Can I use Hemp Extracts to treat my anxiety?
Anxiety is an all-to-common form of mental illness in the modern world. It affects nearly 20% of the population! Our high-pressure, results driven society essentially makes it so. It places stress on our systems, and our bodies response to that negative stimulus is Anxiety.
This hasn't always been the case. The stress response was, at one time, a defense mechanism. Jacking up the bodies senses and defenses to deal with some immediate threat. For example, in pre-civilization times, that threat might have been a large predator.
But, with industrialization, and the modernization of society, the natural threats our ancestors once faced have been replaced with more existential ones that conform to modern society.
We have careers which cause us stress. Worrying day-to-day over being fired or laid-off, or worry about that project that is behind schedule, or the ever-popular overbearing boss.
We have our home lives that introduce stress into our lives daily. Are the kids sick? What if they are not doing well in school. Are you fighting or constantly arguing with the spouse? Or the opposite, do you go home alone at night and long for that situation to change?
Another common stressor is money. Do we have/make enough? Have all the bills been paid, or will they all get paid? The kids need money to pay for uniforms for another new sport. Every time we look at our checkbook balances, there is a palpable addition of stress.
Not to mention, it is a Presidential Election year, and that (especially this time) is a source of GREAT STRESS & ANXIETY for so many of the population.
And on-and-on. What do you think can add stress to your life. Pouring the negative energy into your body like coffee into a cup? Whatever the source, your body was not meant to be under a sustained assault of stressors, and thus having your system at a high state of alert, constantly.
Constant stress can manifest itself in many forms. One of the most common being Anxiety. Some of the disorders in which Anxiety can manifest are Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder, These can lead to other health issues such as damage to your bodies organs and systems, like heart problems. They can lead to substance abuse issues, by just trying to alleviate the feeling of constant alertness. They causes psychological problems as well as can interfere with interpersonal relationships. Think about it, how many divorces are the result of negative reactions to outside stressors that poisoning relationships.
How Can We Deal With It?
There are numerous ways to deal with stress and anxiety in the world. Everything from isolation to seeking therapy. Some people exercise or do Yoga even. WebMD provides these tips for dealing with Anxiety attacks when they rear their ugly heads:
Stay in your Time Zone - No, not physically stay where you are, but instead, keep focused on the present and don't dwell on the future (or what MIGHT happen).
Relabel your episodes - In other words, don't view your panic attacks as "end-of-the-world" events, but instead, view them for what they are, your bodies natural reflex to a stressful situation, or the "fight or flight" response kicking in.
Reel in your thinking - Don't let your mind wander and dwell on the "worst-case scenario." Doing this might become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Breathe - Deep breathing in and out not only helps calm your system naturally, but concentrating on your breathing takes your mind off what's causing the anxiety in the first place.
Use the 3-3-3 Rule - This simple rule says First look around and name the first 3 things you see, then name the first three sounds you hear, and finally move three parts of your body in succession. This gives your mind something to do and process other than the negative thoughts causing the attack.
Do Something - If you feel an episode coming on, then just change your actions and do something else. Take a walk, do some push-ups, whatever. All with the goal of taking your mind off the stressor.
Stand up straight - Straightening your body out from head to toe creates a sense of being back in control, and no longer in a defensive posture.
Avoid the sugar - You may be tempted to reach for something sweet to curb your anxiety, don't! Sugar has been shown to worsen anxiety symptoms. Instead reach for a glass of water or a sugar-free alternative.
Ask a friend - When you have fears and anxiety present themselves, find a trusted partner (family or friend, therapist if need be) and tell them your fears and concerns. Hearing them out loud can change them in your mind, and your partner may be able to tell you why they are not real concerns.
Watch a funny show or video - They say laughter is the best medicine. In this case, they may be right. Laughter releases hormones that can relax you, and counter the effects of the stressors causing the attack. So, if nothing else works, and you have access/time to a TV or the Web, queue up some comedy and laugh away the anxiety.
What is CBD and how does it work?
These are a short list of many popular, natural ways to deal with stress and anxiety, and when it unfortunately leads to a Panic Attack. But there is an additional option that has recently begun to be explored. One which is based upon science, and the chemical interactions that take place within your body between it and the Phytochemicals produced in the Cannabis Plant. Specifically, the Cannabinoids of the Hemp Plant.
Full Spectrum Hemp Extracts (commonly referred to s CBD Oils) are the some 100 + chemicals which are produced in the flowers and leafy stemmed parts of the Hemp plant. The particular focus of a lot of this topic of discussion is the Cannabinoid known as Cannabidiol, or CBD.
In general, Cannabinoids interact with the receptors of the Endocannabinoid System (known as CB-1 and CB-2). These receptors are located on the surface of the cells in our nerves and organs. The nature of their function is not yet fully understood, as they have only been recently discovered and research is limited.
In theory, it is thought that the Cannabinoids can alter Serotonin levels. This neurotransmitter, or more specifically the lack of it, is thought to be the associated with common forms of mental illness like depression and anxiety.
Traditionally, this lack of Serotonin has been treated with pharmaceuticals known as SSRI's (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors). But some people shun the use of artificially created substances in favor of natural remedies. This is why CBD has become a popular substance for helping manage mental conditions like anxiety and depression.*
Few studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness (mostly animal studies), but here is a summary of a few of them:
A case study of about 100 or so adult Anxiety and Sleep Disorder patients concluded that "CBD may hold benefit for some anxiety related disorders."
A study published in 2011 showed that CBD reduced the anxiety felt during simulated public speaking in the study group.
A 2015 paper published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) about the barriers to CBD research spoke of its stress reducing potential shown in lab animals, like rats.
A 2011 study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology showed research of two groups, one given a 400 mg dose of CBD, and one a placebo. The group receiving the CBD had overall reduced anxiety levels.
A 2019 Study concluded, in a lot of technical scientific terminology, that CBD use reduced the indications of anxiety in rats.
There is a lot of research and animal studies available that point to the same conclusion; that CBD use will help control and minimize the anxiety a person feels. Now, the scientific and research community must delve further into the question by conducting larger scaled tests and research. Then the evidence will no longer have to be anecdotal and sparse, but may begin to be accepted widely by the mainstream medical community for it's benefit.
How Much Should I Take?
In a vague nutshell, the answer is simply; it depends. Although that sounds like a non-answer answer, it really does depend on several factors about your physiology and makeup. Weight and metabolism play a big part. Have you built up any tolerance already to Cannabinoids. Are you taking other medications that may affect the CBDs interaction with the body?
Determining your personal dose requires some work. There are several steps, and these are discussed in another article we published earlier in the year. We suggest you review it here.
How can I take it?
Hemp Extract products come in a variety of forms. You can take it in nearly any manner you are comfortable with. There is the very popular method of using tinctures, to candies and drinks, and even topical applications. Look around at what is available and in what dosage (once you determine it above). Then, whether you swallow it, chew it, or rub it on you, you can start adding CBD to your wellness routine.
Anxiety has many forms, from Generalized Anxiety to those caused by trauma like PTSD. Overall, nearly 20% of the population is plagued by some type of anxiety. It creeps into and affects our lives and relationships and needs to be controlled. Modern pharmaceutical companies may want you to become an endless consumer for their products that artificially manipulate the brain into being less anxious, but there are other, more natural methods available. Adding things like regular exercise and meditation to your routine can go a long way. Also, knowing that nature has already created a substance that works with your already existing body chemistry to naturally alleviate the feelings of stress and anxiety. That substance is Cannabidiol (CBD from the Hemp plant).
Please consult your health care provider prior to making any changes in your health-care routine. Please see FDA notice located in Footer.
"Please tell us what you think below!"
Using CBD Oil for Anxiety: Does It Work?; Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, Pharm.D. — Written by Kristeen Cherney — Updated on April 3, 2020
Wait, Can CBD Legit Help With Anxiety?; BY STACEY LEASCA, MAR 21, 2019
Using CBD Oil for Treating Anxiety; By Cathy Wong, Medically reviewed by Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc, on May 07, 2020
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