CBD: For Anxiety Relief

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.   Chinese Proverb

2020 has been a kicker! As many are still quarantined, working at home, schooling children, and have nowhere to go, many are looking for healthy alternatives to stay sane. At the top of some of these lists are CBD (cannabidiol) products, offering a healthy alternative to manufactured chemicals that are safe and easy for most to consume. Without the "high" of THC products, many have realized that CBD can help take the edge off of a stressful day.

In fact, 50% of CBD users (6) generally cited anxiety as the main reason for purchasing CBD products this year. These conditions are expected to remain at high levels as we continue to face new challenges this year, this is why it is worth taking a look at CBD if you have not thought about it before.

 

What is anxiety?

Each of us has experienced anxiety at some point in our lives. Anxiety is a normal reaction when we go through stressful moments in life, such as moving, illness, a new job or financial problems. It can often remain unchecked as it simply becomes part of the "way we feel" and begins to disrupt daily life.

What are some of the symptoms of anxiety? (1)

Excessive Worrying: We have all been worried about something from time to time. We get into the danger zone when this worrying lasts for at least six months and occurs most days. This type of worrying starts to affect your ability to perform your daily tasks as it takes over your thought process.

Agitation: This leads to sweaty palms, shaky hands, racing pulse or heartbeat, and dry mouth. This type of reaction means that your sympathetic nervous system is overloaded and a perceived threat is imminent. If prolonged, this reaction can become debilitating.

Restlessness: is the inability to remain calm and still. While this is often associated with hyperactive children, adults may also have an uncontrolled urge to move excessively.

Fatigue: When the body is in a regular state of heightened anxiety, it takes its toll on the nervous system, as it is unable to relax when needed. This begins to wear down the body, causing tiredness and fatigue.

Irritability: Not being able to process much more on your plate can easily make you feel frustrated, overwhelmed and sometimes a bit snappy.

It is important to understand that fear and anxiety are adaptive responses that are essential to overcoming threats to survival. This is how our ancestors were able to survive extremely harsh conditions and how we are able to survive a life-threatening situation. But excessive or persistent fear and anxiety can be maladaptive, leading to even more serious health issues. 

CBD: What are some of the benefits?

Thanks to the research of several doctors since 1988 we know that our brain has receptors that respond to cannabis compounds. This system is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and consists of two main receptors, CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids found in THC bind to these receptors, which help regulate the functions of the ECS. So far they have discovered that this ECS regulates sleep, mood, memory, stress, appetite, energy and female reproduction (3).

CBD (cannabidiol) has a slightly different interaction with the ECS, as it does not contain the same number of cannabinoids as THC and does not have the psychoactive effect. However, many believe that it works by preventing endocannabinoids from breaking down, which means that they will have a stronger effect on your body. Some have even hypothesized that CBD may bind to receptors of its own, which have not yet been discovered. This is a fascinating possibility.

Like so many other systems in our body, more research needs to be done on the ECS. But what we know so far is very promising. In short, research suggests that CBD can help with multiple conditions, including anxious thoughts, stress and nervousness (2).

Another interesting discovery is that CBD interacts with the serotonin 5-HT receptor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter implicated in pain, depression and anxiety (4). This leaves open the possibility that CBD could help with anxiety and promote general feeling of wellbeing.

Although much more research needs to be done on the effects of CBD on the brain and nervous system, what we know is very promising.

Possible side effects

One of the main reasons CBD users are drawn to hemp derived products is that it is not intoxicating, has few side effects and is not addictive.  

However, one should be careful under certain circumstances, as CBD and other plant cannabinoids have the potential to interact with certain medications by inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450 of the liver, a group of liver enzymes that metabolize most of the medications we consume, making it important to break down these medications. At a sufficient dose, CBD will temporarily deactivate the cytochrome P450 enzymes, changing the way we metabolize a wide range of compounds (5).

If you are taking medication, you should consult your doctor.

Hummingbird Botanicals Statement:

"Our mission is to get our CBD into the hands of all people who are looking for a natural way to feel better. In our lives we have seen how beneficial it is to make plants part of our daily ritual. CBD is one of the regulars in our medicine cabinet and it has helped every member of our family, even our pets. From our family to your family, we want you to find peace so that we can return to the things we love in life". Joaquina Cante...

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/anxiety-disorder-symptoms#6.-Irritability
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/
  3. https://greenriverbotanicals.com/what-is-the-endocannabinoid-system-and-how-does-it-work/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319597/
  5. https://www.projectcbd.org/medicine/cbd-drug-interactions/p450
  6. https://qz.com/1590765/survey-shows-americans-use-cbd-to-treat-anxiety-and-stress/

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