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CBD for Anxiety
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, is a powerful plant extract that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids extracted from a hemp plant having very low levels of THC. This allows CBD to be used in our products safely and legally. CBD Oil, is an extracted, highly concentrated solution of cannabidiol. Extraction technology allows for the extraction of CBD without the unwanted THC, giving you many of the desired benefits of medical marajuana without the “high” that THC produces.
Does CBD Oil Help with Anxiety?
CBD has been shown to help alleviate many different anxiety symptoms in a number of studies. As an anxiety sufferer myself, I will not tell you that CBD oil cures you of anxiety and depression. However, I will say, CBD oil can surely help with managing many different symptoms associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). There is also evidence that CBD may also benefit those with other forms of anxiety such as social anxiety, PTSD, and anxiety-induced insomnia.
How Does CBD Oil Help with Anxiety?
The way CBD oil helps with anxiety lies deep in our physiological make-up. Humans have tons of these little things called “receptors”. Receptors are chemical structures that are attached to your cells. Your receptors are what allow us to react to different stimuli. Of the many receptors, CBD is believed to interact with two types; CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are primarily found in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. When CBD interacts with CB1 receptors, (I know this is a lot, bare with me) it is believed that it alters serotonin levels. As you may know, your serotonin level has a direct impact on your mental health. Low serotonin levels are often associated with depression, and in many cases not having enough serotonin results in what we all know as anxiety. Conventionally, low serotonin levels are treated with SSRIs, a type of prescription drug (ie. Zoloft and Prozac) intended to increase the serotonin levels in your brain. Research suggests that many people may be able to manage their anxiety symptoms with CBD without taking SSRIs. Research also suggests that CBD may be useful in managing anxiety alongside SSRIs.
As always, consult your doctor before making changes to your mental health treatment plan.
How should I use CBD for Anxiety?
CBD comes in many different forms, and as we continue to explore CBD’s many uses and medicinal properties, we will educate on each form of CBD “consumption” for lack of a better word. For now, as it pertains to the relief of anxiety, we will primarily focus on different ways to use CBD oil. CBD oil is a highly concentrated liquid whose primary ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD). As mentioned earlier, CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then infusing oil with the extraction. Coconut and hemp seed oils are commonly used as the carrier oil. I also want to take a moment here to make something clear that was not clear to me when I began my own CBD education. CBD oil, and CBD tincture, while often used interchangeably, are not always the same. A tincture comes in the form of a tincture, duh, but it also may have additional ingredients for flavor, and different compounds depending on intended use. CBD oil, on the other hand, while it can be in the form of a tincture, it may also come in the form of soft gel, capsule, and oil to be vaped (ie. a cartridge).
Here are the different methods we recommend for anxiety:
Orally: First, in my opinion, the easiest way to consume CBD is in the form of a capsule or soft gel. You would take this form of CBD in the same way that you would take a vitamin or daily medication, just wash it down with a nice glass of water. Or, you could add some CBD oil to your food or drink and consume it that way, many of the oils developed now are virtually tasteless, so no worries there. The one downside to oral consumption of CBD is that it’s not as fast-acting as the other methods that we’ll dive into in a moment. Digesting CBD orally essentially means that the CBD’s pain relieving properties will kick in as soon as your body metabolizes it, which is different for everyone. So if you’re looking for immediate relief of acute anxiety/panic attack symptoms you may want to consider a different form!
Under the Tongue (Sublingually): Administering CBD oil under the tongue is one of the quickest ways to experience your desired relief. This again, is what we are referring to when we say a tincture of CBD oil. The active ingredients are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, nice and fast acting. Of course when dropping CBD oil under the tongue you will get a taste of the CBD oil, I don’t think it’s bad, but this is very much so personal preference. Fleur offers both flavored and unflavored options.
Vaping: Another very common way to consume CBD for anxiety is via a vape pen. Vaping CBD is unique in a number of ways. First, inhalation is the most direct way for CBD to enter the bloodstream. If you get the kind of anxiety attacks where you can feel them coming on, I highly recommend keeping a CBD vape on hand. Vapes offer immediate relief on the go. They are very easy to transport and the effects of the CBD are very buildable. On the other hand, vaping comes with it’s own set of preconceptions and judgements that don’t necessarily exist for the other methods of consumption. Afterall, with CBD a vape you are still inhaling the foreign CBD vapor into your lungs. If you have asthma or another lung condition, we would recommend trying out another form of CBD.
Are there side effects when using CBD?
CBD is understood to be a remarkably safe alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications. Though no serious or life threatening side effects have been found with using CBD there are some side effects to be aware of. The most common side effects of CBD include drowsiness, gastrointestinal issues, dry mouth, reduced appetite, nausea, and interaction with other medications.
Drowsiness: I’m hesitant to list drowsiness as a side effect of CBD because it is often a welcomed and desired effect. CBD has sedative qualities that are not only known to make for better, more restful sleep, but also to combat over stimulation and anxiety. The relaxing and sedating effects of CBD however, could get intense if combined with other sedative drugs. If you’re currently on other medication, make sure you ask your doctor if it’s okay to supplement with CBD.
Gastrointestinal Issues: Nausea and gastrointestinal issues are a pretty common side effect of CBD oil. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and other symptoms associated with a digestive problem (think how you would feel after eating something that disagreed with you). In part, some people simply don't digest CBD oil well. This is not uncommon with oils and supplements.
Dry Mouth / Reduced Appetite: Ironically, perhaps, for a cannabis product, CBD oil has been linked to loss of appetite in some people. (Again, think eating something new that your body didn’t agree with.) Along with dry mouth, a rather non-ironic effect of a cannabis product. CBD can simply leave you feeling unpleasant after ingesting. As with most other side effects, this will pass in time.
Again CBD poses no significant side effects, but does have a few mild ones. Mild side effects will pass with time. It is important to understand CBD as medicine when it comes to adding it to your regimen. That being said, be sure to consult your doctor if you have a pre-existing health condition or take other prescription or OTC medications regularly.