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Leaf Anxiety Behind: Things You Need to Know About CBD as a Treatment for Anxiety

Only 30 years ago, the thought of someone regularly using cannabis to treat their anxiety symptoms would’ve been the source of many a raised brow, and earned you the ire of all your neighbors at the first whiff of miss Mary Jane. But, science and minds progress, and today a non psychoactive compound of Marijuana, Cannabadiol (CBD) is commonly used to manage many disorders, including anxiety. Will it get you high? Will you eat all the chips in the house?! Worry not, all these questions and more will be answered. Sit back, pop a CBD gummy, and let us unearth the science of re-leaf from anxiety…

How common is anxiety?

One of the most common mental health issues in the US are anxiety disorders. In our country, about 20 percent of adults suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder, as well as as much as 7% of adolescents. While a myriad of medications have been used throughout the years to try and treat anxiety, we are seeing in real time the rise of another viable treatment option that was previously not available.

Anxiety affects 40 million people a year.


What are common anxiety treatments?

For many years, we have tried many treatments for Anxiety disorders such as OCD, Generalized anxiety, Social Anxiety disorders, and the like; everything from multiple therapy modalities to a myriad of medications. Although most think of Medications like Xanax and other benzodiazepines, SSRIs like prozac are also commonly used for treatment and management of anxiety symptoms. For many years, these were the only treatment options psychiatric and psychological providers had to offer their anxious patients; that is, until the power of CBD was discovered. 

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD is a compound regularly found in the Cannabis sativa plant, along with hundreds of other compounds including THC (the substance that gives you a feeling of being high). However, CBD is not at all psychoactive, and can have dozens of health benefits for those that suffer with generalized anxiety, and many other more specific anxious disorders.

CBD works by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. When CBD binds to these receptors, we have found that it can have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, a well as a significant reduction in muscle tension. The next natural question therefore is, can CBD be used to treat anxiety?

What the research says about CBD for Anxiety

From multiple studies, scientists have found that CBD works on the CB1R receptor and Serotonin receptors in the brain (receptors that are largely responsible for anxious responses in people.) In multiple studies, patients that regularly were administered CBD showed significant reductions in stress and anxious symptoms, as well as depressive symptoms. As a matter of fact, 70% of the patients saw a reduction in their anxiety using CBD as treatment.

CBD to treat anxiety has shown an incredible amount of promise in animal models. When given CBD, animals showed both less physical signs of anxiety, as well as less signaling of anxiety when their vitals were taken (heart rate, BP,etc.).

Aside from Generalized anxiety, CBD has also been shown to be an effective form of treating PTSD as well, and help reduce insomnia associated with many other disorders. What’s more, even highly specified disorders like Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) has been shown to have a reduction of symptoms when it is treated with CBD.

Using CBD as an Anxiety Treatment

The idea of inhaling any type of cannabis can be extremely intimidating for many patients. Because of that, a variety of options exist in order to administer CBD to treat your anxiety. These include:

  • Oils
  • Sublingual sprays
  • Vaporization
  • Edibles
  • Smokable CBD flower

However, one must note that the method you use will in fact change the duration and intensity of the effects of the CBD.The effects of orally administered CBD, such as oils, edibles, or capsules, begin working within 30 minutes to 2 hours. Smoking or vaping CBD oil or cannabis buds results in more immediate effects. So which is the best form of CBD to help your anxiety? That really comes down to the nature of your anxiety and how the symptoms present themselves:

People can use oral CBD products to relieve anxiety throughout the day. It may help to take these products in the morning with some food.
Smoking or vaping CBD oil can provide immediate relaxation that may help people during especially stressful events; driving long distances, moving, giving a speech, etc.

Precautions and Side-Effects of using CBD for Anxiety

Like most treatments, using CBD to treat your anxiety can have some side effects, although they are usually less severe than other prescription medications. These side effects include a decrease in appetite, weight changes, drowsiness, and diarrhea. More often than not, patients seem relieved to find they have other, non-pharmaceutical ways of treating their anxiety with CBD. Although there is much stigma still attached to the cannabis plant, the future looks bright for CBD. Much research still needs to be done to unlock just what other mental illnesses CBD can help is unlock the answers to.

Seeking mental healthcare can be challenging. AMP can empower you to find the solutions you’re seeking.

Take the first step towards finding your balance.


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