It's not a shocker that the curiosity of CBD and anxiety is spiking. It's estimated that 40 million people between the ages of 18-54 have anxiety in the USA. Being a firefighter/paramedic, I respond to calls for anxiety attacks almost every shift. Most of these calls get dispatched as chest pain, heart attacks, difficulty breathing or even the feeling of impending death.
To really fix anxiety, the root cause must be understood. But, that’s the hard part. The medical and scientific communities do not understand how or why Anxiety or "panic" attacks can come on for no reason at all and can manifest in people who have never had issues with them in the past.
CBD has some interesting research behind it in patients with anxiety.
Let's talk about what CBD does when it's taken:
CBD increases a hormone that’s naturally circulating in your body called Anandamide, also called "the bliss hormone" because of it's effects on the body. Anandamide causes one to feel relaxed or "blissful".
This hormone was discovered in 1992- so, this is all relatively "new" stuff.
The reason this was called "the bliss hormone" is, in part, because it stimulates serotonin. These hormones are suspected to affect how depression and anxiety grips the mind and body.
Most prescription medications regulate imbalances in serotonin because a low amount of this hormone causes increased feelings of depression and anxiety. Prescription medications seek to stabilize your mood by correcting this hormone imbalance
This study showed that CBD corrected the imbalances of these hormones in subjects, leading to a reduction in symptoms associated with their schizophrenia.
In another study out of Brazil, patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) were given CBD orally and their brains were studied using functional neuroimaging. Basically, scans were looking at things like blood flow and reactions in the brains of patients taking CBD to see if their levels of anxiety were improved vs patients that received a placebo.
Results: "These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas."
Does this mean CBD can replace pharmaceutical medications? Not as of now.
As of right now no one can make claims about treating or curing medical ailments. CBD hasn’t been through the massive testing required on a large scale to see if this can affect the millions of people who suffer from anxiety and depression.
However, there is promise. And, there is a strong possibility with all the evidence pointing to benefits of CBD on the brain, that it will work for you too.
A common complaint for CBD not being effective for anxiety happens when someone doesn't take CBD consistently and/or someone is taking it improperly. We've looked at studies on how CBD works in the human body (there are almost 800 of them) and created a guide here for you to look at and ensure you're getting the most out of your CBD.
The Bottom Line on CBD and Anxiety
With the amount of research on CBD, anandamide and the case studies piling up, we do know that CBD does have a strong effect for many people out there. We know that it won’t fix the feelings of anxiety in everyone but there is potential that it has helped many and will continue to be a great holistic option for those willing to try it.