heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and stomach upsets.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY
All anxiety disorders can have one thing in common: persistent, excessive fear, or worry in situations that are not threatening. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), individuals typically experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sweating, tremors, twitches
- Headaches, fatigue, insomnia
- Upset stomach, frequent urination, diarrhea
- Pounding or racing heart
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tense or jumpy
- Feelings of dread
- Anticipating the worst
- Being watchful for signs of danger
- Restlessness or irritability
So now that we’ve got our barring's on anxiety and what it may look like, how can we help, reduce, and manage it? Are there natural options available in addition to conventional pharmaceutical medications?
Keep reading to find out!
THE BRIDGE BETWEEN ANXIETY AND CBD OIL
We’re at the bridge: the side we’re on is anxiety-ridden, the other side? CBD and its research on the amazing effects of reducing and helping anxiety. Race you there? GO.
How can CBD help my anxiety? What does it do for me physically and mentally? First, let’s rehearse what cannabidiol is and how it functions inside our bodies.
HOW CANNABIDIOL WORKS
Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of the hundred plus phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. It’s the non-psychoactive part of the plant - it won’t get you “high” or “stoned”.
There have been consistent findings across clinical studies over the last decade, exhibiting that cannabidiol is widely considered as safe, generally well-tolerated, lacks toxicity, non-addictive, and non-intoxicating with no reinforcing properties, according to an opinion article published in Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA).
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ECS IN ANXIETY
CBD supports the endocannabinoid system, known as the ECS, for short. Each and every one of us has a working ECS in our body.
The ECS has two main receptors: cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Cannabidiol binds to these receptors indirectly, thus, you won’t get the “high” that is typically associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which binds directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Evidence from recent clinical studies have demonstrated that CBD may be a potential source for new medications for the treatment of anxiety disorders, with the involvement of the ECS.
A foundational study for the anti-anxiety effects of CBD was published in 1990. This rat study investigated the presence of anxiolytic properties in cannabidiol. Researchers randomized the rats’ doses including 2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 mg/kg of body weight. The results from the study suggested that cannabidiol can cause selective anxiolytic effects, within a limited range of doses.
Researchers concluded that CBD may cause various anti-anxiety effects, with a range of doses.
A 2010 study out of Brazil investigated the anxiety-reducing effects of CBD in generalized social anxiety disorder. Human subjects in this study were given 400 mg of CBD orally or a placebo. Researchers discovered that those who were given CBD were associated with a significant decrease in subjective anxiety.
These results suggest that CBD may help reduce anxiety in social anxiety disorder.
A large 2019 case series examined the role of CBD in anxiety and sleep. This study had 103 adult patients at a psychiatric clinic. In the first month of CBD treatment, 79.2% of patients had decreased anxiety scores and continued to remain decreased during the study’s duration.
CBD may hold promising benefits for anxiety-related disorders.
Recently published in Current Neuropharmacology, a 2020 review investigation examined the “entourage effect” of terpenes coupled with cannabinoids for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
This article reviewed the current literature surrounding cannabinoids. Researchers suggested that endocannabinoids have been shown to exert clinical efficacy in treating anxiety disorders.
Cannabinoids may be an important potential source for new medications for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
WHAT DOSAGE DO I TAKE
Clinically, more work is needed to be done to provide a safe, accurate, and effective recommended dosage for cannabidiol.
The amount of CBD an individual may need will varying depending on their size, age, and sex. In most cases, it’s best to begin with a small amount of CBD to gauge your reaction. Then, increase or decrease how much you consume, accordingly.
Always consult with your physician prior to starting any new supplements and or medications.
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE CBD OIL
So where do you start? The internet, well of course!
The perks of using the internet to navigate endocannabinoids and various cannabidiol companies is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home. No need to ask strangers questions about the products, you can simply type it out. But, be aware that not all products are equal. Not every company provides the same quality control, lab testing, and product descriptions as one another. So, just because one cannabinoid oil is cheaper than the other, doesn’t mean it will be better or stronger.
WHICH CBD PRODUCT IS RIGHT FOR ME
CBD drops? Pills? Topicals? Salves? Creams? Edibles? There are so many options!
Here, at Nanocraft CBD, we’ve got a wide array of products that may just fit your needs.
CBD Tincture Oils
Each of our CBD Drops contain measurement indicators on the droplet, up to 1.0 mL per full drop of high-quality CBD. You can hold the CBD oil dropper underneath your tongue for up to 90 seconds and swallow. We recommend taking just one full drop a day and deciding how it impacts you.
CBD Immune Boost Capsules
These potent Immune Boost + CBD Softgels are powered by clinically proven Dry Yeast Fermentate, shown to strengthen cellular defense while providing respiratory support. Within two hours, the active ingredients boost natural killer (NK) cells, block pathogens from passing the mucus membrane, and release a strong dose of antioxidants to fortify your body's defenses. Talk about a confidence boost for your immune system!
Each of our CBD capsules contain 25mg of high-quality CBD, with 30 capsules per bottle. We recommend taking just one capsule a day and deciding how it impacts you.
These CBD softgels are becoming increasingly popular amongst customers who are wanting to try cannabidiol, but don’t like the tincture taste or trying to manually calculate their dose with the dropper measuring lines.
MUSCLE & JOINT STICK
Our Muscle & Joint Stick is loaded with an impressive 500 mg of Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil, along with a wide array of calming herbs and soothing essential oils, to offer a sense of calm and well-being during times of recovery.
Utilizing Nanocraft’s Muscle & Joint CBD salve is as simple as applying deodorant. The salve stick comes in a deodorant like delivery system that allows for easy usage without the mess. A few quick swipes to the affected area and you are on your way!
In most instances, customers apply our CBD Muscle & Joint Stick to their knees, elbows, wrists, or other areas (usually near areas where joints are located). CBD topical products may be used on a daily basis and may even be a preferred option for some customers.
6 TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR ANXIETY
Let’s wrap things up, shall we? You’ve got the lowdown on anxiety now, you’ve got the CBD options to consider, now how can you help reduce your anxiety TODAY?
I’ve created a “quick six” anxiety-reducer guide for you here:
1. TAKE A BREATHER
Take deep breaths. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly. If you’re a numbers person like me, it helps if I count to 4 when I inhale and counting to 4 when I exhale. Doing this a couple times repeatedly throughout your day can help!
Give it a try…..inhale 1, 2, 3, 4, hold, and exhale 1, 2, 3, 4.
2. TACKLE YOUR TRIGGERS
This sounds like a big one, but one step at a time friend! Is it work? School? Something else you can identify? Journal down these thoughts and feelings, give yourself a break from everyday stress. Even if it’s only a couple words down on paper.
Who said mental anxiety can be physically beaten up? Exercising daily can not only help you mentally relax, but also maintain your health physically. Something as simple as taking a 20 minute outside can do wonders for your brain (and muscles too)!
4. LISTEN TO MUSIC
Put your earphones in and zone out. Listening to your favorite music may help boost your mood. Stepping back from the anxiety-ridden problems for a couple minutes may help you clear your head.
5. "LOL" OUT LOUD
Really. Laugh. Welcome in humor. A good laugh goes a long way! Turn on a comedy show on Netflix or look up a funny podcast. You may even think it has good enough jokes to share with your friends.
6. TALK TO SOMEONE
You aren’t “weak” or “broken” for reaching out. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are healthcare professionals available to help you. Talking to a physician or therapist for professional help may be just the tip you need to get yourself back in the loop of everyday living.
ANXIETY AND CANNABIDIOL: FINAL THOUGHTS
While you worry and wait for things to happen or maybe not happen, think about what you can do, what you do have control over. Maybe that looks like self-care? Helping others? Going on a solo walk? Whichever and whatever that may look like to you, anxiety is approachable, manageable, and treatable.
The research surrounding cannabinoids and their effects on reducing anxiety are holding great promise thus far. CBD has been suggested to be an anti-anxiety agent in animal and human clinical studies, over the last 20+ years. Non-toxic? 100% natural? Done and done!
Hope today’s article helped ease your anxiety, see ya on the other side of the bridge!
*DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It does not exploit or provide medical advice of any kind. Therefore, any reliance you place on the information below is strictly at your own risk. Please check with your medical provider before starting or changing a CBD routine.
Nanocraft SciencesContent Writer | Physiologist
Kirsten Thornhill was born and raised in a small farm town in Northern California. Kirsten graduated with a Master of Science degree in exercise physiology from Point Loma Nazarene University. She is very passionate about human physiology and the metabolic and nutritional adaptations that occur during exercise in active individuals and athletes. Kirsten has specialized in teaching clinical and practical exercise and rehabilitation applications. She enjoys educating and informing people on the importance of lifetime movement, holistic and lifestyle medicine, and health research and development. Her passion for alternative medicine enables her to strive when promoting health and education.
Crippa JAS, Derenusson GN, Ferrari TB. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: A preliminary report. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2010.
Ferber SG, Namdar D, Hen-Shoval D, et al. The “entourage effect”: Terpenes coupled with cannabinoids for the treatment of mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2020.
Guimaraes FS, CHiaretti TM, Greff FG, Zuardi AW. Antianxiety effect of cannabidiol in the elevated plus-maze. Psychopharmacology. 1990.
Shannonn S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in anxiety in sleep: A large case series. The Permanente Journal. 2019.