Whether its a shaking leg under a table, butterflies in your stomach before a performance, or the weakness in your knees before popping the question, we all know what anxiety feels like.
Sometimes it’s a reaction to real stress, and sometimes our heart begins to leap for reasons our brains haven’t caught up with yet. Anxiety is normal. But if you have too much, as is becoming more common, you may have an anxiety disorder. If this is the case, worry not. You’re in good company–40 million, as in a walloping 18% of Americans, struggle with the same thing. Thankfully, easing your nerves doesn’t have to mean swapping anxiety for addiction to medicine. It doesn’t even have to come in the form of a word you cannot pronounce. I can break it down for you in three letters: CBD for anxiety.
Why Use CBD for Anxiety?
Research conducted on CBD for anxiety centers around one hot button hormone in our brains: serotonin. Serotonin is our happy hormone. It regulates mood, sleep, healing from injury, nerves, and depression. To you readers, you may think that more serotonin sounds like just what the doctor ordered. But consider this–have you ever been so happy you just don’t know what to do with yourself? So happy that your legs shake and your stomach fills with butterflies and you start to feel nervous? Herein lies the problem. Studies disagree on how to treat anxiety because while some say bad nerves are the result of too little serotonin, others say its the result of too much. Some studies say that anxiety disorders are caused by a lack of serotonin, while others claim that the issue is too much serotonin.
CBD and Serotonin
So, what does the research say about CBD for anxiety and serotonin? Well, while CBD for anxiety is still new to the scholastic scene, it’s still made quite the splash. Existing research affirms a positive link between CBD and serotonin levels. In fact, when introduced into an anxious body, CBD seems to mimic SSRIs. For those of who who have already tried a pharmaceutical fix, you know what I’m talking about. SSRI stands for serotonin reuptake inhibitors, commonly prescribed to anxiety and depression sufferers with varying side effects. The litany of lackluster side effects include dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, sweating, drowsiness, insomnia, apathy, and yes, even anxiety. Those who have used SSRIs understand the einent need for an herbal solution. And with CBD, we just may have found it.
What We’ve Learned So Far
First, CBD was shown to lower general anxiety levels in rats. Later in 2010, CBD was found to lower levels of social anxiety. Not only did the social anxiety group experience a significant reduction in reported stress and anxiety, but the control group reported lower levels of stress as well. More recently in 2014, CBD was shown to have anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects in animals. Still, most studies on CBD an anxiety are conducted on animals. Formal studies on CBD and anxiety are still in their infancy, but user testimonials abound.
What This Could Mean for Anxiety Sufferers
America is undergoing an anxiety epidemic. One in six people now suffer from clinical anxiety and/or depression. What the doctors typically prescribe are psychotropic drugs with an aforementioned laundry lists of side effects. Alternatively, sufferers could choose to avoid psychotropic at the risk of addiction. And avoidance itself comes with its own laundry list of undesirables. But going the holistic route does not mean going untreated. For hands that tremble while scrolling through this article, there is a solution: CBD.