CBD for Anxiety and Stress

CBD for Anxiety and Stress

CBD was recently made legal in the USA without a prescription and there is mounting evidence that CBD can help some people with anxiety. This blog gives you everything you need to know about CBD, the law and the health benefits for stress and anxiety.

Article at a Glance

  • CBD is an extract from Hemp and also known as Cannabidiol
  • CBD is now legal to use and buy in the USA following the Farm Bill of 2018
  • CBD has none of the 'high' or negative effects caused by the chemical THC in marijuana.
  • There are a number of health benefits backed up by research including to help anxiety, PTSD, concentration, seizures and epilepsy.
  • CBD is now also FDA approved from some types of seizures.
What is CBD

Before you start you might find our CBD Ultimate Beginners Guide blog useful and we also wrote a recent blog about CBD and ADHD here.

Anxiety and CBD

You are not alone. The World Health organization suggests that 1 in thirteen people in the world suffer from an anxiety disorder making it the most common mental health issue. It is estimated that 40 million Americans struggle with an anxiety disorder and although there are some big pharma short term solutions with drugs like Valium or Xanax people are now looking for a more long term natural alternative to find balance and calm.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol, which is a naturally occurring chemical compound that you get from the Cannabis sativa plant. This is also known as Hemp or Marijuana. Due to recent changes in the law it is now possible to buy CBD in shops and online.

CBD Anxiety and Stress
CBD Anxiety and Stress

The chemical CBD is responsible for the feeling of calm and relaxation that people report when using Marijuana, so by using just CBD, you get all of the calm feeling without any of the psychoactive and negative effects of marijuana caused by a different chemical called THC. CBD is also being used in a a lot of other ways to help people with their health, and we cover many of them here in this blog.

Whats the Difference between CBD and THC?

It's confusing, but one of the chemicals found in marijuana (CBD) has mainly positive effects, whilst the similar but different chemical THC is mainly responsible for the negative side effects such as 'getting high'.

Looked at up close, the two molecules are actually surprisingly similar, both have the same numbers of different atoms that make them up, but the atoms are arranged in two different shapes. It's the shape difference that makes all the difference to how they effect natural chemical receptors in your body.

Whilst the THC shape causes the high that marijuana smokers experience, the CBD shape gives the positive medical effects with none of the high. The THC shape has many of the same health benefits as CBD, but the negative other effects make taking it not an option for many.

We like to think of CBD as the good brother and THC as the 'bad boy' wayward brother of the two molecules. They look similar but act in very different ways. This is why it's so important to be confident of the purity of any product you buy and be able to buy confidently from a reputable source knowing that what you get is 100% CBD, with none of its badly behaved brother mixed in.

Is CBD Legal in the USA ?

We get asked this question a lot and the short answer is a resounding YES!

The 2018 Farm Bill brought about the legalization of hemp a form of the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% of the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In addition to changing how hemp farming is managed, the passing of the Farm Bill also removed hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act. This was a significant compliance milestone for hemp-derived CBD products. The bill states that any cannabinoid that is derived from legally cultivated hemp material, in accordance with guidance given in Section 12619 of the Bill, would also be considered legal by extension for use and sale.

In short, CBD in the form that we sell it is legal in the USA.

CBD and Anxiety

Historically people looked to use Marijuana to treat anxiety, the trouble is that there is a wide range of research to support that smoking or eating marijuana can help with anxiety ( because of the CBD in it) but also cause anxiety (because of the THC in it).

For relieving anxiety with CBD we looked at the research that looks at just using the CBD extract.

Firstly, it's important to differentiate between what a panic attack is and what an anxiety attack is, as they are actually different. A Panic Attack is generally a more intense issue and comes with little or no warning, whereas Anxiety Attacks usually have a trigger like a past stressful memory, situation or situation.

''A review of 25 studies on the safety and efficacy of CBD did not identify significant side effects across a wide range of dosages, including acute and chronic dose regimens, using various modes of administration''

The symptoms of both Anxiety Attacks and Panic Attacks can mostly be managed with a few different measures, including avoiding the situations that can cause the triggers, meditating, exercising, and people report CBD helping with the symptoms too. The research conducted by scientists certainly seems to help support this, with papers going back a few decades reporting the benefits of CBD in helping anxiety and panic.

We found a 2017 study that reported positive effects on panic symptoms when used on human patients. Another study, published on PMC in December 2018, analyzed a group of rats and observed that CBD was able to successfully reduce anxiety in the test subjects. We also found a recent paper from 2015that showed the positive effects for CBD to treat anxiety disorders.

person holding white printer paper
CBD and Anxiety

''We found that existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder''

Esther Blessing Neurotherapeutics 2015

Generalized Anxiety Disorder and CBD

We found an interesting research paper from 2015 that pointed towards the uses of CBD in a wide range of therapeutic areas including anxiety. The paper also commented on the safety of CBD across a wide range of doses.

''CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioral and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety''

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Teenagers, Anxiety and CBD

This fascinating research paper from 2019 found that CBD was effective in helping teenagers with anxiety. The study found a decrease in social anxiety disorder as a result of taking a 300mg dose of CBD over a month.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America looks in to CBD

The ADAA keep a close eye on any areas that can help Americans with anxiety. They note that much of the research is at an early stage ( because CBD has only been legal in the USA since 2018) but they point out that the pre clinical research is promising. They also note that there are dozens of current clinical trials that are evaluating the potential benefits of CBD for a variety of disorders.

How Does CBD Combat Anxiety?

Cannabidiol(CBD) has more many target areas in the body, which makes it hard to pinpoint the sources of its many different therapeutic properties. Studies currently suggest that CBD counters anxiety by helping with your neurotransmitters and also helping to repair neurons in your body.

CBD and Serotonin

You may have heard of the 'happiness hormone' known as Serotonin which has at least 14 different receptors. We know from research that CBD binds to one of the main serotonin receptors known as '5-HT.1A'. This receptor site has strong associations with anxiety disorders and a drug known as buspirone also binds to this site and is known to treat anxiety

What is Stress?

Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts.

Stress and CBD

Your Body Naturally Makes Cannabinoids

Under Stress your natural balance of cannabinoids made by your body become unbalanced. research shows that CBD can help work on a brain receptor called CB1 and restore balance and thus treat anxiety by giving your body a kick start to make more cannabinoids.

CBD Can Help Repair Damage Caused by Stress

The British Journal of Pharmacology looked at CBD in 2015 and found that CBD encourages regeneration of existing neurons and also described a study with mice that showed CBD actually helped grow new neurons too.

Trubrain and CBD

Is CBD Addictive?

CBD is not addictive and not habit forming. In fact it's basically the opposite because it has been used to help people get off addictions to other drugs, alcohol, and smoking. A large and wide ranging scientific review from 2015 actually showed that CBD is being used in a wide range of clinical cases to help beat addiction.

''Pharmacological targeting of the cannabinoid system as a regulator of neurogenesis may prove a fruitful strategy in the prevention or treatment of mood or memory disorders.''

British Journal of Pharmacology 2015

Can CBD Show Up in a Drug Test?

The simple answer is no.CBD will not show up or be a problem in any standard drug test. There is something to be aware of here though, and that's the need to purchase CBD from a reputable source with a quality product. There are some less reputable suppliers online that supply less pure CBD that could have contaminants in it, including the THC found in marijuana that could give you a false positive result if you use a less pure product. We always recommend buying from a reputable source online.

Can CBD Make You Tired ?

We get a few questions from people about this because they rightly point out that we talk about how effective CBD is for anxiety relief and restful sleep, so surely CBD should make you drowsy and tired? In fact CBD can make you both energized and awake AND sleepy and it all comes down to the amount you take. According to a study by Zuardi A.W., published in theBrazilian Journal of Psychiatryin September 2008, it depends on the dose. He found that low doses of the cannabinoid help you feel alert and energized. In contrast, a higher dosage is ideal for relaxing and encourages drowsiness. Suddenly, CBD for better sleep sounds like a viable option.

Verdict

  • CBD is an extract from Hemp and also known as Cannabidiol
  • CBD is now legal to use and buy in the USA following the Farm Bill of 2018
  • CBD has none of the 'high' or negative effects caused by the chemical THC in marijuana.
  • There are a number of health benefits backed up by research including to help anxiety, PTSD, concentration, seizures and epilepsy.
  • CBD is now also FDA approved from some types of seizures.